– But City Council claims there was no aggression
Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green, was recently chided by the Alliance For Change (AFC) for her “unwarranted attack” on Deputy Mayor and AFC member, Sherod Duncan.
In a missive to the media, the party said that it is both alarmed and disturbed by reports that the Mayor sought to blame Duncan for taking misinformation to the public on the parking meter contract and causing civil unrest.
The party went on to state that an attack on Duncan is, invariably, an attack on the AFC.
The AFC insisted that it is unquestionably the initial and continued secrecy, lack of transparency surrounding the contract, the bad negotiating, lack of consultation with the people and poor implementation, which are among the main reasons for the widespread rejection of the metered parking initiative.
The Party said, “It is the view of the party that it is in fact the Mayor along with the Town Clerk and those who were secretly involved in negotiating and signing off on this sordid contract, who must take responsibility rather than seek to cast blame elsewhere.”
Speaking with this newspaper recently, Duncan weighed in on the behaviour of the Mayor.
He said, “I think the Mayor has not done well to represent the coalition at the local government level. Her tirade at our recent Statutory Meeting is unfortunate as well as her actions as regards the parking meter contract.”
The Deputy Mayor said that Chase-Green over the last few months has been deliberate in locking the AFC Councilors out of caucuses.
He added, “And like her actions on many other issues, we have to be surprised by events when we go to Council meetings to transact the people’s business.”
Duncan stressed that the recent Statutory Meeting was no different. He explained that the Mayor led a move to suspend the Standing Orders to deliberate on, what in the view of some, were “untruths” being peddled in the media, and very subjectively so.
He stressed that a fundamental right in democratic societies, is the right to a fair hearing and associated with that is the right to time to prepare a defence.
“So the Standing Orders were suspended to discuss the parking meter amendments, but the only copy of the alleged amendments in the Chamber was a copy of the one the Mayor had,” Duncan pointed out.
He said that this has often been the style of the Mayor; to discuss documents, copies of which she alone would have possession. Duncan said that even the By-laws travelled the same course.
The Deputy Mayor said, “Seventy pages of By-laws arrived out of nowhere and we’re to tweak and move along. This is not good enough. The Mayor has to have a different approach to the people’s business.”
While the AFC has spoken against the Mayor’s disposition, the City Council issued a statement on Wednesday stating that there was no attack on Duncan.
The Council reminded that under the Municipal District and Councils Act Chapter 28:01, the Mayor has the right and the authority to encourage members of the council to conduct themselves in a way that would lead to the development and progress of the Council and the city as a whole.
Moreover, the Council said that it is governed by a system of laws, regulations and standing orders; and members ought to faithfully adhere to and comply with these Statutory and legal arrangements.
The Council said, “Also, this very Act gives the Mayor the authority and tools to address inappropriate behaviour and actions of members. No one attacked the Deputy Mayor at that Statutory or any other meeting of the Council.”
The Council said that remains fully committed to its decisions and actions to improve conditions in Georgetown.
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