Stakeholders wanted the removal of the entire Anna Regina Town Council

Dear Editor,

The Anna Regina Town Council will need prudent management or it will continue to fail in all its efforts to accomplish its objective, and it seems to me that the newly installed Interim  Management Committee (IMC) doesn’t have a clue how to solve the numerous problems.

I am very surprised that the inquiry and probe which was held into the Anna Regina Town Council did not recommend the removal of the former Mayor and the councillors who have now been placed in the IMC, as concerned stakeholders were in favour of the replacement of the entire council which was not visible within the communities and had caused the decline in revenue collection and provision of basic services to the taxpayers.

The performance in the council’s financial sphere up to the end of July 2013, has not been positive. The IMC and the former Mayor and councillors did not undertake to create a register of all vendors within the Bush Lot and Anna Regina Markets which has become a cash cow for the official there for decades. That database would be a very powerful tool for future planning and the key collection of revenue which would help to boost the council’s budget.

A new pound for strays roaming within the township built in 1996  at a cost of $5 million, is not being used at all; a new abattoir for slaughtering animals built at a cost of $10 million in 2000  has never been used at all; it is now empty with vines growing on it. A members club with a bar built in the Anna Regina Community Centre for $10 million in 1998 is idle and inefficiently utilized when cricket and fairs are held in the centre ground, causing a loss in revenue.

The Bush Lot Market car park was built at a cost of $20 million in 1998 to help garner revenue for the council, but it is now full of potholes and animals are sleeping and messing on it.  The council systems malfunction and operate inefficiently because of poor management or failure to correct some fault. There will always be a problem between the vendors and the council where the collection of garbage is concerned, involving a wastage of taxpayers money.

When the IMC and the council are fully seized of the needs, and organize to make beneficial use of assets, then they would be geared for the task of making the township a better place to live. Out of the spoils yielded by the system some benefit did indeed trickle down to those below. However, it is unlikely that this came about as the primary objective of the system. And in any case, only those who hugged the soup bowl were likely to benefit. The people voted at one local government election since August 4, 1994, but for the rest of the time, they seem to have looked on from the outside.

 

Yours faithfully,
Mohamed Khan
Former Deputy Mayor

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