By Leroy M. Sonpon, III in Kakata, Margibi County
Margibi County has prioritized the completion of “unfinished” projects in the five districts, ranging from schools, town halls, health centers, hand pumps, and the reactivation of district scholarships as well as agricultural programs.
The 147 delegates attending the 2018/2019 Margibi County 1st day sitting yesterday, November 14, in the Kakata Administrative Building, voted to use US$150,000 from the county’s budget of US$232,666.
Of the amount, each district is expected to receive US$30,000 to fund their incomplete or evolving projects, and prioritizing projects will be determined by the district’s representative in consultation with members of the District Council.
The delegates also voted to settle the 2017/2018 Sports Debt to the tune of US$27,500 and agreed to further give US$25,000 to support the County Sports Teams for the pending 2018/2019 Sports Meet.
Additionally, the delegates voted to allocate US$23,000 as 10 percent of the US$232,668 as operational fees for the Project Management Committee (PMC) and US$7,166 as the County Emergency/Relief Fund.
The sitting was presided over by District #4 Representative Ben Fofana, chairman of the County Legislative Caucus.
According to Representative Ivar K. Jones, secretary general of the Caucus and Superintendent Jerry Varney, US$200,000 is allotted in the 2018/2019 Fiscal Budget for the County’s Social Development Fund, while US$25,666 goes to Corporate Social Responsibility.
Representatives Clarence Garr, Tibelrosa Tarponweh as well as Senators Oscar Cooper and Jim Tornolah were in attendance, following a thorough vetting of candidates for the PMC.
The election of Thompson M. Nanah as the PMC chairman, A. Baysah Kollie, Comptroller, and Nah A. David, treasurer, followed thorough vetting by a 5-man vetting committee that was also elected from the delegates, including Eugene Miaway (District #1); Joseph T. Charlie (District #2); Morris Johnson (District #3), Whykeer Mentee (District #4), and Rennie Gleegba (District #4).
The rule says the project chair must have a minimum of three years’ experience in project management, and must have resided in the county before taking the position or be willing to relocate to the county.
This is intended to guard against having the PMC members living outside of the county, making them unable to provide oversight.
Meanwhile, the new law also requires that only 10 percent of the CSDF allocation is spent on PMC’s operations. The idea is to spend more on projects that will benefit the community instead of spending the money on administration.