The Mayor & City Council has obviously flouted the laws pertaining to the administration of the city, and in respect of its duties.
As a layman I am not au fait with the laws which should guide the council but anyone would know that they were enacted to ensure the efficiency, integrity and accountability of a body which is entrusted with the proper management of Georgetown. They are using their autonomy in a nefarious way with no regard for the repeated complaints and protests from citizens, its own workers and even the government. It seems that we have a state within a state when we look at the M&CC. The focus has for long been on the present Town Clerk who has been a senior member of the council bureaucracy for many years, during the previous government’s rule and continuing into the election of the present government.
The list of the egregious conduct of the present Mayor and members of the council, and the Town Clerk is long and distasteful. Examples are the awarding of contracts without going through the stipulated tendering process, and the garbage in drains, trenches and canals which prevents the outflow of water and inevitably results in the flooding of the city. We know the dire consequences of this to our livelihoods and mobility. The aesthetics of the city are impacted deleteriously and consequently, tourism. Another issue is with their difficulty in the placement of the vendors to locations that would not hinder the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians. The M&CC has not chosen proper locations and their execution of the task has been roughshod. The ubiquitousness of the vendors would also impact tourism. Added to these issues is the unrestrained and unaccountable behaviour of their constabulary who, like their superior officers, act with unbridled power. The City Hall itself, a heritage site of great significance and beauty in the past, has been left to deteriorate to a deplorable condition. The council’s inefficiency in collecting rates and taxes is well known. They have owed the Guyana Power and Light Company and the waste collectors. Then there is the fiasco that prevailed with the parking meters and the exorbitant costs that the public was asked to pay to park within the city. For years, many parts of the city were transformed to bush and this continues under the present officers. It is also littered with vehicles and other large paraphernalia. Properties with owners are neglected and have unsightly and collapsing buildings on them which pose a threat to anyone in proximity. They also give vagrants and criminals cover. Grass is left to grow there for months and even years. Now we learn that although they received help from the central government for a major clean-up, it has been disclosed that they are unable to account for all of the money.
No new projects have been pursued, eg the planting of more trees alongside avenues such as those in Main, Carmichael and East Streets. The more trees we plant, the more we combat global warming.
To get Georgetown moving forward, we need to look at the actions of the M&CC as keenly as we would look at the actions of our government, as they play an integral part in the infrastructure of the capital.