The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has slammed the government over statements which accuse the agency of being against the $500,000 the government has allocated for the Georgetown cleanup, but was not given to the Council.
Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green told Kaieteur News that the government could keep its money, but that it needs to consult with the Council.
Chase- Green reiterated that the government continues to disregard the Council and citizens in the decision-making process, whilst they continue to micro-manage the capital. She is adamant that the money allocated for Georgetown should not be a one off exercise with no maintenance plan.
Rohee had told the media last week that the Council will not be getting the money designated for the city, because the Mayor has an established track record for mismanaging the council and its funds. He said that under Mayor Hamilton Green’s tenure, “Georgetown has become a garbage city as the Mayor continues to mismanage the Council and gobble up the city’s resources.”
He said, “The Mayor and his sidekick Deputy Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, can learn an invaluable lesson on how to manage and run an effective local democratic organ from other PPP/C administered municipalities as well as the wider Caribbean.”
Rohee said, also, that he has urged the government against putting the budgeted $500 M in the hands of the Mayor and Councilors “especially in view of their sordid fraudulent record of mismanagement and unaccountability at City Hall.”
He recommended that the cleanup campaign be outsourced.
The Deputy Mayor is adamant, however, that the city does not need another cleanup campaign. “It requires a comprehensive plan to restore the health of the city and to advance its interests.”
She said that she is even more concerned about the blatant disregard for the Council which would be most informed about what the city needs. This, she said, is why discussions and consultations are necessary for the campaign to achieve its objectives.
“At City Hall our challenge is not to clean the city but to keep it clean. Therefore, the city needs more than clean up and ‘Pick it up’ campaigns.”
She continued that from the looks of things no thought was given to sustaining the city, “otherwise $500 million of taxpayers’ money would be wasted, in another one-off campaign to clean the streets of the capital.”
Chase-Green added that citizens were not involved in the decision-making process and therefore, “they are not obliged to participate or cooperate with the campaign. The success of such a campaign depends heavily on the cooperation of residents.
“In a genuine democracy, that money would have been given to the city with the necessary checks and balances for proper accountability.”
In relation to Rohee’s statement on the Mayor’s mismanagement, Chase-Green said that “the Mayor and Councilors are policy makers. They do not handle cash or sign off cheques; the council’s finances are managed and expended by the Administration.
“If the various reports of the council are checked, it would be noticed that, councilors, are the ones who initiate all the inquiries into mismanagement of council’s resources by the Administration. Councilors were never accused of misappropriation of council’s funds.”
Chase-Green charged that the government “is obsessed with micro- managing the City Council as they are doing in those NDCS where they have crudely replaced duly elected local bodies with hand-picked Interim Management Committees.
“But even those committees are experiencing great difficulties; flooding, improper disposal and inadequate collection of their waste; untidy parapets and other very serious public health problems. So the challenges we face in the city are not unique to Georgetown; they are countrywide.”
The Deputy Mayor reiterated that an assessment showed years ago that it would take over a billion dollars to vitalize our drainage and pumps systems in the city alone; it is therefore wise to get all parties involved, she urged.
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