– increased revenue collection
– effective garbage collection
– fostering of partnerships
With Local Government Elections (LGE) less than four months away, the municipality of Linden believes that many benefits were derived with the reintroduction of local democracy after two decades.
This was posited by Linden Mayor, Waneka Arindell, who believes that the town is now better positioned than it was, prior to 2016, when an Interim Management Committee ran the affairs of the Council. Arindell served as Deputy-Mayor during this period and was only appointed Mayor six months ago.
“The main achievement of LGE was that power was returned to the people, thus allowing persons to make decisions in leadership. The councillors are now in a better position to serve, with renewed zest and vitality. Increased knowledge of 28:01 (the constitution governing municipalities), increased interaction with ministers and other knowledgeable persons, and training have allowed the Council to appreciate and delegate responsibilities accordingly,” Arrindell said.
“It has also allowed for increased public consultations,” she added.
Strides made by the Council
Since 2016, one of the major gains achieved by the council is increased revenue collection. Though the council inherited millions of dollars in debt from the former council, re-payment systems were put in place to alleviate this financial burden. The council was able to bargain for an increase in government subvention, only mere months after entering office.
The reintroduction of the Kara- Kara toll booth played a major role in assisting the Council with the collection of increased revenue. This, in turn, allowed for a raise in the salaries of the staff members of the council, who for many years were taking home mere paltry sums, prior to 2016.
Arindell noted this institutional strengthening has also allowed for an increase in the workforce with the hiring of key personnel such as a Deputy Town Clerk and a Public Relations Officer. Staff members also benefitted from training. The council was also able to foster more national and international partnerships. This was seen in the twinning with cities in America and China.
“There have been greater conversations that would have been opened allowing for projects from international organisations,” Arindell related.
The council has also addressed one of the biggest challenges – the provision of effective garbage collection services to the town. The council now has two new compactor trucks and the old ones were repaired. With more garbage collection equipment present, Lindeners’ no longer have the burdensome issue of paying private entities to collect their garbage or of resorting to dumping. Several illegal dump sites were also cleared and the access road to the Kara Kara dump site was rehabilitated thus allowing for a more environmentally free garbage disposal.
A better working relationship
Mayor Arindell related that the council is now a united front working together for the development of each constituency which holistically will be for a better Linden. With LGE only three months away, Arindell believes that the council is more than ready for a second term of service.
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