JAMAICA Labour Party (JLP) Councillors who boycotted yesterday’s meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) Council at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, will have to wait until May to be sworn in.
“I have been advised that councillors who are not sworn in today (yesterday) must await the next sitting of the council in May to do so,” Mayor of Kingston Councillor Angela Brown-Burke told yesterday’s meeting at which the final 24 People’s National Party (PNP) councillors were sworn in. Mayor Brown-Burke and her deputy, Councillor Andrew Swaby were sworn in on April 2.
The mayor’s advice was confirmed by Town Clerk Errol Greene, who told the Jamaica Observer that according to the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation Act, councillors should be sworn in at the first monthly meeting after the Local Government elections. Otherwise, they will be sworn in at the next council meeting, he said. The KSAC Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month.
The mayor had a concern however, as she felt that this might have some implications for KSAC work programmes.
“Unfortunately, this might have some implications in terms of the administration of any work programme for the month of April,” she said. “This would also mean that the committees meeting in April would do so, without the benefit of the contribution of 14 of our members. This would be an unfortunate start to our term as Councillors.”
But Greene is convinced that the council would be able to operate effectively for the one-month period, minus the 14 JLP councillors.
“The only problem for me would be if there is no quorum to facilitate the meetings,” he said, noting that, although some committees require a quorum of 10 members and others seven, the PNP had enough members to ensure quorums, especially in terms of committees on which all councillors sit.
This view was supported by JLP minority leader, Tosha Schwapp, who although expressing disappointment that her side will be out of the council for a whole month, felt that the PNP had enough members to ensure a quorum at most, if not all, meetings.
“With 26 members, I don’t think they will have a problem with that,” she said.