FNMs War On Freeport City Council As CORRUPTION Is EXPOSED!!!

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Cornelius Alvin Smith Jr had teamed up with well know business man, Philip Franks. Both ran as a team ticket for Freeport City Council. Smith is pictured with his wife, daughter and supporters. His running mate Philip Franks and his wife are on his right. Earlier this year BP exposed Franks for his shady Insurance operation. And now today concerns arise from the Freeport Council. [file Photo]

By: Forrester J Carroll J.P/Contributing Writer

BP Freeport Wire Service

Freeport, Grand Bahama – City of Freeport Chief councilor, Alvin Smith, is under fire again; only this time the fire is coming from his Deputy Chief Councilor, Mrs. Joanna Newton-Russell.

In a letter, to the Minister of State for local government the Hon. Byron Woodside, dated 17th September 2009, the Deputy Chief Councilor aired her concerns as to the sad state of affairs at the City of Freeport Council, after only fifteen months into their term in office, and the direction in which the Council seems to be drifting, under the guardianship of Mr. Alvin Smith.  Mrs. Newton-Russell, in laying out her case against Chief Councilor Smith, told the Minister, “I humbly request that there be some intervention and redirection of this administration before further damage is done to the institution of local government. As the deputy Chief Councilor, there is no consultation with myself on any matters pertaining to the administration of the Council” unquote. She requested the Minister convene a meeting with the entire Council Body, as a matter of urgency, to obviously address this crisis situation.

In detailing some of her grievances, Mrs. Newton-Russell made the case very succinctly, against the Chief Councilor. She cited a number of anomalies, among them the following:

  • 1)    The Council awarded a contract for the Richard Gaitor Park conversion project. The Chief Councilor, on his own and without consultation with the entire council, aborted the contract and entered into negotiations with another party. It resulted in much delay and chaos. To date, a year later and with a new contractor in place, the project remains incomplete and the contractor in breach of his contract. The work should have been completed since 30th June 2009.
  • 2)    The Deputy Chairman of the “Susan J Wallace Community Center” was given permission to use the center, without paying a fee, on Saturdays. This individual, who operates a computer repair company, was also given a contract to repair the computer system at the center. The individual, it is believed, was privy to quotes submitted prior by certain others, before sending in his/her bid at $25.00 less than the lowest one received; clearly a case of conflict of interest and nepotism.
  • 3)    While given the authority to approve expenditure, for incidentals during the CLGF Conference, of up to but not exceeding more than $1000.00 without requiring the prior approval of Council, the Chief Councilor exceeded his authority, in this regard, on many occasions, spending up to $2400.00 on one occasion.
  • 4)    The Arden Forest Park debacle already aired in the public domain, through the print media, was another occasion when the Chief Councilor exceeded his authority, according to the Deputy Chief. The Deputy Chief Councilor charges, in her letter to the state minister, that the Chief Councilor misled the Council into believing that the Arden Forest Park was on the drawing board since 1996 but she insisted that this was not the truth. She substantiated what her colleague councilor, for Marco City, accused Mr. Alvin Smith of doing and that is the spending of $10,000.00 of Taxpayers money without the proper appropriation guidelines being followed according to the law. To date, she said, the funds were expended, but no supporting documentation or memo of understanding tendered for council’s information as of yet.
  • 5)    The council approved an amount of $5000.00 for the “Over the Horizon Book Center” reading program. To date no partnership documentation, explaining how the funds were to be spent, has been received. A cheque was issued, eventually, to the Organizers for $3000.00 but no inventory was ever taken on the books purchased and no invoices were provided council to confirm that the actual purchase took place.
  • 6)    A preferred and favorite employee was given a salary increase of $3000.00, citing the employee’s pursuit of a degree as the reason for the increase.
  • 7)    Four councilors attending a meeting took the decision to suspend the employees savings plan without consultation with the employees. Two councilors voted for the suspension and two voted against the measure. The Chief Councilor cast the deciding tie-breaking vote to suspend the plan.
  • 8)    Instructors’ stipend payments were reduced by a decision made, unilaterally, by the Chief Councilor, without notice or discussion with the full compliment of the City of Freeport Council, and the list of grievances goes on.

