Chase-Green calls for Town Clerk’s removal

– over inability to answer questions about Albouystown works

Councillor Patricia Chase-Green has declared that Town Clerk Yonette Pluck-Cort must be removed from her present post owing to her “incompetence” in issues concerning the Mayor and City Council.

This statement was made at yesterday’s statutory meeting after Chase-Green inquired about the allocation of land at Punt Trench Dam (Independence Boulevard), Albouystown, where developers were seen digging with a dragline excavator. She indicated to councillors that on further investigation, she was informed by the developers that permission to work in the area was granted by City Hall.

“The sewerage is in that area. Had we not stopped the developer, we would have had serious problems,” Chase-Green stated as she further considered it to be the “same lawlessness going on in Mandela Avenue”.

In response, Pluck-Cort pointed out that she had not been informed of these works and as such, could not offer answers as to who would have granted the developer permission.

Furious at this point, Chase-Green firmly stated “if she [Pluck-Cort] can’t control the responsibility of the city she must be removed… If she is incompetent she must be removed.”

Pluck-Cort turned to Deputy Mayor Robert Williams, who was chairing the meeting and asked for “protection” as she said she is clueless as to the reason she is being attacked on this issue.

City Engineer Gregory Erskine, addressing the forum, said the matter was raised with him earlier by Chase-Green and he had made it clear that he has no knowledge of what has transpired. He said he also told her that an investigation will soon be launched and relevant action will be taken.

“The engineer is a stranger to the truth. He told me if I bring it up the whole thing will blow up. I want it to blow up,” Chase-Green announced.

Councillor Gwendolyn McGowan then asked if anyone is knowledgeable of the issue for it to be known at the meeting. “People are doing as they like… at this meeting, councillors know nothing about that,” she added.

Among the list of items discussed on the Engineer’s report, which was presented after two defers, was the rehabilitation to City Hall.

Pluck-Cort had earlier on informed councillors of the commencement of work but added that because of the rainy weather, work has been stalled for some time.

She indicated that one window has been installed as a preliminary effort for councillors to view. The enhancement programme, for which the government has granted the M&CC $16 million continues, she said.

Mayor Hamilton Green said he has concerns that persons who would have submitted tenders for the work on the building are dissatisfied. He then requested an extended effort for the best window to be made available. “The committee should be permitted to see other samples of windows,” he said.

“This is a historic building and we will be embarrassed if we don’t do the best in terms of cost and quality,” Green later said.

Also discussed was a project on Aubrey Barker Road at Festival City. Erskine had indicated that there are currently two constructions in the area, one at Festival City Entrance and the other at Festival City Exit, further stating that approval was granted by the Central Housing and Planning Authority for the work at the exit.

McGowan then challenged Erskine, asking why sand and stones were moved from the exit and not the entrance. Erskine explained that they did not have permission at the time to use the parapet in the area. To end this argument, Councillor Victor Sobers suggested a site visit to which Mayor Green agreed.

Also brought to the attention of councillors by McGowan was the lengthy period which it took engineers to have a chain-link fence removed.

The project, which was considered an ‘operation breakdown’ on Mandela Avenue, took five days to be completed and McGowan further enquired where exactly this project was carried out.

Erskine, in response, said he was uncertain of the “exact lot” adding that engineers were not only involved in removing the fence as there were other factors contributing to the extended period.

“We deferred this report twice… you had time to check it,” McGowan stated.

Agreeing with her, Councillor Ranwell Jordan said that he is “totally dissatisfied” with the engineer’s response after reiterating the fact that the report had to be deferred two times. “The engineer, as competent as he is, should have checked the details of the report and be able to answer the questions and not have to waste the councillors’ time,” he said.