Councillors of the Region Two Regional Democratic Council (RDC) from both the PPP/C and the APNU+AFC are uniting to move a no-confidence motion against Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson, as they believe that he is stifling development.
The no-confidence motion was due to be tabled last Tuesday, but the REO failed to attend a statutory meeting.
Sunday Stabroek was told that the councillors received word on the day of the meeting that the REO would not be present. In addition to this, the Regional Chairman said that there was no preparation for the meeting even though it should have been planned one month prior.
To make matters worse, the Assistant REO, who is junior to both the REO and Deputy REO, stepped in, hoping to remedy the situation, however she was unprepared to answer the council’s financial questions.
Councillors staged a protest as a result.
“REO could have communicated that he would have been absent, but we later found out that he travelled to some meeting in Georgetown. I don’t know how much more important that meeting was than the statutory,” Regional Chair-man Devanand Ramdatt said.
Sunday Stabroek understands that the no-confidence motion was served 96 hours before the actual statutory meeting on Tuesday to the clerk of the RDC and that councillors were prepared to have it tabled at the sitting.
The motion, which was seen by this newspaper, lists several claims, including that the REO as the Region’s accounting officer tampered with the budget proposals; that budget proposals for 2019 were submitted by the REO without the signatures of councillors and approval of members of the council; that he is in breach of financial regulations; that he has repeatedly mismanaged budgetary allocations for Region Two as a budget agency; and that he has failed to follow up on key development matters raised at the statutory meetings of the said council.
Attempts to contact Hopkinson for a comment on the allegations were unsuccessful.
With the motion not going ahead at last Tues-day’s meeting, Ramdatt said the council is prepared to table it at the next statutory meeting, as the situation has now become unbearable. “There is an action sheet with a long list of matters in the region that has been left pending because of his actions… There are key development matters as old as three years that have not been addressed because of this behavior,” the chairman lamented.
“We have been asking about the dental boat that services the Pomeroon area; we need it to be fixed; The Anna Regina maternity Waiting Home is still to be furnished, the Warapoka Health Post is the same thing. We have a doctor from the village that is very enthusiastic about working in her village but she cannot do so because the place is yet to be furnished. The public needs to know what is going on. We cannot continue like this, more so since we are not optimistic about a change in his behaviour,” Ramdatt added.