Without a debate on the No-Confidence Motion against him, Town Clerk Royston King triumphed at this afternoon’s Statutory Meeting of the City Council when based on a legal advice he secured, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green ruled that the no confidence motion in its current form is disallowed.
The ruling led to an immediate walk out by Councilor Sherrod Duncan and Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran. It was Duncan who tabled the motion with support from Jaikarran.
The legal advice that the Council took was given by former Magistrate Maxwell Edwards. Duncan raised objection to that since Mr. Edwards is the husband of a sitting member of the City Council.
But according to the legal advice, if the Motion was passed in its current form it would be of no legal effect.
He claimed that the motion was imposing disciplinary action against the Town Clerk. And that was action that the Council was not authorized to take.
The former Magistrate said disciplinary action can only be taken by the Local Government Commission, cautioning again that if the motion was carried, it will not amount to any actual punishment.
But According to Duncan, he finds it bizarre that the legal advice was accepted by the Council before he was heard on the matter.
He said he never intended to discipline King or have him removed through the motion, adding that the no confidence vote would have been sent to the Local Government Commission for action to be taken.
“The motion never called for his dismissal, never called for its suspension. It clearly states that you have no confidence because of his performance… then the motion goes onto the local government commission for them to look at the matter and he is given a chance to be heard. But before that can happen in the Council the Town Clerk is heard through his legal advice”, Duncan said.
But according to Mr. Edwards, even if the motion was carried, it would have no binding on the Commission as a disciplinary authority.
Edwards said too that the Motion amounts to a flagrant misuse of the statutory meetings and said Duncan must amend the motion to remove the no confidence vote, allowing for only a discussion, or the motion must be disallowed.
When that option was put to Duncan by the Mayor, he said “I will not change a line, a word or a full stop, I will not amend any of it.
This led the Mayor to rule that the motion cannot be allowed in its current form.
Duncan called it a slap in the face of local democracy and said he now intends to seek independent legal advice as he maintains he will not change the contents of the motion.