City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green has said that she is “in full support” of the suspension of the parking meter project for the next three months, while noting that the Georgetown muni-cipality will support government’s position on the issue under her leadership.
Chase-Green’s comments were made at a scheduled statutory meeting yesterday and came in the light of the government’s decision last week to suspend the by-laws for the metered parking after the city council delayed in acting on a previous directive to do so.
Chase-Green was out of the jurisdiction when councillors voted at a special meeting to delay ratifying an order for the suspension made by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan in order for time to study a legal opinion on the move.
At yesterday’s statutory meeting, she informed councillors that she would not be entertaining discussions on the metered parking project. Councillors Alfred Mentore of the APNU and Selwyn Smartt of Team Benschop for Mayor, both sought to ask questions on the project but were barred from do so.
“We will meet as a full body to discuss the way to move forward in how we deal with the parking meters,” Chase-Green told the councillors, who attempted to question the project on separate occasions.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Chase-Green said she would not comment on the events which unfolded at the special meeting since she was not present. “What I know is that council would have accepted the recommendations to suspend and did so,” she added.
The Mayor, however, made it clear that she does not believe that it was the council’s decision to not honour the decision of Cabinet. “Cabinet is one of the highest decision-making bodies and we would have honoured the decision,” she declared.
She further noted that in the interim period, the administration would be taking steps to put certain things in place. “So when we call the full council for discussion, we will go through all the indicators where Cabinet would have indicated to us of where to look and every councillor would have his or her input,” she added.
Since the suspension, she said, there has been no communication between her office and the Ministry of Communities for discussions.
Asked what she foresees at the end of the suspension, Chase-Green said, “I cannot foresee anything… They have asked us to suspend and we have suspended the parking meters.”
The project generated controversy from its inception due to concerns over the city’s failure to invite bids and terms of the contract that heavily favoured contractor Smart City Solutions and instituted steep fees and penalties for motorists in the city.
‘None of them
could take me on!’
Meanwhile, Chase-Green lashed out at outgoing Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan—who was absent—and PPP/C Coun-cillor Bishram Kuppen, whom she accused of peddling false information about her and she threatened to take legal action over attacks on her character.
Her comments were made after a number of councillors pointed out that the council has been receiving negative publicity, which they suggested is being channelled by colleagues on their personal social media pages.
Councillors stated that not only do their colleagues’ personal views affect the image of city council but also every councillor sitting around the horse-shoe table.
It was on this note that Chase-Green said, “Every day my name is being called for things they have no evidence of… I am not the one signing the cheques and vouchers. I don’t handle the city money.”
The Mayor called on councillors to desist from making false allegations against her.
With the backing of the councillors representing APNU, she noted that none of the allegations have since been proven as there is no evidence of irregularities. “I could challenge each and every councillor in here if y’all want and none of them could take me on! …Nobody will push me out of this chair. I will go when it is my time to go,” a visibly-upset Chase-Green said.
She said if councillors continue to defame her, she would be taking legal action against them and would be forced to invoke disciplinary action under the Municipal and District Councils Act, which she noted permits her to have anyone removed from statutory meetings or even the City Hall compound if they are found to be out of order.
In addition, Town Clerk Royston King pointed out that sections of the media are also involved in tarnishing the image and reputation of the council. He said that from all indications it would seem as if media houses have an agenda to break the public’s confidence in the council.