Town Hall Meetings On Bermuda’s Municipalities

February 25, 2019

The Ministry of Home Affairs will be holding “post-consultation town hall meetings the week of March 4 regarding the future of Bermuda’s municipalities.

A spokesperson said, “These meetings, led by the Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban, follow a consultation period which ran from February 12 until February 22 where Government asked citizens to consider two reform options:

  • 1. Change both corporations to Quangos, leaving each organisation intact as a corporate body but increasing the Government’s oversight over key initiatives.
  • 2. Dissolving the corporations, repealing the Municipalities Act and integrating the corporations’ various functions into the Government’s administrative structure.

The first meeting will take place on March 5 from 6:30pm at East End Primary School while the second meeting will take place on March 7 from 5:30pm at the New Testament Church of God: Heritage Worship Centre.

“This Government believes that the City of Hamilton and the Town of St. George must be rejuvenated in order to attract more visitors and greater investment opportunities for our island and its people,” said Minister Roban.

“Government’s vision for the City of Hamilton is a ‘smart city’ infrastructure with a thriving residential centre and entertainment hub with distinct districts. Meanwhile, our vision for the Town of St. George is one that includes a mega-yacht port and marina with enhanced infrastructure, amenities and activities.

“Unfortunately, neither Corporation has the financial means to make the necessary investment needed to make this vision a reality. Government believes that the two levels of Government [national and municipal] can no longer operate in economic or decision-making isolation, which is why we made municipal reform a priority.”

A spokesperson noted, “Government first announced its intention to reform Bermuda’s municipalities in March 2018 when it deferred the municipal elections for a year in order to start the consultation process.

“Subsequently, it was also a 2018 Throne Speech initiative: ‘The Government is committed to modernising the role of municipalities in today’s Bermuda. Consultation with both corporations began in May 2018 and has now been completed. During this session, a bill will be tabled to implement further reforms to the municipalities setting a platform for their growth and development as centres of commerce, tourism and thriving community life.’

“It should be noted that there were regular meetings held between the Government and stakeholders throughout 2018. There was also a public survey which was carried out in September 2018 as well as town hall meetings in the spring [May] and summer [August] of 2018.”

The full Q&A regarding Municipal Reform follows below [PDF here]

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Comments (11)

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  1. clearasmud says:

    A ten day consultation period for any issue is woefully inadequate does not provide for enough time for meaningful consideration. I would like the Minister to explain why the rush?

  2. sandgrownan says:

    Cash. Grab.

    It’s a way to help pay for the PLP debt. And of course, the PLP have a great track record of managing things.

  3. Jt says:

    “Unfortunately, neither Corporation has the financial means to make the necessary investment needed to make this vision a reality.”

    Government doesn’t have any money either, remember? Where are you going to get it from? You’ll be including this tidbit when you provide all the details of your vision at the town halls, right?

    • Sandgrownan says:

      They want wharfage fees. They need the money

      • Jt says:

        Clearly. But the corporations now get the wharfage fees and according to the PLP ‘dont have the funds necessary to carry out the visions’. So where are the visionary funds going to come from?

  4. Justasuggestion says:

    The COH have been doing a good job of late. They work hard, they respond to repairs quick (except the tourist info centre) They are making money. The parking lots pull cash. Im not sure if parking fines go to them or not. If they do, get them parking attendants out 8 till 6 not 9 till oh the rain is on. Free money

  5. Joe Bloggs says:

    “post-consultation town hall meetings”?

    When was the consultation? No one from the PLP Government spoke at the Town Hall meeting in St. George and I am not aware of any similar meeting in Hamilton.