Jamaica Labour Party Councillor for the Chancery Hall division of the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Council, KSAC, Duane Smith, is accusing the council of trying to cover up the cost of recent renovation work done on the office of the Mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke.
In a statement to the media today, Councillor Smith said the renovations being undertaken at the Corporation’s Church Street offices, are unacceptable in this period of austerity.
Councillor Smith says the refusal of the Town Clerk to release the cost of the project and to allow the press to take pictures of the Mayor’s parlour and other refurbished areas, is an obvious attempt to cover-up the administration’s excesses.
According to Mr. Smith, he’s able to understand the improvements done to the customer service areas of the office.
But, he says theres no explanation for the Corporation spending excessively on marble style tiling for the Mayor’s Parlour and installing flat screen television sets in a number of areas including the Councillors’ caucus room, at this time.
According to Mr. Smith, members of the media were refused access to relevant areas and information regarding the cost of the renovation.
He’s describing the alleged refusal as a flagrant abuse of the rights of the media and the public to have access to information on how their taxes and fees are being spent by the Mayor and the Council.
Councillor Smith says he’s challenging Mayor Brown Burke to justify the expenditure for the refurbishing, when the Council does not have the resources to carry out its mandate to clean drains, repair roads, reduce public health threats and pay its bills.