Eight councilors have been sworn in to serve on the Grandfond Village Council after members of the community convened for the twenty eighth inaugural meeting of the Grand Fond Village Council on November 9, 2023.
Janice Marrifield- Dejean, Kemon Cuffy, Mckhartny Robin, Augustus Lewis, Johanna Lockhart are the elected councilors, while Juanita Lawrence, Jones Eusebe, Teressa Ann Dangleben are the nominated councilors who will serve on the Grand Fond Village Council for the next three years.
Minister for Culture, Youth, Sports and Community Development and Parliamentary Representative for the Grand Fond Constituency, Hon. Gretta Roberts offered her congratulations to the council. She described the 28th inaugural meeting as a significant moment to the development of Grand Fond.
“I stand here today with a deep sense of pride, as we gather to inaugurate our new village council. This occasion marks a significant milestone in the continued journey in our village’s development. I am privileged and humbled to address you as Parliamentary Representative and minister for local government and to express my heartfelt congratulations to all of you. Today we celebrate the formation of an institution that will serve as the voice of the community, the bridge that will connect our community with government and most importantly a catalyst for postitive change,” Minister Roberts stated.
Hon. Roberts advised the new council to remain connected with the community in developing Grand Fond.
“As we embrace this three year journey let me remind you that being a councilor is no easy task, and your responsibilities are waiting. Grand Fond holds dear to the core values of unity, inclusivity and collaboration, pillars upon which it has become the strong resilient village that it is today. Its success lies in the harmonious connection between you and the community, therefore I urge you to foster an environment where every voice is heard. Engage the community, invite us to meetings, listen to our concerns and ensure the decisions you make represent the collective will of the village,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the incoming chairperson of the Grand Fond village council Janice Marrifield-Dejean outlined the aspirations of the village council for the next three years.
“The following are some of the plans that we aspire to accomplish as a team over the next three year term; one… the construction of our new health centre, the lighting of the community with use of solar lighting, further development of our sporting facilities and sporting disciplines, renovation of our community centre to cater for adult education and human resource development. More attention given to family life issues with emphasis on child and social welfare, upgrade and promotion of ecotourism sites with emphasis on the denier falls site and trails and Shimmeh Letang trail; empowerment of the youth to include skills training, entertainment opportunities, small business and cultural development. Finally we aim to work closely with the schools as we seek to see our students succeed and return to the days they were a formidable force in the education system,” Mrs. Marrifield-Dejean stated.
Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit encouraged the residents of Grand Fond to remain united in their common purpose of developing Grand Fond and encouraged individuals to view culture as a means for the economic empowerment of their village.
“We will not always agree on what should be done and how it should be done but the most important thing is that we always want the best for Grand Fond. And how do we go about achieving that, and it is important for all of us to put in our little effort towards development of the community. When you hear these young children sing and they will be doing some dancing later for us and more singing. It tells you that the culture we have known Grand Fond for is very strong and alive. I believe that it is time that we start looking at culture as a means of economic empowerment and not just for entertainment,” PM Skerrit stated.
He gave the commitment of the government to the construction of a health center in Grand Fond.
“So we’re committed, pal-rep and councilors and villagers, the next priority is the construction of a health centre and we give the assurance that in 2024, God’s willing we will commence with the construction of the new health centre in Grand Fond,” PM Skerrit added.
The Grand Fond village council was first inaugurated in 1939.