Linden town council in financial shambles

-‘interim’ body has been in place for 11 years

By Mario Joseph

(This is the 11th instalment in a series on the state of local government)

Chairman of the Linden Town Council, Orrin Gordon believes that the spirit of democracy lies in local government elections.

“Local Government Elections is the genesis of the elections that should reflect what happens at the top and is long overdue. When slaves bought villages, it was decided that they would manage themselves, this was the birth of local government, this is the grounding of true democracy and what transcends the dynamics at the national level”, he told Stabroek News in an interview on the state of local government in the mining town.

He added, “In essence the government needs to do something about the situation and devolution of power, involves the people and forces an upward movement of governance. I believe it is critical to have the grass roots involvement of the people for development in a democracy. Interim should mean interim, not 11 years”. He added, “I was under the impression that the three years pattern after the subsequent 1992 elections would continue because people need constant renewal or continuity. People need persons in leadership positions who they can relate to and respect. Twenty years is too long and the excuses now are not plausible. Even if we just jump in and have the elections, let’s do that so that we can democratize the place”.

He declared the Linden Town Council to be in financial shambles which will see the operations of the council soon come to a standstill. This, he explained was due to an unapproved budget for 2014 because it was set to incur a $33M deficit which was as a result of the council being stripped of a significant revenue earning measure: the Mackenzie Bridge toll booth. Elaborating on the quagmire, he said that the authorization which isn’t even needed from central government to collect fees or tolls from bridges or other facilities maintained by the council is enshrined in the by-laws of Chapter 28:02. However, …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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