The Hanover Municipal Corporation is facing challenges in compiling a list of market vendors in the parish who are to benefit from the Government’s COVID-19 care package.
“We have to allow whatever benefit that these persons can get. As long as we can identify that these persons were paying, we should try our best to make sure that they get the benefit that is there,” argued Sheridan Samuels, the mayor of Lucea and chairman of the entity.
At last week’s sitting of the corporation’s regular monthly general meeting, it was disclosed that the local government ministry had asked the corporation to compile a list of all registered barbers, hairdressers, and vendors in the parish, and submit it to the ministry.
However, there is an issue, as the corporation has only a few registered vendors on record.
Additionally, there are people who are not registered, but are paying market fees. This too poses a challenge, as it was revealed that the majority of vendors who have paid their fees did not give their correct names or their full names, when paying their fees.
Mayor Samuels pointed out that while individuals may seek to circumvent the law, there comes a time when the importance of doing the correct thing becomes evident.
Councillor for the Green Island Division, Marvel Sewell, suggested that the corporation move ahead with the names of only those who are registered, “as a means of setting an example”. He argued that by doing so, it would send a strong message to those who fail to abide by the law.
However, Mayor Samuels pointed out that while he understands Sewell’s sentiment, people do make mistakes, and he believes that at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of people will change their behaviour.
“Persons make mistakes all the time, and I am certain that coming out of all of this, people will realise… and change. This is going to change everything that we are doing. It [COVID-19] is going to change the world, and it will make us more disciplined,” he argued.
“Even though they [vendors] have made the mistake, I don’t think that I would want to victimise them because the crisis is upon us. They were paying, and we can allow them to get whatever benefit there is, because people out there are going to be hungry if this [pandemic] continues.
David Gardner, the corporation’s CEO, suggested the submission of two lists, one with the names of the registered vendors, and the other for those who are not registered, but have been paying their fees.
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