Political cover being placed on Commission of Inquiry Report
– Mayor Green
“Somebody wants to put a political cover on this report and I think it is a great pity,” said City Mayor Hamilton Green of what he believes are delayed tactics in implementing recommendations detailed in the Commissioner of Inquiry Report.
Since the completion, submission and acceptance of the report, two senior officers of the municipality have been sacked but other recommendations which were offered in the three volume document are yet to be heeded. Green noted that in spite of his earlier concerns, the report, which was authored by Commissioner Keith Burrowes, dealt with the substantial issues that concern the Municipality. As a result, the Mayor noted that it was assumed that there would have been a process of implementation following the acceptance of the report.
But according to Green, after the report was cogitated by the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall, a letter was sent to the Municipality indicating a number of mechanisms as it relates to the report. “They (The Ministry of Local Government) noted that the Council accepted the report without much reservation and that they plan to set up an implementation committee to include two members of the Council.”
However, Green related that he was forced to point out to the Minister both orally and in writing that two members will present a problematic situation as the Council constitutes representatives of three political groups – The Good and Green Guyana, People’s National Congress Reform and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic.
“I believe that he accepted that and Council at a meeting recommended three Councillors to sit on the Implementation Committee,” Green disclosed.
However, a subsequent letter was sent to the Municipality, the Mayor added.
“Lo and behold a letter came saying don’t worry with that (the recommendation of three Councillors) you identify a list of officers and we will select from that a list of persons to sit on the implementation committee.”
“To make the matter, what we consider an absurdity, even worse, the letter indicated that this Implementation Committee will consist of other persons whose proposals will be binding on this Council.”
At a statutory meeting, following this revelation, there was a near unanimous position with only three Councillors failing to embrace the notion that the recommendations taken by the Ministry was unacceptable. As a result, it was suggested at the meeting that the Acting Town Clerk, Yonette Pluck-Cort, and the Mayor inform the Minister of the Council’s position.
Green related that the Minister has since invited him to a meeting. “We spoke and I understand from what he said that he is to meet the Council to advance this matter. The Council also in its letters and deliberation, essayed the need for legal advice if need be on this matter…” the Mayor added.
He expressed cognisant to the fact that Burrowes has been in contact with the Acting Town Clerk and senior officers, adding that “we have no difficulty working with him to implement aspects of the report that we have accepted.”