Dear Editor,For more than two years, this column has vociferously advocated for the establishment of the Local Government Commission (LGC). Indeed, we embrace and recognise the contributions of other commentators who have called daily for Government to act on this crucial Commission over the past months.The critical role and necessity of the LGC cannot be understated! There were seeming objective crafting of bills and many amendments to relevant local government legislation leading to the 2015 General and Regional Elections, to address improvements to local governance. These were seen as necessary by both the then Government and Opposition. Even President David Granger when he was Leader of the Opposition, made strong calls on the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government to appoint the Local Government Commission.There are serious problems in the Local Government System! Staffing matters as one issue is too numerous to detail, although much mention was previously made of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change’s (APNU/AFC) inaction towards its contaminating and destabilising effects. As a consequence, the elected councils are finding it extremely difficult to deal with non-performance and the new level of indiscipline emerging in the Local Authority Areas (LAA).The serious and un-ending problems at the Regional Democratic Councils and Neighbourhood Councils can be easily solved at the level of the LGC.As it is now, Bulkan’s Ministry is providing direct biased monitoring and controlling oversite over Local Authority Areas. This is because of the APNU/AFC’s significant loss at the 2016 Local Government Elections, and it is clear that the various councils cannot function efficiently without the LGC. Observably, this APNU/AFC Administration relishes the dictatorial and authoritative free for all way. This is in order for them to do whatever they wish, without informing the residents or their elected representatives.Most recently, we observed published articles about the ugly invasion by the Communities Ministry to facilitate the relocation of some squatters within the Mocha Arcadia NDC without consultation; this is the workings of the same Ministry that has the responsibility to appoint the LGC. It makes it clearer that the coalition Government does not have any respect for the views of community leadership. It must also be noted that other sections of the population are doing what they want without consulting the relevant elected bodies.Some private citizens and organisations are also moving in the communities and doing what they want without consultation.More seriously is the fact that the Private Sector bodies are moving in with their money and just pay off some people, build and do whatever they want, given the depreciated support to the elected councils by the Government.This lawlessness is leading to extreme levels of corruption, facilitated the Government.The local government system must be allowed to function in the interest of the people who elected the leaders!The Local Government Commission must be appointed now!Sincerely,Neil Kumar
Powerful winds swept Southern California on Wednesday on the heels of a cold storm system, knocking out power to 128,000 utility customers as dangerous surf pounded the coast. Southern California Edison said about 115,000 customers had outages ranging from momentary to several hours, and about 5,000 remained without electricity at 3 p.m. Communities were hit hard, from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties southeast to Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, SCE said. Utility employees were placed on standby and staging areas were prepared with replacement components including poles and transformers. About 10,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers were without power Wednesday evening, said spokeswoman Carol Tucker. Most of the outages were in the harbor area and were largely caused by strong winds, she said. “We have instances where wires went down because a tree or branches knocked down the power lines,” Tucker said. Crews restored power to an additional 3,000 customers during the day, she said. The winds were preceded by a storm that moved rapidly through the region with rain in many areas and snow in the mountains. However, flash-flood warnings in areas burned by this year’s wildfires expired without any reported mudslides or debris flows. “We escaped on that one just because the system moved through so fast,” said Jamie Meier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Rainfall was heavy during the storm, but “it didn’t stick around long enough.” In a rapid turnabout from the wet weather, the Weather Service posted fire-weather watches for today and Friday due to strong north winds and low humidity in the mountains and valleys. Storm-generated northwest swells of 18 to 22 feet continued in the coastal waters and forecasters warned of wave heights reaching 10 feet to 15 feet in San Luis Obispo County and north Santa Barbara County, and breakers as high as 10 feet in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The surf began to churn Tuesday as the storm approached.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!