Several City Mayors Outline Challenges
By Garmonyou Wilson
City Mayors from various cities across the country say they are faced with similar challenges that hinder the operations of their cities. The Mayors who met over the weekend at a three-day retreat hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), gathered to receive training on how they could boost their capacities.
As the Government of Liberia through the MIA continues to develop policies to steer the country’s decentralization plan, more tasks would be given to local governments to help ensure that all Liberians in all parts of the country would have a stake and a voice in decisions that would benefit them.
The 24 Mayors said that they were receiving revenue from local businesses in their cities and nothing at all from central government for operations.
The City Mayor of Careysburg, Anna Philips said that the city has a lot of challenges that are not unique to other cities in Liberia.
She explained that the one thing that 99% of cities have in common that is really hurting the cities develop is that they are not recognized in the National Budget.
Crime rate has escalated and this seems to be an issue in other cities across the country and many Mayors want more police officers to patrol their cities, especially at night.
She concluded that the only monies that the city is generating is through businesses and companies in the city, especially GSM companies who pay for towels they have around the city.
Mayor Regina Sampson of Harper, Maryland County said that the city has the same problems as many other cities but high on her list was the youth employment scheme that the GOL took to the city and for the past two months, the youths have not received a dime.
She said in Harper as well as other cities around the country are vocational training for youths to help keep them out of trouble and off the streets.
Mayor George Curtis from the city of Brewerville said that the problem that tops the city’s list is the problem with garbage collection which is becoming more and more of pest in communities as cities do not have the required equipment or sufficient money to carry out garbage collection.
All of the Mayors that were interviewed disclosed that what would help improve the situations that their cities are faced with will be from the support of central government through budget allocations.