Deputy House Speaker Hans M. Barchue
Deputy Speaker Barchue Settles Citizens, Commissioner Dispute
By Sampson G. David, LINA Grand Bassa County Correspondent
BUCHANAN, April 14 (LINA) - Deputy House Speaker Hans M. Barchue has settled a dispute between citizens of Owensgrove and Kporkon Administrative District Commissioner John Lewis.
The dispute was settled on Wednesday, April 13, at the Owensgrove Administration Building during a mass citizens’ meeting.
In a letter dated March 7 addressed to Representative Barchue, the citizens asked him to convene a mass meeting during which District Commissioner Lewis will answer to the seven-count charges levied against him by the citizenry.
The seven charges against Commissioner Lewis included his constant absence from office; paying less attention to the citizenry; failure to call citizens’ meetings; his overstay as acting commissioner; lack of proper management of the cemetery in the area and managing the ferry in the area for over two years without a report and depriving citizens of job opportunities.
According to the citizens, the commissioner’s action has impeded development in the district.
In his response, Commissioner Lewis described the charges as ‘false and misleading, saying ’ he never denied any citizen job opportunities but rather has created avenues for job opportunities for them, stressing that he has always been there for them.
Commissioner Lewis admitted that his office is usually closed as a result of his official engagements across the district and that his office clerk is not on government payroll.
On the management of the cemetery, Commissioner Lewis said he appointed a committee but that the committee has failed to report to him and that he has not received any report about the ferry for the past two years from the committee he appointed to manage it.
Following his statement, Representative Barchue asked Commissioner Lewis to apologize to the citizens on grounds that he takes the blame for the committee he appointed if there is no report.
Barchue observed that the commissioner also failed to perform his oversight role over the ferry committee but rather elected to remain silent even though the committee failed to report for two years.
The lawmaker also blamed Commissioner Lewis for failing to call a citizens meeting since 2015.
Barchue said the office of the commissioner should always be open to the citizens to discuss issues relative to the development of their community.
In line with Representative Barchue’s call, Commissioner Lewis admitted that he was wrong and apologized to the citizens for his actions and promised to work along with the citizens for the growth and development of the district.
In response, the citizens, headed by their zonal heads David Deranamie and Leroy W. Gibson, accepted the apology of the commissioner and agreed to work with him again for the common good of the district.