[OPINIONS]:::Too many cooks

No. 48 Monday, February 01, 2010
[POSTED BY::: anonymous]
The saying “Too many cooks spoil the broth” may well apply to the various attempts to come to terms with the many problems that plague the parish of St. James, chief among which is the terrifying issue of crime and in particular murders.
   Well it has been said that the role to Hell is oftentimes paved with good intentions. In this case, instead of there being a more holistic and comprehensive approach towards developmental problem solving, we end up with a kind of Tower of Babel scenario in which various individuals and organizations are speaking In different tongues. The ultimate result is that very little is achieved although much energy, money and time would have been expended.
   Part of the problem is that there is no clear-cut coordinating body in the parish. In our view, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Western Region ought to be the agency that deals with public sector matters while the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MBCCI) which perhaps in the long run should be renamed the St. James Chamber of Commerce (SJCC) in the meantime should be the coordinating entity that deals with private sector interests and programmes.
   In this vein, it is a pity that the now very dormant Greater Montego Bay Redevelopment Company (GMRC) has not been sufficiently revitalized and repositioned to effectively tackle those projects and issues that are desperately in need of proactive leadership. Then there is the St. James Parish Development Committee (St.JPDC) which is yet to get the full and undivided support of the political directorate, namely Councillors and Members of Parliament so that it can become more far-reaching and effective in carrying out its mandate within the context of local government reform.
   But back to the issue of crime, repeatedly the police high command has pointed to the fact, and rightly so, that they alone cannot put a serious dent in the crime problem. What are needed are major social intervention and a united community response. Against this background, Mayor Charles Sinclair and Custos Ewen Corrodus must take the bull by the horns and help set the stage for a unified approach to take place. Too many groups and individuals are out there doing their thing in isolation without there being any meaningful linkages.
   Needless to say that this newspaper through various editorials has been calling on all the major stakeholders to come together for better, but alas, there has been too much ego-tripping, not to mention narrow-minded, partisan perspectives. The bottom line is that unless there is that great coming together then St. James in general and Montego Bay in particular will never have a true sense of community and the spirit of volunteerism will be further marginalized. In other words, we may well paint ourselves into a corner! Food for thought! 

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