By Ralph Seeram
The circus at the Georgetown City Council is real; only in Guyana can one find two Town Clerks, an impotent Mayor and City Council, and a confused work force wondering who really to accept orders from, who is in charge?
Throw in an arrogant “Town Clerk” who locked the City Chamber forcing the Mayor and Councilors to hold meeting in the yard, add to the mix a judge who said the appointment of Carol Sooba is illegal, but she can stay on the job.
Then in Parliament you heard one of the most stupid statements emanating from a Government Minister, Works Minister Benn. He won’t reduce the Berbice Bridge tolls unless it’s an economic benefit. Well pardon my ignorance, I am no economist, but only an idiot will not recognize that a reduction in the tolls will be an immediate economic benefit to the people in Berbice.
Perhaps he is thinking of the friends of the PPP who control the Berbice River Bridge and who are reaping handsome returns from the exorbitant tolls.
So reducing tolls on cars, especially hire cars, leading to reduced fares to passengers will not be a benefit to poor travelers; reducing the tolls on trucks will not result in reduced cost of groceries for the people in Berbice; reduced tolls will not result in increased traffic over the bridge, which will result in increased revenue to its owners?
Adding to the insult of the public intelligence, most of the money that built the Bridge came from taxpayers, whether directly or indirectly, be it Government or its agencies, not to mention that the people own the river that the bridge spans.
In Florida, I can travel more than 200 miles on a toll road for about the same US$11.00 that a car is being charged to cross a less than one-mile bridge. The logic is, the toll is the same as the old boat fare with five persons in the car. Not every car crosses the bridge with five persons; not every car is a taxi, and that is the low end of the toll. We are not talking about trucks and larger vehicles.
The Berbice River Bridge toll has probably one of the highest tolls in the world.
Now we return to the circus at City Hall. Did you see the picture of Carol Sooba pulling the microphone cord from another speaker in the Chambers? Did you ever watch her on television speaking? The woman comes across as uncouth, arrogant and unintelligent. Does anybody really know what this woman’s qualifications are?
We are told that she was the least qualified yet she was imposed on the people of Georgetown. Did she ever run a “cake shop” much less a municipality? When I was in Guyana I covered Town Council meetings for years, as far as I know the Town Clerk takes orders from the Mayor and Council. This woman is the opposite.
Now don’t get me wrong; I am not defending Hamilton Green, the Mayor, who now knows what it is to be a toothless tiger. I remember the PNC days when Hammie had his “tooth”. Those days he was “power drunk”. With guns he went displacing people off their lands. Those were the PNC days.
What I am defending is the Office of the Mayor and Council, not the holders of the office. Sooba thinks that she is more important than the Office. From where does the PPP find these characters?
Does the PPP feel that it is winning more voters by putting these unqualified party hack in positions? Let this woman disclose what her qualifications are. Is she ashamed to disclose it publicly?
Maybe she only has a PPP card, and I hope I am wrong. To show this woman has no shame she brought a person of questionable character to be a “bodyguard”. More like trying to intimidate people because of the unsavory character of the “bodyguard”.
I ask again, does the PPP really think it is winning people over with idiots like Sooba and that other clown from the Office of the President?
This entire debacle rests on the PPP shoulders. The Country has had three general elections, but cannot hold a Local Government Election.
The PPP can end this circus by asking the citizens of Georgetown to elect who they wish to run the city. This should be held NOW to put an end to this foolishness. The PPP has a penchant to control everything, but it must realize that trying to control everything will lead to its demise come next elections.
Perception is everything; people vote by their perception, and the perception now is that the PPP is imposing an unqualified arrogant individual to run their city.
Yes you may wonder where Benn and Sooba get their arrogance from. Remember, they both drink from the same cup.
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