Koijee Wants Mayors, City Council Members Elected

By: Stephen Fellajuah

Ahead of the 2023 Presidential and General election in the country, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee is recommending to the Government of Liberia through the National Legislature to declare the positions of City Mayors and City Council members elective positions instead of the current status quo so as to enhance the working and function of city governments..

Speaking at a press conference Thursday October 21, 2021, Mr. Koijee explained that he is currently working on a proposal to be presented to the 54th Legislature praying its indulgence to declare the majors and city council members in the country to be elective ones.

“Like Sierra Leone, Ghana and many other countries in Africa and around the world, mayors and city councils are elected and they collect their own taxes and control their operational budgets. But for Liberia it is unfortunate and so our operational budget is being controlled by the Government of Liberia and they give us percentage, and it cannot help to achieve any meaningful result

According to Mayor Koijee, who just returned from neighboring Sierra Leone yesterday, noted that when they are elected they will be given the means to control their operational budgets and collect taxes, adding that whatever they get from partners is been transported to the consolidated account of the central government.

“While I am serving as City Mayor, we are hoping that under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah they can ensure that mayors and city councils can be elected”, he added.

“Sometimes when people are taking ownership the responsibilities are broad and diversified and it helps for them to be able to properly and effectively function. Because of that, we are working with the legislature so that mayors and city councils become elective offices before the expiration of President George Manneh Weah’s tenure”, the Mayor said.

Koijee who is also the Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change Revolutionary Youth League noted that even if not the entire country but the counties’ capitals and some other cities should be given the opportunity to decide who becomes the true administrators of their city, noting that local government is cardinal and drives the economy of the country and any city.

Further backing his proposal, he continued that operational funds from International partners come directly to city government, direct budgetary support from our partners where the mayor has the authority to preside and implement function. Electing officials in these offices will enhance the function of the office of the mayor and further promote accountability to the central government.

At the same time Mayor Koijee said the city councils have organized what they called ” citizens engagement board” which is a collective working of 14 professionals from the civil society, religious Communities, youth and students Community to provide their ideas on how they can have a clean, green and safe city.

Those 14 professionals will be headed by Madam Mary Broh of GSA and co-chaired by Liberia Crusader for Peace Executive Director Queen Julie Endee, adding that they will be given separate responsibilities to see how they can shift the sanitation of the city into a more sustainable approach, he accentuated.

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