New Mayor Garth Rothwell with former Mayor Kenny Bascome at Monday morning's swearing-in. *Photo by Simon Jones
New Mayor Garth Rothwell with former Mayor Kenny Bascome at Monday morning's swearing-in. *Photo by Simon Jones

MONDAY, JANUARY 7: Garth Rothwell has been officially sworn in as the new Mayor of St George's.

The brief ceremony took place at the St George's Town Hall this morning, during which Steven Hollis was also sworn in as a new Alderman to replace Renee Ming.

Mr Rothwell told the Bermuda Sun that a full time police station was at the top of his wish list for the Old Town.

But he also said the Corporation needed to focus on extending its CCTV coverage and returning fire engines to St George's.

He said: "Longer term developments within the Municipality, on which a strategy needs to be developed this year for moving forward, obviously include the issue of cruise ships at Penno’s Wharf or Murray’s Anchorage and the proposed hotel.

"Ideally, the future of cruise ships in St George’s needs to be resolved in 2013 as the Corporation cannot move ahead with any development of the Penno’s Wharf area.

"To reserve Penno’s for a couple of uncertain cruise ship visits and the gravel ship each year, which is the present situation, is a waste of a prime harbourside asset.

"In a similar vein, the proposed development of the hotel and golf course has now been stalled for four years and the projected construction completion date missed.

"Of significant concern, the formula of building residences to help finance the hotel no longer seems to be working. A meaningful discussion with Tourism to find a way forward is overdue."

Mr Rothwell's appointment comes after Alphonso Harris recently dropped out of the mayoral race, leaving the path open to Mr Rothwell.

The position was originally vacated when former Mayor Kenneth Bascome stepped down after becoming the MP for St George's North at the General Election.

Mr Rothwell added: "The key to success for St George’s and the Corporation is to continue expanding the positive dialogue with the many organizations which, by working together will bring about the revitalization of St George’s.

"In terms of maintaining the existing infrastructure of the town, there is an urgent need to secure adequate funding for both the Corporation’s Operating Budget and for the high priority items on its separate Capital Budget for 2013/2014.

"Priority items for the Capital Budget include a new trash truck, modernization of the public bathrooms in both the Town Square and Somers Garden, repairs to four separate holes in our wharves and for lawyer’s fees for the commercial agreement with respect to the proposed Marina development attached to Ordnance Island."

Mr Rothwell grew up on Fort George Hill in the old town, and he is the grandson of Freddy Robinson – the founder of St George's business Robertson's Drug Store.

His father, Eric Rothwell, was the Headmaster of St George's Grammar School and a chemistry teacher at Saltus, while his mother, Rita, was the owner of Robertson's for over 60 years.

The new Mayor worked for British Petroleum for 33 years in the UK, Australia and Azerbaijan before returning to Bermuda in 2001.

He has served as Deputy Mayor, Chairman of the Trustees of St George's Preparatory School and has been a member of the Education Board and Planning Board.