Chairman of the Mayaro Rio Claro Regional Corporation in Trinidad and Tobago, Mayor Glen Ram, was on August 11 bestowed with the Key to St. Ann’s Bay, the capital town of St. Ann.
Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Michael Belnavis, made the presentation following a special meeting at the St. Ann Municipal Corporation.
He said the “Key is a symbol of the friendship we have formed and also a token of the wonderful hospitality we are known for here in the ‘Garden Parish’ of St. Ann”.
Mayor Belnavis said the Corporation is looking forward to working with local government colleagues in the twin-island republic “to do some wonderful things”.
“I can see us doing some twinning as it relates to St. Ann and our rich history. We will certainly explore the areas of interest… on things that will be beneficial to us and also the people of Trinidad and Tobago. In this era of strong Caribbean integration, cooperation on all fronts is extremely necessary,” he pointed out.
While in St. Ann, Mayor Ram visited the statue of National Hero Marcus Garvey and the St. Ann’s Bay Library, and toured the Mystic Mountain attraction, among other activities.
The Mayor arrived in the island on August 9 for a five-day visit as guest of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to observe the country’s local government reform processes.
He met with Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, the mayors of Kingston and St. Ann’s Bay and representatives of the Social Development Commission (SDC).
He also visited the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
“That is a very professional and efficient organisation. It was a wonderful visit and one that showed me how well Jamaica is prepared to handle natural disasters,” he said.
Mayor Ram had high praises for the Ministry, which he described as “wonderful hosts”.
He said that there are many similarities between Jamaica and Trinidad, noting that they are “probably the leaders as it relates to local government”.
He contended that the countries could pave the way for the creation of a Caribbean Local Government Association.
“This, I believe, would be very effective and could play a valuable role in the region where local governance is concerned,” Mayor Ram said.