Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Politics leaves Hanover PDC on shaky grounds

Published:Monday | December 9, 2019 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Five months after the Hanover Parish Development Committee (PDC) selected a new executive at its annual general meeting (AGM), the organisation is now without a leader to spearhead its operations.

In June, businessman Dwayne Clayton was elected as president of the organisation under the supervision of the Social Development Commission (SDC), amid rumours that he was on the verge of entering representational politics.

Two months after taking up the position, Clayton resigned the position and entered a four-person run-off selection, seeking nomination to represent the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in Western Hanover. Fania Davis, who was Clayton’s vice-president, was installed to act as president, pending ratification at a general meeting.

The decision to elevate Davis, principal of Watford Hill Primary School, met resistance from several quarters and at a recent executive meeting, which was again supervised by the Hanover SDC. Jamaica Public Service (JPS) contractor Navardo Forrester, who was elected as the organisation’s public relations officer in the June AGM, was selected to take up the position as acting president until the next AGM.

Based on information reaching The Gleaner, having lost in his bid to become the JLP’s caretaker for Western Hanover, Clayton was expressing an interest to return to the presidency, but the members gave a resounding ‘no.’

“The Hanover PDC leadership, Dwayne Clayton, had put himself up for political office, and has resigned based on the stipulations that are set out, as far as the PDC Act is concerned,” explained Mashario Bissasor, the parish manager for the SDC in Hanover. “Under the act, anyone who has put him or herself up for public office has to stay out of the organisation for at least two years, and after that, if they are still involved (in politics) they just cannot hold a position in this organisation.”

According to Bissasor, Davis should have been officially installed to lead after Clayton’s resignation, but outside of the resistance by some members to her filling the top slot, she had also indicated that she would prefer to continue as a vice-president.

When contacted by The Gleaner about her decision, Davis said she has been facing a number of hurdles, and so in the interest of allowing the affairs of the parish to advance, she took the decision not to take up the top post.

“I do not believe that persons who are putting themselves forward are doing so because they want to do it. I think that it is probably because someone asked them to, and they don’t necessarily have the best interest of the parish at heart,” said Davis. “Some of these people who are coming forward are not genuinely looking at the development of the parish. I think it is a profile thing, and not necessarily because they want to see the parish progress.”

Davis said that going forward, she will be concentrating her efforts on her development, but will assist at the parish level whenever she is called on to do so.