Updating the zoning laws were among the commitments made by four of the five candidates, who met residents of Subryanville on Thursday to discuss their plans for the constituency if elected at next Friday’s polls.
Independent candidate Albert ‘Bulldog’ Cromwell, who is a kitchen assistant, Carlyle Goring, a court marshal, who is a candidate for APNU+AFC, herbalist Alfred Park, of the Healing the Nation Theocracy Party, and Jameel Rasul, a businessman representing Team Benschop for Mayor, engaged several members of Constituency 2 (Kitty North, Central and South and Subryanville) at the Diocesan Youth Centre, Third Avenue and Church Road, Subryanville.
The other candidate, Patricia Ferguson, of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, was a no-show. Damian Fernandes, one of the organisers of Thursday’s meeting, explained that though Ferguson was invited via several means, she had not responded to any of the invitations. Ferguson had also refused to be interviewed for Stabroek News’ feature of this constituency’s candidates.
The first speaker of the evening, Cromwell, told the audience that he has a passion for his constituency. He asked to be judged on his work ethic and not one any unkind reports that may be in the public as the truth would soon come to the fore.
Cromwell is presently on $60,000 bail after being charged with the unlawful wounding of a member of the Team Benschop for Mayor Campaign. He has denied the charge.
In his presentation, Cromwell stressed the influence he presently has on the youths in his community and promised to work to guarantee Kitty/Subryanville 24-hour health services, an inclusive policing group and a Kitty Market with an administrative office for the community.
“I’m a no nonsense kind of man. Real thing. And the youths in my community know it; they call me Uncle Bull. Lemme give you ghetto talk: If you looking for somebody to work for you, vote for me,” Cromwell declared.
The coalition candidate, Goring, in presenting his plans, stressed the relationship he would have with the central government. Bemoaning what he termed the “systematic deterioration” of residential communities brought about by inadequate implementation of zoning laws, Goring said he would not be a hypocrite. “My party is in government. It is easy for me to network with the minister. I don’t want to be a hypocrite; I can’t cuss the PPP then allow a party I struggle for to commit the same atrocities on the citizens. We will serve our citizens,” he said.
For Park, it is the health of the community that is most important. He told the audience that he was dismayed at the quality of water the community was receiving.
“You turn on the pipe and the water brown as the Blacka (Lamaha Canal),” he said. He stressed that comprehensive knowledge of the power of herbs, particularly marijuana, was essential for a healthy life.
Rasul said the constituency’s development will not exist in isolation but will be achieved as part of a cohesive plan by his group to improve the infrastructure and services in the entire city.
All the candidates expressed dismay at the condition of the Farnum Playground in Subryanville, a space which apparently held special memories for each of them.
The candidates were filled with big ideas and creative ways of financing them.
Goring, who marketed himself as “fresh, young blood with ideas,” told those gathered that persons may be asked to pay to park in the city. “The same way it’s done in London,” he said.
Rasul explained that the money is there since the government allocates millions to City Hall and it collects even more millions through rates.
“Most of the money is going to pay salaries,” he said. He added that his group will be creating “safe parking lots,” which residents will be charged to use.
Cromwell and Park advocated the creation of cottage industries. For Park, the women of Kitty/Subryanville could start making juices for sale, while Cromwell would have the unemployed youths of the community use the “plentiful wood” to create furniture. For him, the women would contribute by sewing pillowcases and sheets.
Candidates were also asked about how they would address the issue of zoning as several business, which have opened in the area, continue to disrupt the community with loud music and the raucous behaviour of patrons.
Each candidate has promised to advocate on behalf of the citizens for zoning laws to be updated and properly implemented.