The residents of the municipality of Georgetown have not been doing enough for the wellbeing of the city, to adequately support the work of the Mayor and City Council. This is according to Mayor Ubraj Narine, who met with members of the media for the first time yesterday, after two weeks of being in office.
The Mayor said that the people expect difference, accountability and transparency, and that they will get that. However, he said that the people need to work more with the council, to bring their specific needs to the forefront at the grassroots level.
“As a young politician, [I see that] yes, there are things that occurred before, but I feel that the citizens for Georgetown need to do more in terms of cooperating with council. Come in; let us have discussions. Let us see how we can help you, to waive your taxes, or how we can draft something so you can pay it, so we can have a better communication and understanding of what we’re going to do.”
“We need to build bridges, not walls. If we’ve got that kind of cohesion between us, I want to indicate to the citizens of Georgetown that I am here to work with them, so we can have a better environment, and a better place.”
Asked about the statuses of the departments of City Hall, the Mayor said that he will not make any pronouncements until his visits to them are completed. Narine said that he has been putting the media off for a while, because he wanted “a full visit to different offices and departments attached to council,” and that those visits are not yet over.
“The council has many different departments, which I will go through phase by phase. I will not rush. I will not hurry because, as a young man, I believe in taking [my] time to do things.
He said that there are many projects he intends to prioritise, but declined to elaborate. He said that he would hold those off until the finance committee completes the 2019 budget.
“2019 budget was not prepared as yet by the finance committee. So when that budget comes to me, before it goes to council, I’ll vet it.”
Usually, annual budgets are to be completed by November of the previous year. However, since the new committee only took up office early this year, the budget has been delayed. The mayor did not indicate when the budget would be completed.
Deputy Mayor Alfred Mentore said that it is difficult to answer, at this point in time, on the availability of a budget, and that the mayor has to depend on the various councilors to bring forward projects that are relevant to their respective constituencies.
“We will then dovetail those plans into a general plan, so our Mayor, then, will be able to give us an overall vision about where we’re going to go as a council.”
The Mayor urged the public to be patient: “I will approach things my way.”
Mayor Narine was elected to serve as Mayor of Georgetown, on November 30, 2018. He explained that his priorities include environmental protection, thriving businesses, opportunities for the young, and services for the city’s residents that are uncompromisingly excellent.
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