The man of his word, determined to make a change is Richard Vernon, JP councillor for the Montego Bay South Division. Still very youthful, he has many plans for his fellows, community and the wider Jamaica. Host of the upcoming event, The MoBay Futsal Championship, a collaboration among SDC and the Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club is another means to continue fulfilling his promises.
As councillor, he expected to represent the concerns of my constituents at the council and liaise with agencies and organizations such as NWSMA, SDC, PMI, CSJP, JPSco, NWC etc to ensure that the needs of the communities are satisfied. Doing nothing less than that, in his other endeavors, he is also expected to be present and be an active member of the communities within his division, assisting with social programs and reaching out to their needs where possible.
In keeping up with such duties, since 2016, some of the projects he has already completed, big and small consist of:
- Completing the Island at Mt. Salem Hill foot
Road rehabilitation at St. James High school, Princess Street, Francis Isabella Dr., Barnett Lane, Appleton Hall
-Patching and repairing areas within the division.
-Repair and Clean-up at Hart Street, Catherine Lane, Railway lane, River Bay Road, Albion, Lightbody Ave
-Repairs and Installments to a number of street lights, under his stewardship
- Pedestrian crossings painted
Rehabilitated completely, a house for an elderly on Sun Valley road.
Periodically maintained vegetation overgrowth
Repainted a few primary and basic schools
-Rehabilitated the Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club court.
-Ventured on a number of training and employment programmes: over 175 in skills training and over 125 currently employed.
-Attend community meetings and try to assist CDCs and associations to the best of his ability.
-Assisted with a number of community persons funeral, back to school and business grants.
The Futsal Competition, nonetheless, he added was an idea born out of a need to revitalize the club that was established since 1942 which has seen thousands of persons passing through its gates, some who have become notable persons in society. However, the attraction to the club and the involvement of the youngsters has been at a lull. As a result, he consulted with the club members and the Social Development Commission that is responsible for fostering and facilitating CBOs, to create an avenue to drive youngsters back to this noted organization. “Many times, persons ask me to help in establishing a community center for downtown Montego Bay, but my response is usually, ‘we have club, let us rebuild it, we don’t need a new one’, he remarked”. From that existing dilemma the MoBay Futsal Championship is now a go for the upcoming week, February 23, 2019. Starting with 32 teams, 5 a side and 8 per team. All competing for the grand prize of 80 thousand dollars, second place 15thousand and other giveaways, every Saturdays and Sundays from 6-9pm at the MoBay Boys and Girls Club. The event is being sponsored by Western Sports, Pier 1, Danny’s Bargain Centre, Mckoy’s News, Foreigner’s Fast Food, among others. Registration is now open for all teams who want to participate.
The councillor mentioned that, he has quite a few projects coming up for the year 2019/2020 can expect more road rehabilitation and social programs for the youths and small entrepreneurs. After the competition, he is expecting to work with SDC to start domino and netball competitions, pressing home the need for more activities to engage our youngsters in downtown Montego Bay and for the Club spirit to be rekindled. Councillor Vernon also added, very motivational in his interview, “My only intention is for a better environment for our future generation through transforming and empowering the generation of today, through better infrastructure, social programs, skill and educational programs and employed. People can only realize freedom and development through empowerment.”
By Dominique Gaynor – Mckoy’s News Business Reporter