Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie is said to be coming under pressure over his instruction for local authorities to hold meetings this month instead of proceeding on the usual summer break.
Wiredja Online News contacted one of Jamaica's foremost authority on Local Government, former Minister Arnold Bertram, to ascertain the source of the Local Government Minister's authority to issue such an instruction.
Mr. Bertram indicated that as far as he was aware, the Minister had no power over Parish Councils outside of financing and interpretation of the laws.
The former Local Government Minister who is credited with the reform of Local Government, said Parish Councils were elected independent of the Local Government Minister, who had no dictatorial authority over Councils.
Mr. Bertram feels that a matter such as this should not be left to hang, but should be tested by one of the local authorities.
The Local Government Minister's instruction did not go down well with the Chairmen of the local authorities who were up in arms over this unusual order from the Local Government Minister.
Chairman of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGA-J) Scean Barnswell, who is head of the Clarendon Parish Council, had described the Minister's instruction as strange.
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