– says political uncertainty preventing Local Government elections
President Donald Ramotar, has broken his silence on matters hindering the effective operations of City Hall, referring to the entity as a total disaster.
The Head of State, at a press conference he held at State House gave this description as he responded to queries about his take on the state of affairs at the City Council.
In recent years, City Hall has had its fair share of controversy and, quite often has found itself being negatively highlighted in the media.
City Hall attracted numerous investigations including one done by Financial Analyst Ramon Gaskin.
A report from his investigation reflected that City Hall was riddled with fraud and corruption with big time pilfering at the very highest levels. Gaskin’s report suggested that the Mayor was in on a lot of what was going on at City Hall. He highlighted scrap metal fraud, fuel fraud and overtime fraud.
But recently, City Hall has attracted the media’s attention in a different way. Now, in addition to all that was going on before, City Hall has high drama.
Acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba, who was appointed by Former Minister of Local Government, Ganga Persaud and who Councilors refer to as unqualified, had locked the Mayor and Councilors out of the Council Chambers; preventing meetings and press conferences from taking place.
Sooba has also hired a bodyguard claiming that her life is threatened.
On Saturday the President told the media that what is going on at City Hall is saddening. He noted while all the negatives are taking place at City Hall, there is so much to be done around the City that isn’t being done at this point in time.
The Head of State advised that Mayor Hamilton Green, “show some maturity.”
The President said that from all that he has read and understood, Sooba is only trying to ensure accountability and the viability of the Council.
He said he doesn’t see why “they” should have a problem with that and create all the issues and tension “they” have been creating.
The President said that there are about 900 workers attached to the Mayor and City Council but “you don’t see all of them. There are some on special projects and I don’t know who or what they are being paid for, maybe political patronage that has been given at the level of the City Council…It is ridiculous and I think citizens should raise their voices more.”
Local Government Elections
Even as he acknowledged the dilemma of City dwellers who suffer in the absence of an effective Mayor and City Council, President Donald Ramotar said that he still cannot call Local Government Elections at this time.
He said, “It is not like we don’t want Local Government Elections but there is a certain level of uncertainty.”
Ramotar alluded to the impact of the Anti Money Laundering legislation “hitting home hard on economy.” He said too that he can’t just shut his eyes to the political reality.
He said he would have called Local Government Elections if his government had the majority in parliament.
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