The first meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation (SAMC) adjourned prematurely Thursday, January 10, after a row broke out over the use of, and proper accounting for, funds that should have been allocated to the MP for South East St Ann, Lisa Hanna.
Chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation (SAMC), Michael Belnavis said he adjourned the monthly meeting of the Corporation today because of what he said were accusations and abusive behaviour of Councillor Ian Bell.
He said the meeting had “descended into disorder and was getting out of hand”.
Mr Belnavis, who is also Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, said he adjourned to protect the reputation of the Council and also for the safety of the SAMC staff and Councillors.
Councillor for the Beecher Town Division, Ian Bell told the SAMC that he has been trying without success since the Christmas holidays to find out about $300,000 sent to the Council as part of ‘Christmas Funds’, for the discretionary use of the South East St Ann MP.
There were objections to the statement by Mr Bell and councilllors called on him to withdraw his comments. But Councillor Bell(PNP) further infuriated the councillors on the JLP side when he said if they were not dishonest they would allow him to probe the issue and get an answer.
Over shouts from the five PNP Councillors and the 11 JLP Councillors, including the Chairman, Councillor Bell was asked to apologise and withdraw his comments. He kept insisting on getting answers and the documentation to show what had happened to the money.
There was more shouting at which point Mayor Belnavis told Mr Bell that he should apologize or he (Mr Belnavis), would adjourn the meeting.
With Mr Bell still on his feet, the Mayor said he was going to adjourn the meeting and did so and then left the Council Chamber, with almost the full agenda of matters still to be tackled.