Councillors of the Linden Mayor and Town Council on Wednesday night voted in favour of a no confidence motion against Linden Town Clerk Jonella Bowen.
The motion which was proposed by councilor Deron John and seconded by Councilor Neola Rogers, garnered the support of 10 councillors.
Only two of the councillors present voted against the motion, at the Council’s statutory meeting which lasted some four hours.
One of the arguments put forward in supporting the motion was that recently one of the councillors lost her job after the Town Clerk allegedly failed to send a letter to the councillor’s supervisor requesting the said councillor’s presence at a meeting.
The press was subsequently briefed on the motion by acting Mayor Waneka Arrindell after reports surfaced that the Town Clerk was locked out of the building. A press release was also dispatched to various media houses.
According to the release, Bowen’s performance and management of the Council’s affairs have become of great concern to the Council.
The decision to have the no confidence motion arose out of varying issues that have been occurring over a period of time, the release indicated. It added that some of these issues had been noted and discussed by the Mayor and councilors, and that a similar correspondence was previously sent by former IMC Chairman, Orrin Gordon, highlighting those very issues.
The correspondence, the release stated, “recognised and elucidated areas in which the
Town Clerk was in effect by various actions and inactions stymied the progress of this council.”
Councillor Deron John, who served on the previous council, stated that this was the same attitude (by the Town Clerk) that caused a previous motion of no confidence to be sent before, the release said.
“At the conclusion of this preliminary process at the statutory meeting, the incumbent Town Clerk was briefed and informed of the motion, relative to her functions as of (yesterday).”
“The council did not bar or lock out Ms. Bowen from the office or from performing the duties of Town Clerk. The attempt to disseminate false information to the public by the Town Clerk, even in this matter, is synonymous with the continued attitude and behaviour of the Town Clerk,” the release stated.
Councillor Rawle Friday who was also present at the press brief noted that a letter will be sent to the Ministry of Communities in relation to the motion and the council will be awaiting the minister’s response. Until such time the town clerk is allowed to perform her duties.
He added that the situation is a pending one, as this is the beginning of a process.
Friday was supported by Arrindell, who added that the administration’s affairs will not be affected, since the motion is just a recommendation to the Minister and the town clerk is expected to perform her duties as per normal until a decision is made.
In an invited comment, the acting Mayor stated that the motion of no confidence was passed due to performance and not political affiliation.
Efforts to obtain a comment from the Town Clerk proved futile.
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