The Deputy Chief went on to accuse the Chief Councilor of taking random signature polls, securing permission from select minister-byran-woodside.jpgcouncilors, outside of council meetings, for the disbursement of funds and often without having the matters ratified by council. Communications are often sent out on behalf of council without consent or the knowledge of the Council. Caucus meetings are held with select councilors; decisions made and signed off via poll, while other councilors are unaware of what’s happening. The deputy Chief further charges the Chief Councilor of running a one-man show where he manipulates all decisions, motions and approvals.

The Chief Councilor seems to be establishing a pattern here, where he assumes that he can do anything and or make any decision, unilaterally, without consequences to his position. The scandal, exposed a couple weeks ago, where he was accused by Councilor Kevin Ferguson, of the Marco City constituency, of unilaterally authorizing the expenditure of $20,000.00: $10,000.00 of which was, allegedly, spent without the Council’s approval or knowledge, substantiates that fact without question.

This latest round of charges, leveled against the Chief Councilor, are not to be ignored and I now call on the system to require Mr. Alvin Smith to defend himself to the satisfaction of an independent ethics committee (If there is such an animal in place) or, alternatively, to do the honorable thing and resign in the public’s interest, forthwith. The Minister Of State, for local government, wasted no time in coming to Alvin’s defense when the aforementioned, Arden Forest Park scandal came to light several weeks ago and I am wondering; will he, now, do so again, blindly? You should know that the Minister defended Mr. Smith without any kind of consultation with the Administrator, Mr. Alexander Williams, at the time. He never made an effort to determine the facts before jumping to his conclusions that the Chief Councilor did nothing wrong. His attitude being that they are all FNMs and should be defended at all cost, notwithstanding the facts.

I echo the sentiments of the Deputy Chief Councilor; intervene and redirect the affairs of the City of Freeport Council before further damage is done to the institution of local government.

24 COMMENTS

  1. TRUTHHURTS: AT LEAST WHEN I FIGHT WITH SOMEONE THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE FIGHTING. I MIGHT APPEAR INSANE TO YOU BUT I CHALLENGE YOU, WHO EVER YOU ARE AND WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS, TO DISPUTE ANY OF THE SCANDALS I EXPOSE. THE PROBLEM WITH YOU APOLOGISTS, IS THAT YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH BECAUSE YOU ARE A STRANGER TO THE TRUTH. THE CITY OF FREEPORT COUNCIL APPROVES A MOTION TO GIVE FNM KENNETH RUSSELL $10,000.00, OF TAX PAYERS MONEY TO HELP HIM, THEY SAY, WITH A PARK IN THE ARDEN FOREST SUBDIVISION, WHICH IS IN KENNETH RUSSELL’S CONSTITUENCY; ALL THIS DONE WITHOUT THE PRE-REQUISITE PAPERWORK AND DRAWINGS ETC WHICH WOULD NORMALLY BE REQUIRED OF ANY OTHER WHO MAKES APPLICATION TO THE COUNCIL FOR FINANCIAL HELP. THEN ACCORDING TO THE ADMINISTRATOR HERE AT THE TIME AN ADDITIONAL $10,000.00 WAS PAID TO THIS FNM KENNETH RUSSELL’S PROJECT WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF COUNCIL, PRIOR. LET ME RE-CAP FOR YOU; $10,000 WAS APPROVED WITHOUT THE USUAL REQUIRED PAPERWORK, BUT $20,000.00 PAID OUT; WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT “TRUTHHURTS”? IF A PLP DID THE SAME THING, YOU FNMs WOULD CALL IT STEALING AND I WOULD AS WELL; HEREIN LIES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US; I WOULD CALL IT STEALING, NO MATTER WHO COMMITS THE OFFENCE, BUT YOU FNMs WOULD ONLY CALL IT TIFFING, IF A PLP DID IT BUT IN THIS CASE, WHERE AN FNM IS INVOLVED, EVEN THE MINISTER HAS COME TO THE CHIEF COUNCILOR’S DEFENSE, DECLARING THAT HE DID NOTHING WRONG. THANK YOU NIKKI, FOR POINTING OUT, JUST HOW DISHONEST THESE FNMs CAN BE.

