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managers and mayors where lies the power?
LOCAL Government elections draw nearer, the role of secretary
managers and mayors within the Parish Councils will come into
495 persons representing the People's National Party (PNP),
the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and other participating
political parties will be seeking to establish their foothold
in the 227 divisions that make up the 12 Parish Councils and
the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation. Among these, a number
of mayors will emerge, but none will fill any existing vacancies
for secretary managers.
to David Parkes, secretary manager for the Portland Parish
Council, his role as secretary manager is indeed an important
one, as he sees himself as "ensuring that all decisions
related to national policies and strategies are made, and
to constantly give recommendations for a council decision
on all matters dealing with the council's affairs."
persons, however, may not be aware of the difference in responsibilities
for the mayor and secretary managers, since the office of
mayor has been much more a long-standing part of the Jamaican
constitution than the office of secretary manager.
widely accepted standard is that the mayor is a political
appointee while the secretary manager is a professional position
which is filled based on academic qualifications, management
experience and abilities only.
is a clear distinction between the two, and according to Alfred
Graham, secretary manager for the Manchester Parish Council,
"The mayor is the Chairman of Council, while secretary
managers are chief administrative officers." Their role
he says, is "to ensure that the decisions of the council
are carried out in accordance with the established laws, regulations
and guidelines." So according to him, mayors are responsible
for the policy-making aspect of things while secretary managers
are responsible for administering these policies.