Listra Clemetson has been confirmed as the new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) election candidate in the Linstead Division in St. Catherine, and she is declaring that the sitting councillor’s performance does not warrant him getting a third term.
The councillor, Herbert Garriques of the People’s National Party (PNP), has won two consecutive elections in the Linstead Division.
“After serving two terms as a councillor, I am not seeing where the track record justifies a third term [for Herbert Garriques],” Clemetson told The Beacon. “Maybe if it was a second term [Garriques was doing] you could say give him a chance, but I am not seeing it; it doesn’t justify the third term.”
Clemetson noted that all four parish council seats in St. Catherine North West are held by the PNP, adding that the Member of Parliament – Hugh Graham – is also of the PNP.
“We are in a constituency – and it also involves the Linstead Division – where one party has had control of all the resources allocated, and it is very obvious that the resources have not been efficiently distributed or spent – and way more work needs to be done,” added Clemetson, a 38-year-old physiotherapist and Ewarton Primary School graduate. Like a number of her relatives, she also is a musician.
Desirous of singing the victory tune when the election is held on or before February 27 next year, Clemetson is happy with the feedback she has been getting while campaigning.
“So far I must say I have had very good reception on the ground because I tend to not be too partisan…. Thus far, I have not had one sore conversation with anyone in the street because, when I start, I start with mutual respect and I don’t start along party line,” she added.
But Clemetson is not oblivious to the crucial role the party should play in her political bid.
“What I found key is to reach out to our bases – our key supporters, and then we use our energized base of key supporters and work with them to mobilize ourselves within the communities…” she said.
“I have been reaching out to as many persons as possible to put a more friendly face to a representative so that people are comfortable knowing that this person comes around very often and they can depend on this person… I don’t just stay in Linstead town itself. Linstead is a very big division with many communities.”
Clemetson further stated that, while she does house-to-house visits, she is using the opportunity to find out the people’s needs and the problems besetting their communities.
“It doesn’t make sense you wait until you are in that capacity (councillor) for you to be finding ways and means to solve these problems – and there are many problems,” she emphasized.
The JLP candidate said the plans high on her agenda include road rehabilitation, drain cleaning, improvement of Linstead Market, better flow of traffic in Linstead town, much focus on sports – especially football, creating more opportunities for young people, and building strong partnerships with the different stakeholders such as the business community.
“I want to show the community that a lot more can be done if we work together,” she further told The Beacon at the end of her party’s St. Catherine North West constituency conference held at Ewarton High School.
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