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- The NDM's hope in Portmore
Williams, Senior Associate Editor
A. Taylor, 47-year-old businessman, is the candidate of the
National Democratic Movement-New Jamaica Alliance for Mayor
of the Municipality of Portmore.
Why do you want to be Mayor of Portmore, and what in your
background qualifies you for the job?
I am in this race because I believe I can make a difference,
I believe that the people need a difference and I think that
the people at this time are going to make a difference.
believe that with my vision, 'Take back your power', and with
the kind of leadership from my own business experience and
from my experience in politics, I can provide a kind of governance
which is going to unite the people ... involve all of the
stakeholders, all of the parties involved.
What, specifically, is your vision for Portmore?
It is based on community order and beautification; health
and environmental problems; job creation, and strengthening
of the Municipality Act.
respect to community order and beautification, I will tackle
the problems of businesses springing up all over residential
communities with no order in their development. I will also
resolve the problems of stray animals by removing them from
the streets under the new Act and also impounding them. And
to take it a step further, sell them if necessary, to put
(revenue) towards our budget. I would also establish parks
and green areas for children and adults to relax and play.
Taylor said that as Mayor of Portmore, he would have drains
cleaned regularly as the problem of mosquitoes emanates from
there. A trained medical technologist, he said the mosquito
is a vector of equine diseases and given the fact that the
Caymanas Park horse-racing track is in Portmore "we have
to give this priority".
said people who continue to throw garbage in gullies would
be fined, and fogging to get rid of mosquitoes would be stepped
up with householders being educated about its importance.
Taylor sees job creation as a major national problem, with
Portmore being a microcosm of the nation. "We have to
look at how the young people are going to get jobs and to
begin that process, we have to begin with training. The first
part of that process is skills training and I propose that
HEART/NTA, Portmore, be linked with the hotel training programme
of HEART/NTA, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, to provide training in
the hospitality industry as is now done in Runaway Bay.
municipality could then lobby with central government to identify
investors in a joint programme to construct a hotel-training
school on UDC land in the resort area of Hellshire. In addition,
the Municipality of Portmore through Portmore Expo could encourage
other investors to invest in this construction."
addition, he said Portmore Community College could be given
accreditation to train Public Health Inspectors not only for
Jamaica but for the rest of the world.
strengthen the Municipality Act, Mr. Taylor said, he would
lobby with central government to entrench in it, the full
separation of powers that is directly elected mayor
and directly elected deputy mayor.
would call for a fixed election date set for the third Thursday
in June every three years, and no more than two consecutive
terms for the mayor or deputy mayor.
he would call for a balanced budget "because we cannot
continue to borrow like central government. To deal with all
our needs, we have to grow out of our problems."
Where will you get the money to undertake all the developments
you have in mind?
Initially, there will be no new taxes on the citizens of Portmore.
Government has promised a subvention. In addition to that,
the municipality would lobby the government to make sure that
the three MPs (in whose constituencies the 11 Portmore communities
are) be given five per cent of the national budget so that
in the initial stages we can begin to look after our own affairs.
In addition to that we are going to get a portion of the motor
vehicle taxes, land taxes and so on, that are going to be
collected from the people of Portmore.
Taylor who was educated at Clarendon College in the parish
where he was born, at Calabar High School, Kingston, the University
of the West Indies and the University of Technology, lists
among his political experiences the presidency of the Republican
Party of Jamaica and the vice presidency of the New Jamaica
the October 2002 General Election he ran unsuccessfully under
the NDM-NJA banner for the parliamentary seat of St. Catherine
How do you view your chances in this mayoral election?
Well, my chances are as good as any but you must understand
that we have institutionalised ignorance and therefore people
have just voted for the two major parties over the years.
I believe that the people of Portmore with their intellectualism
will look at the issues, look at the candidates and they will
come out and vote against political parties which have practised
political gunmanship and gunman-association; those which have
practised political donmanship and donman-association; political
drugmanship and drugman-association, "bolo" politics
and political divisiveness. I believe that our people in Portmore
will rise above that and vote their conscience and if they
come out and do that I will be ahead of the race.
Taylor is sales manager of Sunshine Snacks, Naggo Head, Portmore,
south St. Catherine. He is married with five children.