  2. @FORRESTER J CARROLL J.P
    Mr. Carroll, it is really frustrating to know one has to go on the level of the FNM supporters, I am yet to discover one that support the FNM who seem to have this world sense and if it is perceived that they have sense, you will find out that they are just BOOK LEARNERS and do not have the sense to comprehend. But they say when the head have no sense, the tale follow through. It’s like the blind leading the blind.
    All they seem to have sense for is to through mud out there to see if it will stick and we let it go by. We have to defend our Party (PLP) at all cause. But we have no other choice but to give them the facts even though it is above their heads. Secretly they will ask their children from the ages of 3 to help them to understand the facts that were told to them.
    I know I am being harsh, but when you look at the suffering of people and the look on peoples face with no hope in their eyes, it is hurtful, so therefore, we who can take care of ourselves must fight for them.
    We cannot make that mistake again of just letting them put lies out there and we do not rebut it. They are so transparent. You can almost write along or talk along with them what their response would be to an intelligent answer. Ignorance is a serious thing with the FNM supporters. We, the PLP, have to push on. LET’S PLAY HARD BALL like Chris Mathews on MSNBC.

  3. @ forrester carroll

    just admit that you’re insane and we can all go to bed. no sane person would log on to a blog as a J.P

  4. BP WHAT THESE FNM APOLOGISTS DON’T SEEM TO GET IS THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT FORRESTER J CARROLL WHO IS THE ONE MAKING THESE CHARGES. MRS JOANNA NEWTON-RUSSELL WHO IS AN ARDENT SUPPORTER OF THE FNM, AND THE DEPUTY CHIEF COUNCILLOR TO TEARY EYED C.A SMITH’S SON, ALVIN SMITH, IS MAKING THE CHARGES AGAINST MR SMITH. I AM SIMPLY MAKING SURE THAT THE PUBLIC KNOWS HOW BADLY THEIR TAX DOLLARS ARE BEING MANAGED BY THESE NOVICES AT THE COUNCIL. THE FNM DEPUTY CHIEF WROTE THE LETTER TO THE FNM MINISTER TO REPORT THE FNM CHIEF. PLP FORRESTER CARROLL GOT HOLD OF A COPY OF THE LETTER AND PLP FORRESTER CARROLL EXPOSED THE SUCKERS; AND HE WANTS TO RUN FOR CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IN 2012.

  5. BP-THAT BASTARD/COWARD WHO COULD NOT IDENTIFY HIM OR HERSELF, SHOULD BE ASHAMED. THIS NO NAME SNAKE COULD ONLY BE A MEMBER OF ALVIN’S FAMILY OR AN FNM APOLOGIST WHO DESERVES TO BE TIED TO A MILLSTONE AND DROPPED FROM A SINKING SKIFF. I AM SO HAPPY THAT ONE CANNOT LIBEL A NOBODY WHICH IS EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE, YOU NO NAME BASTARD, A NOBODY. IF YOU WISH TO FIGHT ME, IDENTIFY YOURSELF, YOU COWARD.

  6. If what is alledged here did anyone report to the police for a more thourough investigation. I am sure Mr. Carol knows the number, have him make a complaint and if allegations are found to be true, bring charges and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

    • So does the Minister and the Prime Minister. They all know the number of the Police. But will they also call after the letter is sent to them. DAMN THIEFIN FNM!

      Bahamas Press/Editor

  7. @Tanisha
    It is amazing Tanisha to see you on here is a breath of fresh air. Sometimes when we hear NBC and CBS are asking us for information we wonder if we are that good. But here is an honest voice scolding us with our imperfections. Good to hear from you. Thank you Tanisha, your a God sent.

    Keep up the constructive criticism, it makes us all better.

    Bahamas Press\ Editor

  8. “I say again, I hope at the next sitting of the House Kelly carries a conceal weapon with him when he threatens the minister the next time.”

    BP you have sunk to an all time LOW!!! No wonder people don’t take you seriously, between the bad grammer, poor spelling, outright lies, fabricated stories and late breaking news with incorrect information YOU ARE WORSE THAN THE MEDIA you criticize everyday!!!

