Outgoing mayor tells new councillors: You are the voice of Point Fortin

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Newly installed councillors of the Point Fortin Borough Corporation (PFBC), from left, Wendell Williams, Steve Guishard, Leslie Pascall, Marilyn Ramnarinesingh, Christopher Wright and Kwesi Thomas at a swearing ceremony at the corporation’s office on Monday. PHOTO COURTESY PFBC FACEBOOK PAGE –

Former Point Fortin mayor Saleema McCree-Thomas has urged the borough’s newly elected councillors to let the principles of transparency, accountability and the greater good guide their decisions.

She added, “As you take your seats at the council’s chambers, remember that you are the voice of your burgesses. You are entrusted with the power to shape policies, allocate resources and make decisions that will impact the lives of those who call Point Fortin their home.

“I encourage you to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and open communication within this council. Our borough is a diverse tapestry moving together by its people’s aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Embrace this diversity, for it is our greatest strength.”

The swearing-in ceremony of the 12th council of the Point Fortin Borough Corporation took place at the Town Hall in Mahaica. The ceremony was streamed on the corporation’s Facebook page.

The PNM made a clean sweep, winning all six electoral districts in the August 14 local government elections. The six councillors took their oaths on Monday.

McCree-Thomas, the borough’s first female mayor, described the ceremony as a significant moment in the borough’s history and congratulated the councillors.

She urged them to listen to the voices of all, regardless of their background or beliefs, and work together to find a common ground that serves the best interest of Point Fortin.

She told them while some of the challenges they may face are unique to the borough, they must remember they are not alone.

“Reach out to your fellow councillors. Seek advice from experienced leaders and draw inspiration from the accomplishments of those who have come before you. Progress is a collective effort, and together you can achieve remarkable things for our community,” McCree-Thomas told them.

“As you embark on this journey, keep in mind the values that define us:resilience, unity, and a deep sense of community pride. Your dedication and hard work will not go unnoticed. Part of your decisions will resonate for generations to come.”

She commended their commitment to public service and willingness to take on the responsibility of leadership. The road ahead would not always be easy, but their dedication to the borough’s progress “will undoubtedly pave the way for success,” the former mayor said.

She offered her good wishes and unwavering support to them all.

“May the 12th council of this beautiful borough be a beacon of hope, progress, and positive change. I am confident that you will continue to build upon the foundation of success that we have established.”

Saleema McCree-Thomas –

McCree-Thomas hoped the councillors’ journey would be filled with wisdom, courage, and relentless pursuit of a better and greater Point Fortin “for all of us.”

Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards Jr also attended and spoke briefly. He agreed with McCree-Thomas and others who earlier spoke about the importance of collaboration.

Richards was the councillor for Hollywood and Point Fortin mayor before he became the MP.

He said it is vital for councillors to collaborate with burgesses and the administration.

“Under this system that we function in, the administration plays a key role in executing what we have to execute. We just came out of a gruelling exercise. It was not easy, and going forward we must remember what was said and what we have to do on the ground,” the MP said.

“The days for relaxation are done,” he said, and it was now expected the councillors would “work together to ensure that we take Point Fortin to where it needs to be.”

Richards said he looks forward to working with the council.

The swearing-in of the mayor and aldermen were still to be finalised as of Monday afternoon.

The councillors:

Kwesi Thomas, Egypt Village

Christopher” Boy Ross” Wright, Hollywood

Marilyn Ramnarinesingh, Cap-de-Ville/Fanny Village

Steve Dexter Guishard, New Lands/ Mahaica

Wendell Williams, Techier/Guapo

Leslie Pascal, New Village

Pascal and Thomas retained their seats, while the four others were first-time candidates.