Come next month the Castries Constituencies Council (CCC) will boast a new mayor in the person of Mrs. Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel who will take over from Peterson Francis.
The two have already started working towards a smooth transition with Francis explaining that “there’s a time to come in and a time to go out, a time to receive and a time to give.”
“Today I’m very happy,” Francis yesterday told a gathering of media personnel and members of local government, including its minister, Richard Frederick at the CCC’s headquarters on Peynier Street, Castries.
The outgoing mayor of the City of Castries said the past four years he spent at the head of the CCC was challenging in that he found opposition despite putting his best foot forward.
Francis who first took over the role of mayor in August 2016 warned Lendor-Gabriel that the job will not be a bed of roses.
“In the beginning everybody will be around (but) when the time for action (comes) you will see people moving around,” Francis said thanking the public for the support they gave him over the past five years.
Francis said he gave the CCC visibility during his tenure calling on the incoming mayor to keep up the status quo.
Lendor-Gabriel was humble in her acceptance of the new role as mayor stating that “when we find ourselves in positions of this sort we come in standing on the shoulders of others.”
“That brings with it great responsibility, a responsibility to recognize that we are where we are not for our personal benefit but for us to drive change and development in our country. I can say to you that I possess that legacy of having done so,” she said.
The incoming mayor revealed a list of projects she would like to embark upon all with the understanding that resources will be needed for them to be accomplished.
“I will say to you that everything must come when you have the resources to do so. Our job is to recognize that we need to go out. There are resources within the boundaries of Saint Lucia but there are also resources outside and as such we need to engage with those agencies who are in charge of ensuring that resources come into our small islands to help us combat critical issues,” Lendor-Gabriel said.
She spoke of leveraging the energies of the CCC and that of local government to mobilize resources to move the CCC to the next stage.
Local Government Minister Richard Frederick thanked Francis for his time as mayor noting that times have been challenging, difficult and resources not plentiful.
“There comes many situations even from a domestic standpoint where you have to make do with what you have. In public run institutions it is practically the same. Expectations are high, legitimately so because our citizens believe that government should create an enabling environment for their survival so the tender to rely on central government is something that is common in almost every country that you go (to) but we don’t have plentiful resources and we cannot satisfy every need so in that regard I want to thank again the outgoing Mayor. (He) tried his best in difficult times, there may have been challenges like I said but the waves were ridden…,” Frederick said.
Minister Frederick said that Francis resigned from the mayoral position, a resignation which takes effect on the last working day in August and that the incoming mayor assumes her office on the first working day of September. During that period there will be a transition where they will both collaborate for a smooth takeover of the position.
Frederick described the incoming mayor as an outstanding citizen by any measure, one who has made her contribution to Saint Lucia in various capacities.
Lendor-Gabriel is a chartered accountant, a former CEO of St Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority, a member of the Institute of Internal Auditing and the holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management. She is also the holder of a Master’s degree in Environmental Management. She has served on the boards of the Cultural Development Foundation, Folk Research Center, Public Health of St Lucia, Civil Service Cooperative Credit Union, St Lucia Cooperative League and is presently First Vice President on the board of 1st National Bank.