City Hall in a gentler light

Dear Editor,


Recently I was privileged to experience a different side of City Hall.  Officials there have been subjected to one bombardment after another, most of which, if not all, have some merit.  In the last two weeks, I was prompted by certain unsatisfactory developments to interact with senior City Hall people.  It was for the better.

There was a problem on Thursday, October 4th; that problem repeated itself on Thursday, October 19.  In both instances, the potential for degeneration into something bigger than the immediate problem was present. In both of these two revealing instances, a senior officer at City Hall used his office to victimize a citizen, a paid-up (2018) taxpaying citizen. He did this because he was publicly called to task right here and embarrassed for peddling falsehoods. The man retaliated in cowardly and puerile fashion through targeting this objecting resident, who exposed him by setting the record straight. These are my firm beliefs, and as corroborated by facts and circumstances on the ground.

But out of this vindictive and naked bureaucratic ugliness, three City Hall individuals emerged, who strove mightily to remedy a bad situation.  Their conduct reiterated that nuggets of interest, care, and professionalism are still around in even the most unexpected places in this land; there just has to be the patience and a willingness to partner, to give meaningful intentions a chance.

There was Ms Debra Lewis, PRO, and her colleague Ms Albert.  They listened, responded, acted, and helped to correct a disturbing position. There was professionalism and courtesy from both ladies, and continual hands-on involvement to resolve the matter.  I thank them for spending the time, coordinating, and getting things done.

Unfortunately, the problem came back on Thursday, October 19, and in an even more blatant and spiteful manifestation. Then a third City Hall person came to the fore.  The Mayor herself, Mrs Patricia Chase-Green took the time and interest to reach out in a phone call to an inconsequential citizen to communicate, to share, and to promise a fix.  That promise was fulfilled.  I am pleased and appreciative that she got involved, and halted a deteriorating situation. In the next instance, I am neither pleased nor appreciative that a simpleminded and malicious senior public servant (supposedly) should commit such actions that compel a cash-strapped entity like City Hall to redirect (twice) scarce resources to undo his work.  I would strongly recommend internal scrutiny, perhaps internal sanctions.  Too many untruths have been uttered, both publicly and privately, for further condoning to be considered.  This is not helpful to an organization grappling with a host of challenges.

Editor, it should be noted that as I praise the three persons named, I have extended the undeserved courtesy of anonymity to the petty City Hall employee.  The opportunity is given to save face on his part.  I wait to see how this will be responded to in the future. To Mayor Chase-Green, PRO Lewis, and Ms Albert, I say thank you, and this is the way to go about with the business of residents.


Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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