Since submitting his resignation as the Parliamentary Representative for St. Mary’s South, Kelvin “Shugy” Simon has hit the ground running. By vacating the seat, Simon’s unprecedented move will trigger a by-election in the Constituency which, by law, must be called within 120 days.
As Simon prepares to launch his re-election bid, he continues to touch the lives of his constituents as a highly regarded community organizer, guidance counselor and coach. In the past two days, he has conducted community walk-throughs to specifically answer any questions or concerns that voters may have about the upcoming by-election.
The former MP has been warmly received by voters, and many have expressed support for his resignation, given the court challenges that have been mounted by the ABLP.
“They are fired up and prepared to go back to the polls to reject Samantha Marshall once again, and to send an even stronger message that they are dissatisfied with her representation of St. Mary’s South Constituency,” Simon says.
According to Simon, many of Marshall’s campaign promises remain unfulfilled. During his most recent outings, Simon identified some of the constituents’ greatest concerns:
• The newly constructed clinic in Bolans that was completed in December 2022 and handed over in March 2023 is still ill-equipped and inoperable.
• The Johnsons Point Pharmacy is closed, and residents in St. Mary’s South must travel to either the Browne’s Avenue or Grays Farm clinic to fill their prescriptions.
• Roads are still in bad shape, and a broken guard rail and erosion on the Johnsons Point Road continue to pose danger to motorists and pedestrians.
• The basketball court in Urlings remains in a state of disrepair.
• The Cades Bay Pineapple Farm, home of the famous Antigua Black Pineapple, was virtually abandoned by Marshall when she served as Minister of Agriculture.
Simon notes that while Marshall has been absent from the community since the elections in January, the past few dayshave seen some activity on a Sports Complex in Urlings.
Although plans for this facility were unveiled in October 2022, work commenced only after the announcement of Simon’sresignation. He describes this as “By-Election Fever,” and anticipates that there will be a rush to complete many unfulfilled promises.
“We can expect a lot of activity in the Constituency in the next few weeks. But if it took my resignation to get things going, I am delighted that the people will finally get some of the services that they deserve and have been pleading for. Samantha Marshall has failed to address the needs of the community while in office for almost 10 years. It will be interesting to see how much Ms. Marshall can accomplish in 120 days,” Simon says.
During his short tenure as the representative for the St. Mary’s South Constituency, Simon has demonstrated his commitment to help meet the needs of the community through mobilization and partnerships with various businesses to positively impact the lives of his constituents. He has been actively involved in creating a sports camp, community clean-ups, food distribution, and sourcing school and sporting equipment.