Jamaica Gleaner / Dr Nigel Clarke has several messages he plans to share with residents of St Andrew North West in the lead-up to the March 5 by-election, but none more so than his ability to get things done.
“I am taking a diverse platform of experience in the public sector, where I have led substantial entities like the Port Authority of Jamaica, the NHT (National Housing Trust), I have led HEART Trust/NTA, and there are others as well,” Clarke told Gleaner editors and reporters last Thursday.
“I also am taking experience in private-sector leadership … in diverse sectors of the economy … and I am taking experience in the voluntary sector,” added Clarke, who formed the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica some 10 years ago.
“That level of leadership comes with a track record of performance and a track record of getting things done. I know how to get things done,” declared Clarke.
He argued that if the people of St Andrew North West were to elect him, they would be getting a member of parliament who has the capacity to respond to their needs and get things done.
According to Clarke, he has developed strong relationships at all levels of leadership across the island and would be able to leverage those ties for the benefit of the people in the constituency.
“I am bringing a spirit of compassion, I’m bringing a fresh perspective, I am bringing youth and a lot of energy to the people of St Andrew North West,” said the former Munro College student who had his early education at St Richard’s Primary, just outside the constituency he now wants to represent.
He said he does not yet know every nook and cranny in the constituency, which includes several diverse communities, but he knows enough to understand what he is getting into if elected.
According to Clarke, he is prepared to offer service to all the residents in the constituency, and is well aware of the demands that representational politics will make on him.
“This is not a light decision. I have had numerous opportunities to get involved in representational politics over the last 20 years. I have chosen a time when I think I am prepared and I can implement successfully,” said the former Rhodes Scholar, as he said that when he does anything, he does so wholeheartedly.
Clarke made it clear that he was under no illusions that the needs of the constituency are many, as he outlined some of his priority areas.
“The obvious thing when you step into the constituency is that the roads are in need of repair … so there has to be a lot of focus to the problem, and I intend to do that.
“I believe that having recreational space is an important part of the proper development of young people. There is an opportunity to turn a lot of open space in the community, particularly in the Hughenden division into green areas … and I intend to work on that,” added the man who is expected to be nominated tomorrow to face off with the People’s National Party’s Keisha Hayle in the race to replace the retired Derrick Smith, who held the seat for the JLP for almost 30 years.