Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 1st 2015 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2015
with Clevon Raphael
Explore the art form
Teacher / Performing Artiste
To dance is to be out of yourself,
Larger, more beautiful, more powerful,
This is power, it is glory on earth
and it is yours for the taking.
Saith Park Indoor Sport Arena
Q: Mr Mayor, you have
been in office for a year
and some months.
What has been your most notable
achievement so far, and are you
being stymied in achieving your
goals so far?
A: (In the Mayor s parlor
at City Hall, Port-of-
morning) No. And by nature, I am
a people person, so my most
notable achievement is, as I see it,
bringing according to the people
on the street, some calm and
humanness, to use their term.
These include all segments of
the city s burgesses and those who
come into the capital on a daily
basis whether for work or play
and, while I do not support some
of the things venders do, I always
approach their problems in a very
humanistic way. I do believe that
when you are dealing with people
you have to recognise that you
cannot always go by the letter of
Are your suggesting, Sir, (cup-
ping his chin with his left hand)
that before taking up this assign-
ment none of your predecessors
injected that measure of calm in
the capital city?
No. I am not suggesting that,
but it is reasonable to assume for
them to highlight that factor sug-
gests there is something different
in what I am doing. I am not cast-
ing any aspersions or any blame,
but people treat with things dif-
ferently. Coming out of the insur-
ance industry, my philosophy has
always been people before paper.
How can you show love and
care when some people can block
the sidewalk with impunity, and
what have you?
Yes, because I realise that there
are many people who are unem-
ployable with personal responsi-
bilities and the politicians take
advantage of that and they are
allowed to do things that are
You do not see yourself as a
Well, if politician means doing
the best to make people life better
and people development, yes. But
if politics means fooling people
and making promises which I can-
not keep, no.
Is that a trademark of a good
I have seen quite a lot of that
in Trinidad and Tobago.
Any particular party?
No. No. It seems that in taking
our country forward there has to
be a regaining of the trust of the man
in the street and so much has been
done to erode that trust, and that is
why Trinidad is almost a lawless society
(frowning) now as everybody knows
A person may commit some offence,
he is arrested and taken to a police sta-
tion and someone at the station is a
relative or a friend, and we have a ten-
dency to see faces and not issues, there-
fore you have the tendency to com-
promise in such a situation.
Are you tempted, Mr Mayor, to
adopt that kind of attitude in this
Well people know me and they know
what to come to me with and what not
to come to me with. I do not believe
that at the end of the day we do any-
body any favour when we perpetuate
the wrong things. In other words,
friends do not let friends drive drunk.
You said that we as a people were
almost lawless, do you think that dis-
honesty is inherent in the average
(Pausing to accept a cell phone mes-
sage from a senior government official)
I don t want to bring politicians in this,
but what I could tell you is that it seems
as if dishonesty and corruption is innate
and that is sad, because you see children
imitate what they see adults do, espe-
cially their parents.
Mr Mayor, this corporation is con-
trolled by the Opposition People s
National Movement, have you all been
experiencing difficulties in obtaining
funds from the Central Government?
I have not found that, but I would
hate to believe that people who are
entrusted with the care of the city and
development of our country would
allow that kind of thinking to influence
what they do. I have heard that, but I
do not want to speculate. Let s leave
the PNM out of it because my decisions
are based purely on what I see as the
needs of the city and it is not influenced
by any party or government.
And, let me say this, remember I
have a business background and I have
a fair idea of how monies are distrib-
uted, but some of the reasons why some
• CONTINUES ON PAGE A14
We must regain the trust
of the man in the street
A state-of-the-art parking system using laser guns is being
planned for the streets of the capital city. Mayor of Port-of-Spain
Alderman Raymond Tim Kee said he cannot wait for the
introduction of the system which, it is hoped, would be introduced
to all the corporations in the country.
Tim Kee, one of the county's top insurance executives, views
Trinidad as an almost lawless society. He also emphasised that if
being a politician means you can deliberately make false promises,
then he prefers not to be one.
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