Diego Martin mayor praises mother in inaugural speech

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Diego Martin Mayor Akeilah Glasgow Warner takes her oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony for the mayor and aldermen of the Diego Martin Borough Corporation at the Bagatelle Community Centre, Diego Martin, on Wednesday. – Anisto Alves

Akeilah Glasgow, the Borough of Diego Martin’s first mayor, honoured her mother in her inaugural speech, lauding her for her contribution as a member of the PNM and as her mother.

Glasgow was sworn in on Wednesday at the Diego Martin Community Centre in Bagatelle, Diego Martin, along with deputy mayor Valeisha Sookdar and aldermen Paul-Daniel Nahous and Carlos Waldron.

In her speech, addressing the Prime Minister, MPs Symon De Nobriga and Finance Minister Colm Imbert and residents, Glasgow said there was no greater honour than public service, particularly at the local government level, where she had served for years.

“For me, service runs deep in my blood,” she said. “My grandmother Ivy Edwards, who was part of the PNM, served tirelessly for the betterment of our community. Her dedication and unwavering commitment inspired me to continue her legacy – a legacy handed down to my mother, Francine Edwards, who has served the PNM since the day she’ll walk and talk. She has been my biggest cheerleader from the moment I offered myself to serve. And though I was inclined to do my best, with a mother like her, I had no choice.

“Today I am proud to have made her probably the happiest person in this room.”

She also honoured the Dr Rowley, outgoing chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation Sigler Jack and all the other people she worked with as a councillor for Carenage.

After the speech Newsday spoke to Glasgow’s mother, who expressed pride in her daughter’s achievement. She said Glasgow’s name, Akeilah, was given to her by her grandmother, and means “an intelligent child who reasons.”

“Akeilah was always a simple child. She would always excel over her fellow students at school. I would have always left myself undone so that my children would have the best, and she has made me extremely proud. Not just because she is my daughter, but because she is a great servant of the people and I know she will do extremely well.”

Rowley, in his welcoming remarks, urged the borough council to ensure the borough’s resources are managed well, noting that with the property tax, Diego Martin could have a bank of somewhere between $40-$50 million.

“You must be able to account for every dollar,” Rowley said. “To do that, I implore you to start your tenure by having town hall meetings in these types of facilities.”

“Invite people to come here, tell them how much money you have at your disposal and what you plan to do with it. If you do that, you will get the buy-in and support from the people you represent.”

He also called for the executive to manage its people properly.

“You talk about confidence and using your resources to the satisfaction of your stakeholders. You will not be able to do that if your management is weak, complicit in idleness and incompetent. You must make sure that the managers who report to you are held responsible for the people under them.”

After the ceremony reporters approached Rowley and Finance Minister Colm Imbert to answer questions on Caribbean Airlines, but they both declined comment.