To move forward we need to take the fight to City Hall

Dear Editor,

Is there a mandate for the retention of the parking meters installed on the streets of Georgetown, the capital city? The 13 votes for and 12 against is but a pyrrhic victory for those in favour of the imposed parking meter contract and the parking meters installed in the city. In fact, as already argued by me the manifesto of the APNU+AFC coalition was devoid of any mention of parking meters as a solution to congestion in the city.

The vote for and against is an indication of its massive unpopularity. Any reference to ‘Democracy in Action’ is a farce aimed at diverting attention to the lack of support among the general populace. Instead this should read ‘Deception in Action.’ The time for grandstanding, rhetoric and platitudes about democracy is over. The fact that SCS Inc, the partner in the contract, refused to divulge information to the re-negotiating team is an indication of a clandestine deal that lacks any semblance of transparency and accountability.

The Town Clerk continues to mislead this council. His interventions and misguidance continue unabated. His allegation that the re-negotiating team has in his words overstepped its mandate is cause for concern. Is it not time the Town Clerk be excluded from the council? In fact, the continued misspellings, grammatical errors and erroneous statements contained in the minutes delivered to councillors at the last minute, are an indication of an attempt to cloud issues. This results in a lack of transparency and accountability, thus diverting from the real issues that need to be discussed.

Attempts to repeatedly baptize the illegal contract for parking meters as popular does not stand scrutiny when the report of the re-negotiating team is examined as a whole. In fact, this report’s findings validate and vindicate the eight massive silent street protests led by the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM).

So what can we do as a council?

  • We need to be vigilant and expose all attempts to re-renegotiate this contract.
  • We need to frustrate attempts by the Town Clerk to discredit the work of the re-negotiating team claiming they have overstepped their mandate in respect to the terms of reference.
  • We need to oppose all attempts to confuse metered parking systems with an imposed system of parking meters which is illegal and lacks transparency and accountability.
  • We need to expose erroneous views such as the one that the parking meters will bring order and reduce congestion in the city. In fact it will kill business and bring untold hardships to citizens who simply cannot afford additional taxes at this time.
  • We need to recognize the implications the parking meter deal will have on the environment. It has the potential to lock us in an unsustainable future with disastrous effects in a carbon strapped economy. Why can’t we learn from the mistakes of others?
  • We need to expose the flawed results in terms of reliability and validity of several of the surveys conducted that have been used to interpret the statistics in a biased way.

The report of the re-negotiating team states that central government can frustrate the contract signed by SCS Inc. We must, however, recognize that SCS Inc will not pack up and leave as their experience in Mexico City has shown. We need to take the fight to City Hall if we are to move forward.

Yours faithfully,

Khame Sharma

Councillor

Comments  

City council owed $3b, amnesty in effect

Dear Editor, The Mayor and City Council wishes to inform all property owners that its City Treasurer’s Department will be opened from 8 am to 12:30 pm today.

A government of laws, and not of men

Dear Editor, The second President of the United States of America, John Adams, once described his Government as “a government of laws, and not of men.” The philosophy which underpins this statement is the foundation of modern democratic governments.

Roaming horses a problem in South Turkeyen

Dear Editor, Following your publication of my missive earlier this week regarding frequent traffic chaos and obstructions within close proximity of the Turkeyen Police Station, I had a subsequent but brief conversation with a female Police Rank stationed there.

Instead of trying to invalidate concerns of private sector, Minister Gaskin should have focused on what gov’t was doing for business climate

Dear Editor, This past October, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), one of the country’s most important creditors, launched its 2017-2021 Country Strategy for Guyana, where it pointed to a “lack of strategic planning and vision at the highest level[s]” of government. 

UK Minister’s statement in Jamaica on slavery reparations was an insult

Dear Editor, Each November, “Remembrance Day” in the United Kingdom (UK) honours the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices that were made in past wars.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×