City approves King as new Town Clerk

The City Council approved a motion for city spokesman Royston King to perform the duties of Town Clerk at a statutory meeting yesterday, where Mayor Hamilton Green declined to vote.

Councillor Ranwell Jordan moved the motion, which was seconded by Councillor Gwendoline McGowan.

The motion resolved to have King “forthwith commence performing the functions of Town Clerk pending his confirmation by the Subject Minister.” It also asked that “with immediate effect the Deputy Town Clerk [Yonette Pluck-Cort] cease acting in the office of Town Clerk and revert to substantive position of Deputy Town Clerk” and that “with immediate effect the Deputy Town Clerk prepare the requisite handover or takeover statements of all charters, deeds, records and other documents belonging to the council.”

The motion was passed by a majority vote. However, Green did not vote and when invited to comment on the appointment, he only said, “It’s the minister who has to do that. We can only recommend.” Green had explained previously that while the council conducts interviews for posts at City Hall and interviewees are rated, it then suggests the highest rated person to the Minister of Local Government for appointment.

According to Jordan, in interviews by the Personnel and Training Committee for the filling of the position, King scored the most points. The matter was sent to the council for decision and it was decided that King would be appointed based on the Personnel and Training Committee’s recommendations. Jordan explained that yesterday’s meeting dealt with King taking up the appointment, which council had agreed he was suitable to fill.

Jordan pointed out too that the Personnel Officer had indicated that she had forwarded a letter to Minister of Local Government Kellawan Lall, informing him of King’s appointment some three weeks ago, but never received any acknowledgement of receipt of the letter. “The minister did not respond in a timely manner and therefore it was decided that at today’s [yesterday’s] meeting to move for the appointment, pending the confirmation by the minister,” Jordan said.

Efforts last evening to contact the minister for a comment were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, King, who was invited to comment on his new appointment, said he will do so today. He was absent from yesterday’s meeting for ethical purposes, he said.

With King’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) post now vacant, Deputy PRO Deborah Lewis will be acting in his stead until the council confirms her as PRO or appoints someone to the post.

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