Mar 11, 2016 Letters
March 18, 2016 will soon be upon us, it will truly be the return to democracy because after twenty two (22) years we will have local government elections being held in Guyana. It will be historical for many Guyanese in that this will be their first time voting in such elections with a hybrid system of Proportional Representation and First Past the Post.
It is imperative that citizens come out and exercise their franchise so that they can elect the persons who they want to represent them on the various councils and municipalities. I make special reference to the City of Georgetown as I look forward towardsa new dispensation. However they are a few things which I need to highlight and bring to the fore which I think will give people an understanding of why they need to vote, why they need to vote for change in this election.
Mr. Hamilton Green in a discourse on television emphasized the need for our young people to be given the opportunity to serve at the local level now, since this serves as a training ground for higher level of governance. As I reflected I noted that our first Executive President served as a Councilor and Mayor of Georgetown in 1959 and 1964, Raphael Trotman the current Minister of Natural Resources served as a councilor in the year 1994, Basil Williams current Attorney General served as a councilor. Suffice to say Raphael Trotman was just 28 years old when he was a councilor, Forbes Burnham was in his 30’s, so these men were given an opportunity at ages where people can make important decisions.
I have argued in my previous letters to the media that it is time for new blood and leadership within the Mayorship and Councilors of the City of Georgetown. The time is opportune for a new dispensation; we experienced one on May 11, 2015 so I say let us ensure that March 18, 2016 is another new experience for us the citizens of Georgetown. I am opposed to any of the current councilors returning to serve on the new council since I believe that they would have served over twenty years and so most if not all of them have no new ideas and their way of thinking and modus operandi is outdated and so them returning would be very detrimental for the city of Georgetown. Many of them have become complacent, comfortable and sluggish and rather that city development, they seek self-gratification. Many of them would have sat there and colluded with officers in some strange operations and activities, many of them all they know about is cussing out and so for them I do not think they are capable of being part and particle of this new dispensation. There is the saying “you can take the pig out of the mud but you can’t take the mud out of the pig.”
Some of these councilors would have become so powerful to the extent they operate as ‘Gods’ rather than servants of the people. Many councilors have forgotten how they got there. They treat staff members with disrespect and are very hostile in some instances. There is a particular councilor who is on the campaign trail telling people they are doing things for them so they must ensure that they do for them come March 18 and more worst is that this councilor is professing to be running for Mayor of the City of Georgetown, so it is not Benschop alone saying that. It is important to note that no one runs for Mayor or deputy mayor, they all run for councilors.
I ask myself why must Oscar Clarke, Patricia Chase Greene, Andrew Garrett, Gregory Fraser, Monica Thomas, Randwell Jordon, and others return to the City Council of Georgetown, they would have served the city for a number of years, some of them would have made invaluable contributions to their friends and family while forgetting the citizens of Georgetown.
Mr. Editor now is the time for a new dispensation. Let us see the likes of Sherod Duncan, Martin Gaul, Akeem Peters, Abigail Brower, Malcolm Defreitas and others with new ideas and a new vision take their rightful place in city hall. Let those who would have served before move on, the time is now for our young people to take up the mantle of leadership, the time is now for young people to be at the helm of leadership at the local level.
Further Mr. Editor I would hope that good sense would prevail when the councilors meet to elect the new Mayor. I would like to see Mr. Sherod Duncan alleviated to that position, since I believe he is a visionary, he has good and positive ideas, he is well articulate and has sound judgement. As I listened to this young man at the debate I feel a sense of pride that we have young people who are capable of leadership now.
I am therefore urging the citizens of Georgetown to come out on March 18 and vote positively, vote for a new dispensation. On May 11, 2015, we came out in our numbers and we look forward for the same type of enthusiasm come March 18, 2016. The time is now for our young people to lead and not follow, we want new blood, we want new vision and aspirations and so come March 18. I and family will be out there voting for a new, young and visionary city councilors.
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