The Linden IMC passed two resolutions by majority vote at its first statutory meeting for 2014 on Wednesday to be taken to Parliament by the Region Ten Parliamentary Representatives as motions.
The first resolution is for the USAID governance programme to be implemented in the country. The other is for the by-law that would allow for the Kara Kara toll point to be operational to be gazetted. Both resolutions were passed by a six to two majority of the councilors present with the two dissenting votes cast by PPP/C IMC members, Eon Halls and Vanburn Brown.
In informing the meeting why he voted against the resolution, Halls said he will not endorse any intervention in Guyana’s domestic affairs by any foreign entity once it does not get the approval of the Guyana government.
The resolution reads: “And whereas the Linden Mayor and Town Council has noted the recent furor over the implementation of a governance programme by USAID which from all indications points to strengthening of Local Government practitioners and increasing awareness of citizens’ rights and participation in their destinies; the council sees this as critical and important at this juncture of national and local governance.
“Be it resolved that the Linden Mayor and Town Council joins with other progressive forces in welcoming this project and supports its speedy implementation as it appears that good sense is prevailing and the parties with concerns will speak and iron out their differences.
“And be it further resolved that the all-party parliamentary body be integrally involved in this much needed project in all its facets.”
In supporting the resolution, IMC Member Charles Sampson said over twenty years ago when the other party was in office the then major opposition complained vehemently to the extent that former US President Jimmy Carter of the Carter Center came here and the late President Desmond Hoyte agreed to electoral reforms . “Now people are trying to introduce democracy in a true sense and they are shunning the same people, who helped them get into power.”
IMC Member Winston Caesar in agreeing with Sampson said, “that same faction that eventually became the government … is actually an example of a reverse in democracy”.
IMC Chairman, Orrin Gordon said that he has a lot of experiences with the present government in Guyana and international agencies. “In every single one of these projects … the administration collar these projects, lock them down and do whatever they feel like doing. There was one … run by the UNDP. A nice Canadian guy came with his ideals … and we were watching him and smiling because we knew that when he went back to Georgetown, the Office of the President would lock it off and we can’t do anything and so said, so done ….”
The second resolution reads: “The Mayor and Town Council, Linden had its Toll Booth at Kara Kara ordered closed by the Minister of local Government, Mr. Norman Whittaker on September 28, 2013 because the By-Law was not gazetted. “And whereas this toll booth was responsible for 40% of the monthly revenue of the Council and since its cessation, the Council has been struggling to get its services carried out in a timely and efficient manner. And further, the Minister of Local Government through the Cabinet approved $9.2M to sustain the services of the municipality for October to December 2013.
“And whereas the council’s budget is still to be approved with a deficit of $33M, requested to be funded by the state; the Council sees this situation as one with no fitting end in sight and therefore resolves that the National Assembly through a motion restores the Council’s toll booth to functionality with an order for the by-law to be gazetted.
“And further we say not.”