It seems to be business as usual at City Hall
Two weeks after Ramond Gaskin unearthed corruption at the city council, involving council’s administration, the three officers accused of improprieties are still on the job and carrying on as per normal without as much as a mild sanction from the council or the government. It appears to be business as usual at that place called city council. The situation is laughable.
While the government and the council dillydally the three officers- the Town Clerk, the City Engineer and the City Treasurer- remain in place with full access to documents and the opportunity to tamper with information and financial systems that might provide evidence against them. The treasurer is still handling the finances of and engaging in transactions on behalf of the council.
Residents of Georgetown are in an unfortunate situation as there is no way of telling when all of this will end.
What is strange is that the government, who through the Implementation Committee, discovered the misappropriation of funds, fuel theft, dummy companies and general maladministration, has not taken any action against those involved. What is going on with the authorities?
Perhaps, the government is hoping that through the recent revelations, in the press, and their inaction, that the council would eventually collapse and they would be able to put in place an Interim Management Committee as they have been doing in other regions of the country.
Perhaps, it was the same line of reasoning on the part of the government that informed their decision to leave Mr. Hamilton Green as Mayor for over 14 years instead of pursuing change in the leadership of this body. The Minister has the authority to instruct the council and, indeed, all the NDCS, to hold elections for Mayors and Deputy Mayors and Chairmen. Knowing Green’s penchant for excesses the government thought that he would have eventually brought the council to ruin. He did that alright but he still presides over a broken council and dilapidated and dirty city with a boldness that makes one feels sorry for him.
Perhaps, the government believes that the situation will work against the council for the good of the government. They are wrong. The behavior of the government is working against them particularly Mr. Keith Burrows- government appointed Chairman of the Implementation Committee. Had they believed in his work then they would have taken action a long time ago.
Maybe, rumors of the political status of the officers- PPP/C members- is preventing the government from taking action it would have otherwise taken if the officers were not so connected. It is a clear indication that something has gone wrong.
Then again, it is the council that has the responsibility to take action against its errant officers. It is foolhardy for the council to think that the government would assist it to clean up its act by disciplining the officers.
The government is getting much political mileage from the putrid situation at the council; they will not reach out to change it. In fact, last week, Dr. Roger Luncheon in his press conference said that the government will not interfere with the happenings at the council.
All the rhetoric about a letter being sent to the Minister to take action against the officers is just that- rhetoric. The Minister will take no action but the situation will continue to deteriorate and citizens will not get the services they are paying for in their wards.
The action or inaction of council is making that body look weak and incompetent. Imagine, the three top officers of the council are allegedly involved in criminal activities and the council after two weeks has done nothing about it. It is a very serious indictment against the council.