City Hall and government are playing politics with people’s lives

Dear Editor,

The political circus now engaging the attention of Guyanese with the PPP Government reportedly coming yet again to the rescue of the Georgetown City Council deserves to be bulldozed into one of the rubbish heaps in the city and carted off to a waste site for degeneration.

No one reading the news of the government coming to the rescue of the city council should ever conclude that the PPP government has actually come to the rescue of the agency. The truth is, this is exactly what the government has been doing in several areas of governance. It is stage-managing to look good in people’s eyes.

The only solution to this is for the people of Guyana to engage in a non-violent revolt against the elected leaders for playing politics with the people’s lives.

Can anyone imagine that in a country of less than 800,000 people, and with about half that number eligible to vote, there has not been a local government elections in over a decade?

Can anyone imagine that Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, has a Mayor who has not faced elections in over a decade, and who, by all accounts, is constantly seen as being in a fight either with the council’s town clerk or with the PPP regime on the administration of the city’s affairs?

Now that there was a near crisis of labour action and rubbish piling up and being strewn in parts of the city, the PPP regime rushes in with an announced offer of 184 million dollars to keep city workers from striking and waste removal contractors from abdicating their vital obligations to the city.

Some folks may see this as the government saving the day again for the City Council, while others may see it as a City Council that is malfunctioning. But from where I sit, I see this as sheer politics at the expense of and to the detriment of the public.

How much longer should residents and business owners in Georgetown put up with having no election for mayor and councillors, or the publicized scratching and biting between the mayor and his town clerk, or between the mayor and the PPP regime? The people’s interests are not being genuinely served here; just a bunch of egomaniacs getting their kicks by seeking to score cheap political points off the people’s backs.

And with so many civic organizations in Georgetown, it is amazing that not one of them has the guts or the brains to come up with ideas to resolve the situation, even if on a short-term basis until local government elections are held.

No one knows for sure what is the extent of the on-again-off-again relationship between the government or the PPP and Mayor Hamilton Green, but I can guarantee anyone that if this acrimonious display continues, the PPP could well live to regret it, because it is becoming abundantly clear that the government is deliberately playing politics here, even if the name of its game is to pin the blame and pass the shame for the crisis in the council and the city to the mayor.

I am no fan of the mayor, but I believe the man has a legitimate right to retain his position until there is an election of mayor and councillors, and that with this right is the responsibility to administer the city’s affairs according to the authority vested in him by law.

He cannot be constantly hamstrung and frustrated by the government in his efforts to do his job, because at the end of the day, whatever he accomplishes or fails to accomplish will be reflective of the PPP government that continues to make possible his position as mayor by failing to stage local government elections in a timely manner.

Yours faithfully,

Emile Mervin

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