Canaan/Bon-Accord representative and Secretary of Settlements Clarence Jacob came under fire on Monday during the second National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) stakeholder consultation on the proposed expansion of the ANR Robinson Airport at the Rovanel’s Conference Centre, Bon Accord.
During the question and answer segment, Jacob claimed members of the Provide Equivalent Equitable Compensation for Everyone (PEECE) protest group neglected him, even though housing falls under his division and he was the elected area representative.
He also warned them to "be careful with the negatives going forward."
PEECE spokesperson Rhonda Hackett, however, immediately dismissed Jacob's assertion, saying it was the Secretary who had neglected them.
Jacob said, “The PEECE group, who neglected the area representative, who has specific authority for this area, you all can tap into the Secretary... Housing signifies you are directly affected in my area, and as the area representative I would not sit and watch the process go haywire, you all affected and I have to live around you all.
“The PEECE committee, I want to meet with you all on a one-on-one basis, I want to meet with the people who are directly affected so I can have a conversation with regards the plan going forward...I am here to represent you all, I am here to seek your interest and, by all means, I would make sure that you all are treated fairly. Nidco is here to be a part of the process, there are plans around the roundtable, but I would like that the people of Canaan/Bon Accord be careful with the negatives going forward... Come to me, see me on a one-on-one basis, I am free, I am willing.
Jacob described himself as a "loving" individual and said he would make sure everyone was treated fairly.
However, chairman of the PEECE committee Rhonda Hackett quickly defended the residents, saying the group had sought to meet with Jacob from inception.
Hackett declared, “Since this process has started, May 2018, the first person that PEECE sought to meet with was our area representative... When we met with our area representative, the response wasn’t one that was very favourable. We have never chosen to disrespect our area representative... However, if the needs that we seek to be met does not seem to be satisfied by the response and the level of communication, then we have to stand up and be represented.
“We would continue to respect our area representative. However, so far what is being thrown at us... our area representative should have been fighting towards our interest. I honestly do not appreciate personal and political attacks. This group is non-political and if our area representative wants PEECE to come to him, he shouldn’t have to come to this meeting and say so. We have regular meetings and we have made our doors open to all and sundry.”