By Royan Abrams
Following the recently concluded elections at the various Neighbourhood Democratic Council in region six for their respective chairman and vice chairman, the elected candidates were sworn in at a simple ceremony held at the Regional Democratic Council RDC boardroom on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
However, out of the 16 NDCs in the region, only 15 were sworn in with the exception of the Fyrish-Gibraltar NDC where there was a tie for the Chair and Vice Chair posts during their election which was held between nine Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Councillors and nine councillors from the coalition A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC). Those two persons are expected to be sworn in at a later date.
After each of the 30 persons were sworn in by taking the oath and promising to fairly execute their offices without fear or favour, affection or ill will according to the best of their judgment and ability, the regional chairman David Armogan implored on the candidates that their job is to serve their communities and not for their community to serve them.
According to Armogan, sometimes after being appointed, some would believe that they have now become masters of their communities and do not have the time to go look at the problems affecting residents “they come to you, you chase them from your office, they meet you on the street, you tell them come to the office and you never there and those are some of the experiences that I have had with people who were sworn in the last time”
The RDC chairman noted that those types of actions will no longer be tolerated as the chairman and vice chairmen elected are expected to look after the interest of the people in their communities although there might be limited resources.
“In cases like this you have to talk to the people cause this is the only way you can build a relationship because I have seen in many cases after three months there is a wide gap between the chairman and the people that the chairman is supposed to serve and that should not be happening at all” he added.
He also encouraged the newly sworn in chairmen and vice chairmen to go out in the community more often and find out what really is needed in their respective community. He alluded to cases whereby chairmen and vice chairman had put together the budget of the NDCs without any input from the residents on what their needs are.
The Regional Chairman made it clear that stipend will not be provided to those chairmen and vice chairmen who intend to miss meetings.
Meanwhile, the Regional Executive officer Kim Stephen urged them to use their capacity to build their respective communities and by extension region six as a whole.