Even with two separate court rulings requiring the Georgetown Mayor and City Council to provide evidence as to why the parking meter contract should not be quashed, officials of City Hall are tapping the accelerator
on the project.
“As of Monday next, we will resume implementation of the parking meter project,” Mayor Patricia Chase-Green said during a pre-recorded press conference held yesterday at the National Communications Network (NCN).
The Mayor said that as far as she understands, the court orders do not prevent the council from continuing with the parking meter project at this time.
“There is not an injunction that stops us from operating,” Chase-Green maintained.
While it is certain that the paid parking will recommence in the new week, the issue of clamping errant vehicles is not too clear. This is even though State Minister Joseph Harmon announced definitively last week that the parking meter company – Smart City Solutions – and City Council, would stop clamping vehicles until public consultations are held.
After the pre-recorded programme, reporters surrounded Chase-Green to seek clarifications and ask questions that the limited programme time did not permit.
Asked about the clamping, the Mayor insisted that “Nobody said we’re starting back clamping on Monday.” However, Town Clerk Royston King then interrupted her to tell reporters, “We’re renewing our operations, and that will include tools that are available to us for non-compliance of our By-laws.” He shrugged off questions as to what these “tools” were.
But just then, Amir Oren, Business Director of Smart City Solutions, declared that clamping will indeed resume on Monday. But his words caused Mayor Chase-Green to immediately interrupt, saying “No, no, no, no, no! Don’t let them confuse you, Amir!”
“There is a difference. There will be immobilisation to give persons permission to pay for the parking space and time they would have occupied,” Chase-Green continued, adding that “Unlike the other times where you would have been paying a fine if you don’t pay for the time if you occupy the space, in this instance, if you are immobilized there, you would be given the opportunity to pay the $100, or $150 for whatever time it is you would have occupied, you would not be towed away.” Motorists, she said, will also be afforded an additional 15 minutes after their parking permits expire.
As it relates to the court cases, the first has to do with New Building Society (NBS), challenging the parking meters being erected outside its premises. The company said that it was an inconvenience as well as a security hazard for especially, customers.
In that instance, Justice Brassington Reynolds ordered Town Clerk, King and Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan to present, in the High Court on Monday, arguments as to why the parking meter project should not be quashed.
In the other matter, Chief Justice (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards also ordered the Town Clerk, and the Mayor and City Council to do the same. This case too, will come up before Justice Reynolds later in the month.
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