Lethem has a new Mayor-elect in businessman Kerry Jarvis, who has vowed to be transparent with the public in the operations of the town council.
Jarvis, an APNU+AFC councillor, was elected on Thursday to be the new mayor of the border town, beating out incumbent Mayor Carlton Beckles by one vote to assume leadership of the nine-member council.
Deputy Mayor Maxine Welch-Hendricks was re-elected unopposed.
Jarvis will be assuming the post of Mayor on April 1st, a day after Beckles concludes his second term.
Jarvis, speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, said that he decided to take up the nomination after he was approached by councillors and members of the town. Jarvis noted that since 2016, persons have been behind to him to run to be first citizen. He explained that he was unable to take up the position then as he was focused on developing his business. “Now that I have put systems in place, I am able to work to improve our town,” he explained. “I vow to be transparent and run a transparent council. When you get elected into public office, a lot of questions are asked and I want to give people answers,” he said.
According to the Mayor-elect, he will ensure that consultations are done with the constituents of the town before decisions are made. He also noted that he is prepared to work with the community and members of the council irrespective of their political affiliation.
“We are a new town and we want to move forward and the only way to do that is to work with everyone. I am prepared to give it my best,” he declared.
Jarvis also noted that that during his term he plans to work with the council to complete a sport facility which started under the mayorship of Beckles.
He said too that before he was elected mayor, he was campaigning for better drainage in the community and plans to use his office to achieve that vision.
Also high on the agenda is beefing up of security. “We are a border town and we need to improve security in this town. A lot of [negative] activities happen from time to time and I think we need to look at how we can improve security in this town,” he explained.
The Mayor-elect further noted that he would be looking at the finances of the council before going to central government for a larger subvention since he believes that the council would need money to take on capital works.
The Lethem Town Council is the second municipal organ in the country to hold annual mayoral elections.
The Linden municipality’s mayoral elections were held in December, where current Deputy Mayor Waneka Arrindell was elected as Mayor for 2018 and councillor Wainewright Bethune was elected as Deputy Mayor.