Citizens of Kingston and St. Andrew, I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous 2017 and may all your hopes and aspirations for this year be realized. Every New Year is an opportunity for a renewal of hope and a reassessment of goals. As your mayor, I resolve, together with my team of Councillors and administrative managers at the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), to forge a new path in restoring and renewing peace, love, order, growth and development in our Municipality.
I seek the support of all stakeholders to make this possible, particularly you the citizens. Together, we will strive to make Kingston the pearl of the Antilles, a shining example of what a well developed and managed city should be.
As a Municipal Corporation, we seek to promote development which is a necessary precondition for investment. The disorder, violence and crime which unfortunately has characterized wide swaths of our city for far too long, must be replaced with a peaceful, clean and serene environment. This will encourage and bring with it increased employment and prosperity.
I am positive that Kingston is on the verge of greatness; however, our first priority is to attain a higher level of order which began in earnest this Christmas and will continue until it is achieved. Our goal is to promote economic expansion for the benefit of everyone, but this can only be achieved when there is an absence of the prevailing chaotic environment.
Our city, particularly downtown, is one of the best planned cities in our Region and we have many classic examples of world class architecture which needs to be restored and modernized so that Kingston can again be a centre of first class enterprise and industry, as well as a cultural magnet, attracting citizens and visitors alike.
We also seek to develop a vibrant nightlife in the city. Jamaica is after all a cultural superpower that has given the world a number of musical genres like Mento, Reggae, Ska and Dancehall. Kingston, as the home of these musical forms, must have facilities where they can be showcased in an ambiance suitable to their enjoyment in safety and comfort.
We must develop our waterfront including our port and adjacent shorelines to world class standards and take advantage of and showcase our global standing as a world power in sports. The introduction of cruise ships into the Kingston Harbour will undoubtedly position the city as a world leading destination for travellers. Every citizen of this country stands to benefit from such endeavours.
Our vision is to transform the social, economic and cultural life of the city including the renovation of our infrastructure and spearhead increased investment in our human capital - Kingston will be great.
The KSAMC and myself as Mayor give you our sincere assurance that we will work with energy and wisdom to make our city the best it can be to the benefit of all of us.
I am encouraged by the tempo of business activity observed across the capital this Christmas season and the confidence of commercial and other interests in our future. Let us join hands and hearts in making huge strides this year towards achieving a city that will be an example to the world of what a small municipality united in vision and confidence can achieve.
May God bless all our efforts for 2017 and beyond.