Former deputy chairman of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation, Raymond Cozier, was elected as the new chairman, replacing former councillor Glen Ram, who did not seek re-election because of a pending court matter. Cozier, in his maiden address, promised to build on his predecessor’s work, saying his vision for the municipality involves “all people” and all stakeholders.
“What happens from this day forward is something we will shape together. Every resident and business has a seat at this corporation.”But it was Ram who, in his farewell address, said the corporation was made to suffer by central government which had reduced the corporation’s funding for the fiscal year.“We have been able to work with minimal funding because the ministry has given us $20 million less than our current expenditure.“At times we have only had money to pay wages, and sometimes we have had to dip into our own pockets to fix the corporation’s 43 vehicles.”He said the UNC-controlled corporation has been given $17 million less this year under recurrent services.
Now that we have a UNC majority, the time has come to pressure the powers that be and for the people to stand with us.” Ram said there is little funding for infrastructural work, and what was available had to be used to pay salaries. He has been at the corporation for the past 20 years from 1999 to 2019.Meanwhile, Cozier acknowledged the task facing the corporation saying the new council “will work on the size and depth of our fiscal challenges and work on possible solutions.
“We will lay out a plan to put Mayaro/ Rio Claro on the path of cutting-edge growth. Our infrastructural development must continue, but we must pay equal attention to the development of our human capital.”Cozier said he has always viewed Mayaro as the Miami of Trinidad which possessed great potential that could “boost the tourism drive and create more activities for existing entrepreneurs.“We have to shift the paradigm because there is so much less to do with less resources,” he said adding the region’s sporting and education facilities required more attention.Councillor Hazaree Ramdeen was elected vice chairman. The corporation is split 8-2 with the opposition UNC holding the majority of seats. The PNM has one councillor and one alderman. The corporation is expected to meet on Friday to elect the chairmen of various committees.