MINORITY LEADER of the St. James Parish council (STJPC), the JLP’s Charles Sinclair, has written to the Mayor Glendon Harris expressing concern for the lack of payment for services rendered by a number of contractors and entertainers engaged during the Jamaica 50 celebration in August 2012.
In his letter, councilor Sinclair notes that a number of persons, including contractors and casual workers engaged, have complained to him that they are still yet to be paid for services rendered despite published announcements that $8M was allocated to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)/STJPC to underwrite the country’s milestone celebrations in the parish. The fact that the STJC partnered with the JCDC in hosting the events, persons are of the opinion that the Council has responsibility, given the fact that the planning committee was chaired by a member of the Council, Councillor Suzzette Brown.
“It is my opinion that with the passage of three months, it is high time that settlement of wages to casual workers and fees to contracted persons should be settled.”
The former mayor, in a letter copied to Minister Lisa Hanna, JCDC’s executive director Delroy. Gordon and her permanent secretary, R. Martin, asserts that with the obvious sore point now existing due to the lack of payment, he is of the opinion that Mayor Harris should have a full and public account done showing the work done for services provided, by whom, and for how much. Also to determine who has been paid and who has not. In response to those who have not yet been paid, to establish a timeline for payment as the issue is not unique to St. James.
“It is unfortunate that the celebration of the country’s golden milestone is being sullied by the apparent disregard and disrespect being shown to those fellow Jamaicans whom services were employed and contracted to the celebratory events and every effort must be made by the Mayor to protect the Council’s name from any perception of exploitation.”
Further, Minister Hanna must move with alacrity in ensuring that persons yet to be paid are compensated forthwith, in order to protect the integrity of the government and spear the celebration from any possible embarrassment, given that creditors have threatened legal actions to obtain payment, some for negligible amounts of $3,500.00.