  9. Altec :

    Media: Isn’t it incredible to know that in this town had this been a PLP, as was the case in Cat Island, when the whole gang were arraigned for improprieties in a Nassau court. It was not question as to whether or not crimes were committed, the media concluded it. But here are AGAIN, FNMs are THIEFIN Taxpayers money and nothing is said, not even by the WUTLESS MEDIA? You don’t find something strange about that?

    BP, your not suggesting that the media is “selective” in their reporting aye? Cause there are some on this blog who would totally disagree with that suggestion.
    EditModerateSpamDelete[Reply]

    You said it Altec not me. I ask again, why is this being buried in the WUTLESS MEDIA? Did you all remember how they brought that old 80 year-old pastor from Cat Island accusing him of the same things and dragged him before a Magistrate court?

    Ya see Altec this is not different from Hiram Kelly fight the police in the House of Assembly. Of course there is bias here. But I bet ya if I say something threatening to the Speak or Hubert whenever I go to the House, I BET YA, they would bring the cuff.

    I say again, I hope at the next sitting of the House Kelly carries a conceal weapon with him when he threatens the minister the next time.

    Bahamas Press/Editor

  10. Media: Isn’t it incredible to know that in this town had this been a PLP, as was the case in Cat Island, when the whole gang were arraigned for improprieties in a Nassau court. It was not question as to whether or not crimes were committed, the media concluded it. But here are AGAIN, FNMs are THIEFIN Taxpayers money and nothing is said, not even by the WUTLESS MEDIA? You don’t find something strange about that?

    BP, your not suggesting that the media is “selective” in their reporting aye? Cause there are some on this blog who would totally disagree with that suggestion.

  11. Understand Mashup, it means when information comes to us of course we investigate, but almost 100% of the time, what is given is easy verifiable FACTS! Now hearsay is a different story.

    So no, we don’t question material delivered by sources who are everywhere in this town!

    Bahamas Press/Editor

  12. @BP

    “we never question sources.”

    So that means that you just publish anything huh? maybe you should take a second and revise that.

  13. Well, well, “No Name” you certainly had those mischief makers told. Including BP.
    Good for you!

  14. @No Name
    To No Name, we at Bahamas Press never question sources. The very reason why they bring their concerns to us is because they have little faith of it being reported anywhere else.

    On the point that we can do better then this, well, perhaps you should first address the issues addressed in the letter to the minister responsible?

    Isn’t it incredible to know that in this town had this been a PLP, as was the case in Cat Island, when the whole gang were arraigned for improprieties in a Nassau court. It was not question as to whether or not crimes were committed, the media concluded it. But here are AGAIN, FNMs are THIEFIN Taxpayers money and nothing is said, not even by the WUTLESS MEDIA? You don’t find something strange about that?

    And guess what? The charges are being made by a know FNM member of the Council. We Cry Shame on the Leadership!

    The money is gone, the projects are unfinished and the Chief Councillor is an FNM SCALLYWAG!

    Bahamas Press/Editor

    PS to Examiner, yes he is the son of the former CRYING Minister.

  15. Is C A Smith the son of C A “Bold and Beautiful” Smith as Blackbelt use to refer to him?.

  16. Having read the All-Out persuit by these controversial personalities ( Forrester Carrol,Kevin Ferguson and Joanna Newton Russell) they all have ONE thing in common and really don’t require second look, nevertheless, I persued it in the interest of facts.
    First, How could the Man be running a “One man show” when it state clearly
    “The Deputy Chief went on to accuse the Chief Councilor of taking random signature polls, securing permission from select councilors, outside of council meetings, for the disbursement of funds and often”
    Second,what does the other 7 councillors have to say. For now, it seems as if its just two cry babies with a Political agenda and a Mad Man assisting.
    If Chief Councillor C. Alvin Smith is acting contrary to established guidelines and there are acts of inpropriaty then that Audit he requested will state his Fate.
    Otherwise, you have a bunch of Hot Air by Three Blind Mice, Looking for something cheesey and sleezey to scream about.
    My peep into what may be going on uncover that this and the other stories is nothing but creating a bitter taste for a young man with a promising political career in front of him.
    BP, you can do better than this. The author of this column is lacking in every form of Credibility, So I judge his contributions as a sample of BITTERNESS from a Political REJECT…His co-conspirators involved is trending along the same path.

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