Tuesday 16 January, 2018

Kari Douglas apologises after verbal spat at KSAMC meeting

Kari Douglas

Kari Douglas

People's National Party councillor for the Trafalgar Division, Kari Douglas has apologised after a verbal confrontation with fellow councillor, Susan Senior of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), at a Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) meeting earlier this week.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Delroy Williams, the chairman of the KSAMC, Douglas said she regretted the incident.

"I am regretful and indeed apologise to you and the Corporation for the fact that during this thrust, and in response to the reckless provocation, my tone and approach to achieving redress was not appropriate," Douglas said.

The extended verbal clash between Douglas and the JLP's Senior, of the Norbrook division, was reportedly triggered by Senior’s comment that ”a PNP a kill people.”

Councillors representing the opposition PNP were visibly upset by the comment with the councilor for the Maxfield Park division, Dennis Gordon, threatening to take legal action as, according to him, Senior’s statement suggested that he is a part of a criminal network. Efforts to quiet the women failed as they went at each other for some time.  

Douglas commented that the crime situation should not be politicised.

In her letter, Douglas alleged that Senior also made "false and derogatory remarks" about her father, former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament, Easton Douglas. She also accused JLP Councillor Duane Smith of,  "without evidential basis", singling out a PNP Councillor from a different Municipal Corporation as being responsible for bringing guns into the country.

The incident was condemned by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, who also asked Mayor Williams to probe the matter.

McKenzie said it was clear that there are elected representatives who still lack a clear understanding of their purposes and collective mission as members of the KSAMC.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Minister stressed the need for local government to be lifted into a position of national credibility and respectability, through improved service delivery and inspirational leadership at every level, including, from the elected representatives.” 

Stating that he was “extremely disappointed about the event that has been reported,” the local Government Minister warned that he “will not allow the very significant gains that we have made in Local Government to be eroded in any way, by any councillor, irrespective of the political ticket he or she was elected on.”