Apr 02, 2016 News
…has new council after 22 years
By Jarryl Bryan
After years as Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green was elevated
to the Mayorship, with Sherod Duncan being elected to serve as her Deputy Mayor. They were elected unopposed by the 30 councillor elects of the Georgetown Municipality, who took their oaths of office at City Hall yesterday.
Mayor Chase-Green now follows Dorothy Bailey, Beryl Simon and Mavis Benn as the female Mayors of Georgetown.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, congratulated them and promised the support of central Government. However, he gave a sober warning that they were there to serve their constituencies and Georgetown in general.
Bulkan made it clear that if they did not perform to the expectations of citizens, then they could be expected to be removed by the electorate come 2019.
The councillors are Heston R. Bostwick, Tamashwar Budhoo, Carolyn A. Caesar, Noelle Chow-Chee, Oscar Clarke, Welton D. Clarke, Sherod Duncan, Yvonne Ferguson, Malcolm ‘Wickedee’ Figueira, Gregory Fraser, Junior Garrett, Carlyle Goring, Patricia Chase-Green, Linda Gomes-Haley, Winston Harding, Ivelaw Henry, Lyndon Hilliman, Salima Bacchus-
Hinds, Lionel Jaikaran, Bishram Kuppen, Desiree Liverpool, Andrea Marks, Alfred Mentore, Roopnarine Persaud, Akeem Peter, Trichria Richards, James Samuels, Phillip Nathaniel Smith, Monica Thomas and Sophia Whyte.
These councillors-elect all took their solemn oaths to serve, with Town Clerk, Royston King officiating. When this was completed, the time came for nominations for Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, as well as members of the council’s Finance Committee.
Veteran People’s National Congress (PNC) member Oscar Clarke, nominated Chase-Green. There were no other nominees and after the councillors agreed to close nominations, Chase-Green rose to receive her accolades as Georgetown’s new Mayor.
The next order of business was to nominate a Deputy Mayor. Nominations in favour of Sherod Duncan as Deputy Mayor came from Trichria Richards, the youngest Georgetown councillor. There were no other nominees and ‘Captain Clean’, as Duncan is called, was accordingly applauded as Deputy Mayor.
The Finance Committee for City Hall was also voted in. Oscar Clarke replaced Junior Garrett as Chairman of the Committee, while Garrett returned to the committee as a member. The other members are Yvonne Ferguson, Ivelaw Henry, Alfred Mentore, Sophia Whyte and Linda-Gomes Haley.
The next statutory meeting for the new Council will be on April 11, next, at 14:00hrs.
The Finance Committee is likely to have several matters on its agenda immediately. The start of yesterday’s events was marred by several city cleanup workers who were loud in demanding that they be paid for labour they provided some seven weeks ago.
According to the workers, they worked several blocks in the city spanning from Alberttown to Main Street, under a contractor, Roland Hudson. They claimed that despite doing their duties, they were not paid; they stated that the contractor would not return their calls and would generally avoid them.
“When we call he, he turn off he phone,” one worker, who was visibly distressed, said. “When we go by he gate, he lock up. We give he another month, and today we decide to come down to the media. You know what he tell that lady there? Yall could do what yall want to do!”
“I want pay my tax so when I get old, I can feel (responsible). I got to pay Courts. They will come and take out my fridge out my house and I will have to buy back a fridge. I have two children, a three and one year old. They don’t care about that. They don’t care about nobody!”
Speaking to the media after the elections, Chase-Green said that this matter will be addressed by the Finance Committee as the first matter on its agenda. The Mayor said that it can meet at any time from its formation to determine the way forward and who will sign the vouchers to pay off contractors and those owed money.
She acknowledged that nonpayment was an old issue. For the past two weeks the council was not functioning and was not signing off on the necessary payment documents.
She stated that this was the case with the old Finance Committee after the March 18 Local Government Elections (LGE).
Chase-Green also affirmed that with the new committee in place, they will have to know from the old council what assets and liabilities they would be inheriting. While she acknowledged that she was there before, the fact that there were new councillors who would have questions for the old committee meant that they could not just operate like it was business as usual.
She also expressed the hope that the council will work as a team for the benefit of Georgetown and that councillors will come on board with that mentality. In addition, Chase-Green promised fervently to consult with her constituency in decision making.
Acknowledging that she was the fourth female Mayor, she described it as a great feeling. She was adamant that she, “will not forget the road I have walked” and acknowledged that she would have to consult with her constituency in every decision that is made.
Asked how she will facilitate inclusiveness in the Council, considering the different parties making up the councillors, Chase-Green was adamant that all the parties will have a say since there will be different committees.
“My first consultation will be with all the councillors. We will sit and determine the way forward because every constituency would have been promised something. We have to look at it and decide how we will fulfill those promises made to our constituencies.”
“We are a team and I hope no party politics will intervene,” she continued. “We are past the negative. We want to see Georgetown move. All the young people would have come in with a lot of expectations. And they would like those expectations to be met. I am happy to work with both young and old councillors.”
LGEs were last held in 1994. Since then, the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration neglected to hold further elections and councillors around the country remained in their post. In addition, former Mayor Hamilton Green remained unchanged for the majority of that time.
Chase-Green is a nurse by profession. She first joined City Hall in 1992. After years of what she has described as a broken system, she was able to preside over a massive cleanup campaign in the city after May, 2015.
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