Latest update March 23rd, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 10, 2013 News
City Mayor Hamilton Greene has lashed back at negative statements made by Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud about the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) at a People’s Progressive Party press briefing last week. In what now appears to be a battle between the M&CC and the Local Government Ministry, Greene rejected the notion that “government is being forced to assume responsibilities of M&CC,” while dismissing the “lethargic approach” charged by the Local Government Ministry.
The Mayor challenged the Local Government Minister to a public debate on City Hall after accusing him of lying over statements made about taxes paid to City Hall and the incompetence of the municipality. PPP Executive Secretary Zulfikar Mustapha had also chimed in on the apparent row, telling reporters that despite high levels of support to the Municipality and accompanying relief on the Council’s budget, it seems that little is being done by the Municipality.
Mustapha said that excuses are the order of the day for the Municipality, while the Mayor instead of dealing with issues affecting citizens, continues to focus his energy on rows with the “acting Town Clerk regarding who has more power in the Council.”
Minister Persaud said that more than 80 per cent of those required to pay taxes to the Council did so last year. He continued that City Hall wants to say that the near $3B it collected in taxes was inadequate. He reminded that the government pays in excess $150M for State-owned buildings in the city.
But the Mayor said that 50 percent of taxes were collected last year and not the 80 percent the Local Government Ministry purports.
Mayor Greene said, “They are all lies. The biggest lie was when he (Minister Persaud) empathically stated that the government had given to the Municipality $150M. The government has not honored its legal obligations to the city by paying their taxes.”
Greene charged that already for the year, “the government is in default of taxes for the first and second quarter of 2013.”
City Hall has continued to defend that they are strapped for cash and there is little or no aid coming to the Council from the government.
He said that the measures forwarded to the government by the Council to assist itself, has not been put in place.
Greene pointed out that it was a sad and sorrow state last week when “the new guru at City Hall organized a program, and neither the Mayor or Councilors were involved. That is the level of indecency, vulgarity and madness that we face.”
Mayor Greene also explained that the government has written to the Council saying that it has put in the budget money for tipping fees. This he said is “the fee attached to an agency- in this case the Municipality- for weights of garbage deposited to Haag Bosch, eight miles outside of Georgetown.”
“The government knows full well we are cash strapped, they have kept us this way. For every initiative taken by this Council to raise money, it was frustrated.”
In terms of Local Government Elections, Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase- Green was confident in her call for it to be held. She opined that, “none of us -APNU, AFC and quite sure the PPP is not afraid to go to the polls… so bring on elections, don’t bring an IMC.”
Local Government Election has also stirred much debate and arguments with blame being laid on the opposition for not wanting it. Similarly, the opposition has tossed blame back at the government who they say, are the ones who fear local polls
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