Last update: 12-Dec-2013 8:49 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Winning party pledges smooth sailing in Sando
Now that the People’s National Movement (PNM) has reclaimed the San Fernando City Corporation, returning councillor Shaka Joseph says they will outperform the previous People’s Partnership-led council. Saying the new council will be without the dramas and quarrels that plagued the corporation over the past three years, he said the city will now see more development.
Speaking to reporters after the council was sworn in at the San Fernando City Hall’s auditorium yesterday, Joseph described the first two years under former mayor and now Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray as chaos. Asked if the city would fare better under the PNM, he said, “Yes, I think so, because of the chaos that we went through in our first two years in council and not being able to execute the decisions of council properly with an overriding authority, I think that this time around it will be better.
“As long as the council works together, we can actually do a lot more than we did the last time around. “Now that we have a PNM-controlled council, I am hoping we can get a lot more development and probably more environmental maintenance in the city to bring it back up to par.” The last council was troubled by several high-tempered debates and public spats between outgoing mayor Navi Muradali and Coudray.
Coudray also had heated debates with former councillor for Cocoyea/Tarouba, Daren Mc Leod, over decision making, while former councillor for Les Efforts West/ La Romain, Anthony Ramkissoon, frequently criticised former CEO Deodath Ragoobar over the pace of work by the corporation.
But to those skeptical about a now PNM-dominated council, Joseph said, “Don’t be, we are here for the people 100 per cent and we will do all that we can to ensure the burgesses of the city of San Fernando are well and properly maintained and represented in this three-year-term.”
Among those councillors sworn in was Robert Paris, who returns for a second term, San Fernando Calypso Monarch and attorney Rondell Donawa, masman Naigum Joseph, former school teacher Arnold Soogrim and Bishop Jankee Raghunanan. Also sworn in was La Verne Allison Smith, who defeated her aunt, Congress of the People candidate Gloria Calliste, for the Marabella West district, along with Philip Montano and Sherrie Ali.
Speaking after taking oath, Raghunanan, the lone COP councillor, said he was not bothered that his party would be severely outnumbered in the corporation. Asked if he was worried that his community would be stifled from development, he said, “Well, I hope for that not to happen. I doubt very much that it should happen, because I do have a good relationship with all the others on the other side and as a result of that I think we will work together for the common good of our country and our burgesses.
“It is not a lonely place because I’ve always been a team player and once you’re a team player. I think the political aspect came to an end on midnight of the election, now it’s work time.” The swearing in of aldermen and the election of the new San Fernando mayor and deputy mayor will take place tomorrow.
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