Fifteen persons who were elected in the recent local government elections to serve in the District of South Abaco were sworn in on June 27 by Ms. Lavon Harris- Smith, Administrator for South Abaco.
Swearing in took place in the JA Pinder primary school at Sandy Point.
Following an opening prayer by outgoing Chairman for the Cherokee Township, John Hudson, Ms. Smith opened the proceedings by congratulating all who were elected and would thus become town committee members. She stated that while most of those elected had served already, and so knew their responsibilities, she wanted to impress upon the new people that the work of the town committee representatives is to serve the settlement in which they live.
“You will deal with the concerns of the people and will be responsible for the maintenance of facilities in the town such as school, park, clinic and others. A crash course is needed in how to run a Township and Council and for dealing with matters such as contracting out work, bids and tenders,” she told them and said that she would have a manual of local government procedure printed out for each member and urged them to read it thoroughly..
Each committee member took the oath of office, swearing on the Holy Bible to “faithfully execute the office of Town Committee Member for their respective township without fear or favour, affection or ill will according to the best of their judgment and ability.”
Following the swearing of the oath by each member, Administrator Smith firmly stated, “When I call meetings those who do not attend will be put out of the Township because you have each sworn to uphold your duties as town committee members to serve your townships.”
The persons sworn in as local government representatives are as follows:
SANDY POINT: Valeria Lightbourne, Arthur Washington Lightbourne, Laurestine Fox, Preston Roberts, Sean Roberts.
CHEROKEE, BAHAMA PALM SHORES, CASUARINA POINT: Vashti Albury, Michael Knowles, Michael Saunders, John Hudson, Jacqueline Estevez.
CROSSING ROCKS: Mitchell Hepburn, Deborah Carrol, Ruth Burrows Russell, Arthur Williams, Israel Williams.
Elections were then held for each Township to elect those members they wished to serve as chairpersons and deputy chairpersons and also persons to serve on the council.
Administrator Smith explained to all persons who were elected to council; “This is the body which oversees all of the townships. You will ultimately make decisions regarding the allocation of money and will be making decisions which affect your entire community. You will also be expected to attend all major events.”
Results were as follows:
CROSSING ROCKS: Chairperson Ruth Burrows Russell, Deputy Chairperson Deborah Carrol who was also elected council member.
SANDY POINT: Chairperson Arthur W. Lightbourne, Deputy Chairperon Laurestene Fox, Council members Sean Roberts and Laurestene Fox.
CHEROKEE, BAHAMA PALM SHORES, CASUARINA POINT: Chairperson Jacqueline Estevez, Deputy Chairperson Michael Knowles,Council member Vashti Albury.
The first council meeting was scheduled for the following Tuesday, July 1 when elections would take place for the chief and deputy councilors. Administrator Smith told those elected that the meeting would be a working session during which she would explain to them exactly what is expected of them.