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Exuma’s local government team sworn in

  • Exuma’s local government team outside St. Andrew's Anglican Parish following a recent swearing-in ceremony. VANESSA SMITH

For The Guardian

Published: Jul 07, 2017

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Family Island Administrator Neil Campbell and Deputy Administrator Donald Rolle recently hosted the swearing-in ceremony for Exuma’s local government officials. It was an occasion where family, friends and well-wishers supported the newly elected representatives. This group is a cadre of successful businessmen and women who are committed to investing in, and promoting the growth and development of Exuma's communities.

The act to make provision for local government in The Bahamas is intended to further enhance and develop the communities. Functions expressed in the legislation include general health and sanitation, street cleaning, collection and removal of all refuse from public places; and the upkeep of monuments, cemeteries, parks, beaches, children's playgrounds and recreation grounds. The act also allows for the provision and maintenance of proper road signs and markings, pedestrian and parking areas for the protection of children, and the naming and renaming of streets. Furthermore, local government officials must liaise with the relevant authorities regarding the upkeep and restoration of public buildings, local ports, docks, harbors and jetties.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Magistrate Laquay V. Laing led the distinguished group in solemn oaths and congratulated them. Godfrey Gray was sworn in as chief councillor, Patterson Smith as deputy chief councillor, Kendal McPhee as chairman of East Township, Clarence Ferguson as deputy chairman, Bradwin Hall as chairman of West Township, Sherwin McPhee as deputy chairman, and Cecil Smith, Perry Rolle, Zhivargo McPhee and Pamela Braynen as councillors. Also sworn in were township members including Clifford Strachan, Anvil Lloyd, Dominic Rolle, Ricardo Rolle, Ervin Rolle and Janerese Curtis.

Father Ethan Ferguson, rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Parish, gave the charge for the occasion and reminded the representatives that, “In order to be a true leader, you must first be a servant."

He further stated, "You have been called to a place of service not to fulfill your own agenda, but rather to embrace the opportunity to represent the people of Exuma who have elected you."

Father Ferguson mandated the group to be fair, not showing bias to family or friends; to be honest and uphold standards for the benefit of all; to possess good character and reputation, and to be humble. He encouraged all to treat everyone well and not to be too busy to hear their requests.

Chief Councillor Gray expressed thanks and appreciation to his fellow colleagues for electing him and assured that with his 21 years of experience being a part of local government since its inception, he and his team will work with the limited budget to ensure that all settlements are further developed. He also assured that his team will partner with the central government for the betterment of Exuma and The Bahamas.

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