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Letter of the Day | What is the purpose of local government?

Published:Monday | February 26, 2024 | 12:06 AM
Supporters of the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party are seen on nomination day at Yallahs Primary School in St Thomas.
Supporters of the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party are seen on nomination day at Yallahs Primary School in St Thomas.

THE EDITOR, Madam:

T he Gleaner editorial of Thursday, February 22, titled, ‘Liberating local gov’t’ is spot on. My own view is that any election that can be conveniently postponed indefinitely, by both administrations, needs to be discontinued.

Why? It only serves as a tool for the ruling political party to use expediently. This they allegedly do with impunity. We need a system that works for the people of Jamaica and not just politicians. From my observations, being spineless seems to be a requirement for the position of councillor. There seems to be an unwritten hierarchical structure where the member of parliament is the boss and councillors must be subservient. Let me hasten to say that there should be a good working relationship between the member of parliament and each councillor in his or her constituency. This is the only way constituents can be properly served. However, hard work and good service should not be seen as an effort to “dethrone” the member of parliament and be sufficient cause to alienate and even annihilate a councillor.

The problem is systemic. It is time to take a serious look at what purports to be local government and release the chokehold that the central government has on local government. This would liberate councillors from the disempowering position that they are in and allow them to work for the good of the people they serve without fear of overshadowing the member of parliament and earning his or her ire.

For the record, I do not wear green or orange tinted glasses. I wear clear lenses.

CONCERNED CITIZEN