Some­thing sin­is­ter brew­ing at City Hall

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Editor,

The

M& CC ( Mayor and Coun­cil­lors of the City of Ge­orge­town) has now agreed to post­pone a vote on the fate of the me­tered park­ing sys­tem un­til later in the month, un­der the pre­text that it wishes to al­low stake­hold­ers and the wider pub­lic to read and com­ment on a re­port on me­tered park­ing that found that Smart City So­lu­tions (SCS) with­held vi­tal in­for­ma­tion from the Coun­cil’s ne­go­ti­at­ing com­mit­tee.

Is this not called “putting the cart be­fore the horse”? This is what the M&CC should have done in the first place, be­fore sign­ing the con­tract and rush­ing off to Mex­ico and Panama.

The con­tin­ued re­fusal by Smart City So­lu­tions to pro­vide proof of in­vest­ment pur­port­edly to the tune of US$10 mil­lion shows the con­tin­ued dis­re­gard and dis­re­spect they have not only for the Fan­tas­tic Four, whom they conned, the Review Com­mit­tee and the Coun­cil; but, in­deed, the cit­i­zens of Ge­orge­town and Guyana.

Don’t forget that Ifa Ka­mau Cush, the man who helped engi­neer the con­tro­ver­sial park­ing me­ter deal with the Coun­cil, had said, and I quote: “You’re not pro­gres­sives. You are free­loaders; You lack the in­testi­nal for­ti­tude to con­trol your own des­tiny. You all pos­sess the men­tal­ity of slaves, in­den­tured ser­vants, in­ca­pable of gen­er­at­ing wealth and build­ing ca­pac­ity.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, the methodology be­ing used to sen­si­tize the pub­lic of the con­tents of the re­port is most ar­chaic and cum­ber­some, prob­a­bly for some ul­te­rior mo­tive. Why does the Mayor expect per­sons to leave the com­fort of their homes and of­fices — where they could read the re­port in its en­tirety on their com­put­ers and smart­phones, and com­ment on its con­tents on­line im­me­di­ately and through so­cial me­dia, if only the Coun­cil would put it up on their web page, Face­book page etc — and in­stead trek all the way down to Town Clerk and Trea­surer’s of­fices and the Na­tional Li­brary?

But sus­pen­sion of the con­tract seems to in­di­cate that it has more elas­tic­ity than a rub­ber band, where the Coun­cil­lors could ex­tend it as long and as many times as they like.

This is at odds with what the Town Clerk had said to the Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ties when he wrote him strongly sug­gest­ing that sus­pen­sion of the park­ing me­ter con­tract with Smart City So­lu­tions (SCS) would be im­pos­si­ble — after learn­ing that a Cabi­net de­ci­sion was to ask the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to halt the deal for the next three months.

The Town Clerk is said to have cau­tioned the Min­is­ter that if the con­tract is sus­pended, City Hall would have to pay for breach of con­tract, and that Coun­cil could not ac­cept the wide-rang­ing le­gal, fi­nan­cial and other fall-out.

The Mayor and City Coun­cil has a 20 per­cent stake in the pur­ported US$10 mil­lion project, and SCS has 80 per­cent. It is log­i­cal that the Coun­cil is just stalling for time, and cit­i­zens need to be wary that the M&CC has some­thing sin­is­ter and omi­nous up its sleeves. The Coun­cil is not above the courts of Guyana; Coun­cil has to await the courts’ de­ci­sion, and stop wast­ing time hav­ing ill-ad­vised re­views.

Sin­cerely, Mark Roopan

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