- Published: 27 August 2021
With just under one year at the helm, Arima mayor Cagney Casimire said his community has an opportunity to "adopt and adapt," and "pivot with optimism, as it seeks to embrace the digital age."
The Borough of Arima celebrated its 133rd anniversary on Thursday.
Casimire, in a message to Arima burgesses, said he "takes great pride in the borough (and describes) our space as quaint and idyllic.
"We are bounded by two rivers with many channels and we rest in the foothills of the Northern Range surrounded by the every (sic) green of our forest nurtured by the agrarian endeavours of our burgesses in Brasso Seco, Aripo and on the plains of Wallerfield."
Casimire said the borough continued to support manufacturing, commerce, culture and the arts, and "of course, the industry of youth and their development," which, he said, was rooted in education, a safe nurturing environment and a commitment to family life.
"The council and I support and encourage the adoption of a smart city where we preserve and safeguard our environment and deliver all services that our burgesses expect and need."
Newsday spoke with the borough corporation with respect to Arima's digital transformation. A representative told Newsday, this includes the provision of wi-fi to the public, at least in the city centre.
He said, the intention is to automatically provide links to resources to anyone who connects to the network, which the borough intends to pay for.
It is currently in the conceptual stage but represents one of several ways the borough intends on leading a digital transformation from the local government level.
Casimire said, "We meet, we socialise, we conduct business, educate and engage in all aspects of life in a virtual space.
"In this space we can fulfil our needs and expectations as it relates to both the services and goods which enhance and support our lives and livelihoods. As we embrace the digital space and the transformation it presents, we can access immigration, revenue and licensing services, making access readily available.
"The digital services," he said, "must meet the best practice and standards as we enter in this new paradigm to give effectiveness and efficiency for results and outcomes we request."
Casimire said Arima has not changed in a marked way over the last 50 years, apart from "a number of significant housing estates, both state and private, and the attendant increase in business... (However), we remain quaint and quiet although our leisure and recreational spaces are now almost overwhelmed.
"That does not mean city status will escape us as a digital smart city will allow the borough to ascend to city status."
The mayor said the borough is engaged in a "number of projects to build support for our smart city," noting a refurbishment of the town hall, the provision of accommodation and a new office for its municipal police.
The project also includes modernisation and "reshaping" of the main streets, the development of new leisure and culinary (spaces), the refurbishment of the market, the upgrade of sporting venues and the repurposing of parks.
"We have the support and partnership of our churches and NGOs without whom we cannot achieve the wholesomeness of family," Casimire wrote.
The mayor assured all members of councils, aldermen and councillors are focused on meeting the challenges.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Andrew Gioannetti
Quelle/Source: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, 20.08.2021