Current Deputy Mayor of Georgetown Sherod Duncan has officially expressed his intention to contest for the seat at the head of the horseshoe table.
In a press statement last evening Duncan proclaimed “I’m in” before declaring that he had the full support of both his political party-the Alliance For Change (AFC) and Constituency to pursue the leadership of the Municipality of Georgetown.
Duncan who in March won the hotly contested Constituency 14 (South Ruimveldt Park/ Ruimveldt Industrial Site) First-Past-The-Post seat, was elected Deputy Mayor on April 1. He has however spent much of that time in conflict with Mayor Patricia Chase-Green though they both represent the ruling APNU+AFC coalition.
Three months into their tenure, Duncan and several other councillors began asking questions about the legitimacy of a parking meter contract between the city and National Parking Systems/Smart City Solutions (NPS/SCS)
In May, Chase-Green had announced to the council that a proposal from NPS/SCS to construct and operate a parking platform had been approved, the contract signed and the project in the first stages of implementation. She did not, however, provide councillors with a copy of the contract nor an explanation of the terms of the agreement between NPS/SCS and the council.
The Mayor had claimed that the proposal had been approved in November last year by the previous council.
Since that time the contract has been reviewed by the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General’s Chambers. A recommended renegotiation was realized and the project is set to take off in the coming weeks.
There are however still those, including Duncan, who are calling for the contract to be rescinded since it failed to comply with the national procurement legislation.
Last evening Duncan explained that when he contested in the Local Government Elections (LGE) it was because he wanted a better city for the next generation represented in his sons as well as for the all the residents of Georgetown
He charged that over the last few months the city has “been heading in the wrong direction.”
According to Duncan, Georgetown as our National Capital City of Guyana needs, more than any other municipality, to realign itself away from what President Granger calls the “compound mentality” towards a “capital mentality” and ‘economic mentality”.
He explained that while the compound mentality is concerned with “control rather than consultation and collaboration with residents” the capital mentality is concerned with “moving beyond providing traditional municipal services” and the commercial mentality is concerned with “infrastructure, investment, innovation, information and communication technology are all central in fostering economies of scale which are essential to economic growth within the framework of a green economy.”
“The new emphasis,” he stressed should be on “promoting business, driving economic development and giving leadership to our regions”.
“In aligning ourselves strategically within the framework of central government’s view of capital towns as growth drivers within a green economy City Hall must pursue several core initiatives which, over the next year, will see us more fiscally responsibly, streamline our services offered for efficiency, retool our workers for greater productivity and engage civil society and the Private Sector towards partnerships; synergies for success,” Duncan said. He added that he believes that greater things are still to be done in this city and looks forward to continuing to engage city residents and businesses in the coming hours and days on these ideas and how together we can move Georgetown forward.”
The yearly Mayoral elections which are in keeping with Section 28 (2) of the Local Government Act Chapter 28:02 and Chapter 28:01 of the Municipal and District Council Act must be held by December 16.