Extracted from CONTRIBUTION TO THE SECTORAL DEBATE 2016-2017 by Hon. Desmond Anthony Augustus McKenzie, Minister of Local Government & Community Development, June 22, 2016
“Emerging from the recently published findings surrounding the Hanover Parish Council in particular, I have taken note of opinions by some commentators that the Local Authorities, generally speaking, should be shut down. That is not the policy of this Administration.
I am a son of Local Government. I have served as Councillor and Mayor, and I know first-hand, the positive impact that good representation can have on people’s lives at the community level.
Local Government touches lives in a real way, every day, whether it is well or badly run. I will use my talents, experience, and the collective talents of the partners within Jamaica and internationally, to make local government an efficient, accountable organ of service to every Jamaican.
Let me admit however, that the image of Local Government and that of the Local Authorities in particular, has been shaken and battered by the very serious revelations in the Special Reports of the Contractor-General, which have been tabled in this Honourable House.
The public is aware of the actions I have taken in relation to the Hanover Parish Council. They are a clear signal, Mr. Speaker, that this Administration, and this Minister, will not stand aside and allow breaches of the public trust to occur, under the banner of “autonomy”. The Local Authorities are accountable to the Minister under law, and I intend to lift the standard of accountability and of service that they are to provide.”
Why I like this Quote?
Positive sentiments such as his faith in local government representation, commitment to returning accountability to governance and the value he seems to place on building public trust comes across clearly in the Minister McKenzie’s speech. While it may all be good speech-making rhetoric, he’s saying it publicly, and will be judged for those words publicly too if he fails to deliver.
That said, his past role as Mayor of Kingston, I think, has showed that he is a man who stands for law and order and that he is fearless in achieving it. If there ever is a man who walks his talk, it’s Desmond McKenzie. He may not be the most likeable fellow, his tone and language is too astringent for some folks, but the Mack is convincing as a politician who takes his public office seriously.
As an preamble to his Presentation in the Sectoral debate on Wednesday, these launching words were priceless. . . and hope-full (mispelling fully intended).
Get out the way Tuk-Tuks, the Mack is ready to rumble.
Read the full speech here: June 22 Sectoral Presentation by Hon. Desmond McKenzie
Can the Minister deliver on his potent words? Leave a comment below.
Karen Taylor is a Portmore-based blogger and freelance writer. Contact her at email@example.com