Regional Executive Officer and staff are subordinate to the Council

Dear Editor,

Two recent developments caught my attention which I found interesting from a governance standpoint.

The first is the refusal of the Mayor of Georgetown to proceed with a statutory meeting of the Council after he failed to get the meeting agenda in advance. The Town Clerk (ag) reportedly blamed the failure to provide the documents on administrative delays which seems unacceptable especially since, according to the Mayor, it was not the first such incident. It is difficult to blame the Mayor for the action he took given the circumstances which could be seen as disrespectful to his office.

The second and perhaps more significant from a governance perspective was the refusal of the Region Two Regional Executive Officer and his staff to participate in the proceedings of a RDC meeting. The reason given according to media reports was that the REO cannot get along with the acting Chairman. 

Such actions runs counter to the norms and protocols governing the public service. The Regional Executive Officer and staff are subordinate to the Council of which the Chairman is the political head. As such he is not in a position to decide his participation and that of others in Council meetings.

Such actions cannot and should not be tolerated and warrant some form of disciplinary action on the part of the relevant authorities. However this is unlikely to happen given the adversarial and fractured nature of our political system.

Yours faithfully,

Hydar Ally

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