More drama unfolded yesterday with the early adjournment of the St Thomas Municipal Corporation’s monthly council meeting.
The Jamaica Labour Party councillors walked out of the meeting. This, after there were fiery exchanges over a People’s National Party councillor’s request to suspend the standing orders to discuss a matter.
Councillor for the Cedar Valley Division in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation, the PNP’s Marsha Francis, moved the motion to suspend the standing orders.
Councillor Francis said she wanted to discuss a matter she believed was of importance to the parish. Her request was turned down despite receiving a five to four majority vote.
Councillor Francis wouldn’t stand down despite the insistence of Chairman of the Corporation, Michael Hue.
The meeting was then brought to an abrupt end by the Chairman.
The PNP councillors suggested the adjournment was illegal and sought to continue the sitting of the Council.
The PNP now hold a 5-to-4 majority in the Council after the results of the November 2016 election in the Yallahs Division was rendered null and void by a Supreme Court ruling.
A by-election is to be held in the division on April 27.
And, Local Government Minister, Desmond McKenzie, is describing the conduct of Opposition Councillors in the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation yesterday as appalling.
This, after they attempted to continue the monthly meeting of the Corporation, and installed one of their own as its Chairman, despite the official adjournment by Mayor of Morant Bay and Chairman of the Corporation, Michael Hue.
Minister McKenzie says it reflects the worst aspects of partisanship.
He also says the actions of the People’s National Party, PNP, councillors were utterly pointless adding that nothing they did had any validity.
The Local Government Minister is accusing the PNP councillors of merely acting out a fantasy of authority in attempting to conduct the monthly meeting after the Mayor adjourned it.
Minister McKenzie argues that such actions cause members of the public to ridicule the local government process and look down on the elected representatives.