Local Government and Community Development month 2013 marked my 1st anniversary as Chief Executive Officer of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation. Despite being fairly new to the position I have come with over ten years of experience as a former Director at the Corporation with additional work experience at the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, making me very knowledgeable of local government issues. It is pleasing to know that I assumed this immense responsibility at the place where I started my career.
The work of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation is even more significant today as the parish is critical to the government’s overall developmental plan and vision for Jamaica. The construction of Highway 2000 and the proposal for a new International Airport at Vernamfield are significant national developmental projects.
While the development of numerous large residential communities in the parish have created a solution for the housing shortage in the Corporate Area, the urban – rural drift has created several urban-type issues in Clarendon which is predominantly a rural parish, including squatting; encroachment of residential development on agricultural lands; congested roadways; inadequate public open spaces and social facilities and a burdened sewage and solid waste disposal systems.
Despite these challenges however, the Corporation is committed to its mission "To facilitate the orderly development of the parish and efficiently and effectively provide well maintained infrastructure, social services to the needy and well regulated commercial activities and planning for development".
As it is with other local authorities, the Clarendon Municipal Corporation is called upon to manage its operations amidst a complex, financially challenging and ever-changing environment. Citizens are becoming more sophisticated and are holding the Corporation to a higher standard of service delivery. They are demanding improved amenities; efficient service and fiscal responsibility in how the Corporation procure and provide local services. These are best practices to which the Corporation is firmly committed.
We have been forced to change our approach and are determined to:
- Manage the affairs of the parish in a professional and financially prudent manner
- Ensure that all work undertaken for, and on behalf of the Corporation is responsibly and professionally executed in accordance with the laws of Jamaica as well as codes, regulations and established national standards.
- Facilitate the participation of the citizens of the parish in the local decision-making process
- Create conditions favourable to the creation of wealth, the generation of job opportunities and the reduction of poverty.
Fulfilling the tasks of this social mandate inevitably requires settling on a direction for growth and formulating an operational guide to achieve the Corporation's objectives, and its vision for the parish. In light of this the Corporation's Corporate and Operational Plan will be launched in January 2014.
Local authorities are forced to explore creative avenues for greater revenue generation since subventions from government are declining. We are looking to find solutions in technological innovations, which are driving rapid changes in service delivery in other jurisdictions.
We are positive that our mission can be achieved with the support of our very experienced, motivated and disciplined staff; the compliance of our customers and continued partnership with our local communities, agencies and organizations.
They have contributed in no small part to the Corporation’s achievements throughout the year and in particular during Local Government Month. Special mention must be made of Clarendon Parish Development Committee Benevolent Society, Social Development Commission, Clarendon Public Health Department, Jamaica Fire Brigade, Sugar Transformation Unit, National Housing Trust, Food for the Poor, Squish Juice and Signtex and all the other individuals, agencies and organizations who partnered with us on numerous initiatives and made them a success. We implore you to continue to partner with The Clarendon Municipal Corporation as we strive to make Clarendon the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Clarendon Municipal Corporation
3 Sevens Road, May Pen