Kohli clarifies role of councils

Ami Kohli. Picture: FT FILE

Labasa Savusavu Town Council special administrator Ami Kohli has clarified that the two municipal councils operate independently of each other.

He made the comment in response to a call from National Federation Party leader Prof Biman Prasad to Local Government Minister Premila Kumar in Parliament to stop meddling in municipal council affairs.

Mr Kohli said special administrators had been specifically told that council administration was their responsibility.

He said they have been directed to act in the best interests of the ratepayers, adding they have been left to make decisions regarding the future developments of the towns.

“The chief executive officers of both councils were chosen by the three special administrators from the list of applicants and the advertisements put out by the ministry to save costs for councils rather than each council advertising separately,” he said.

“The law provides for shared services amongst the councils and that does not mean that there is collusion, it is cost saving.

“We are in the process of hiring a lawyer who will be working for both councils and his salary will be paid by both councils.

“Who we hire and fire is our choice and whenever there is an issue with the staff, we invite union representatives for discussion with the particular staff concerned and we do this on our own initiative to be fair to the staff concerned.”

Mr Kohli said they had only been requested by Mrs Kumar to review an increase in garbage disposal rate because she felt that the increase was without ample notice and not fair to the ratepayers.

“This was subsequently reviewed and reduced.”

More Stories