Current Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran has not yet decided whether he will contest the mayoral elections scheduled for next month.
“I haven’t given it a thought or considered it but I am willing to serve in whatever capacity the citizens and councillors elect me in to serve,” Jaikarran said.
Mayoral elections are to be held annually.
Jaikarran explained that he is willing to return as Deputy Mayor for the city but noted that he would have to consult with his party before making an official announcement of his interest in contesting to be mayor.
Jaikarran was elected to the council through the first-past-the-post system of voting at the March 18, 2016 local government polls. After serving a year as a councillor, he was elected as Deputy Mayor. He was nominated after fellow AFC councillor Sherod Duncan, who was the Deputy Mayor at the time and was contesting to be mayor, pulled out hours before the elections.
Since her election in 2016, current Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and her administration have been accused of questionable actions, including the implementation of the controversial parking meter project, the displacement of Stabroek Market vendors and the institution of container fees, all without consultation.
More recently, the city administration has been criticised for the shortcomings in the city’s garbage collection system and its handling of the alleged rape of a minor at the City Constabulary headquarters.
However, Jaikarran believes that the entire administration needs an overhaul since there have been many lapses. “I don’t mean this as an insult or defamation of character, but in any organisation if things don’t go well the executive takes some of the blame,” he noted.
He added that his first year as Deputy Mayor has been frustrating, especially after he learnt that staff was not being paid on time and that insurance contributions and union dues are not being remitted to the relevant authorities although they are being deducted from staff salaries.
Jaikarran went on to say that regardless of the negatives he has encountered during his first year, he was happy that he initiated the talks which led to another amnesty that would net much needed funds for City Hall.
He added that if he does not contest for the post of mayor, he is committed to working with the council to improving the services offered to citizens of the city.
The mayoral elections will be held in December in all municipalities across the country. Dates for these elections have not been announced.