Dear Mr. Editor
I was fortunate prior to retirement from the Public Service, to have worked under the stewardship of a number of individuals who insisted on excellence. First among these was Mr. Rafiq Khan, then Programme Director and Broadcaster par excellence of Radio Demerara, in my first job as an assistant librarian. Subsequently, I had as Permanent Secretaries Messieurs ‘Barry’ Vigilance, Martin De Abreu and Charwin Burnham. They insisted that a high standard of work and not mediocrity be performed by their subordinates. Another individual, Mr. Hutton Griffith would tell his subordinates that you are being paid a certain sum to do a job and you must perform to an expected standard, or else leave the job. It was a recent reflection on a delay of one year in the processing of an application for an extension and renovation to the City Council, which has caused me to compare the times when Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) were the basis for awards to public servants of that then meagre monthly incremental pay increase.
When I was in the state of Georgia, USA last year, I contacted the office of the City of Stonecrest, Dekalb County which municipality was twinned with the City of Georgetown in 2018. I questioned an employee thereof about the time it took that office to process and approve an application for the construction or renovation of a residential house. I was informed that procedure could take about two weeks and if there was a query, it could extend to about three weeks. My application is lingering at City Hall since May/June 2019 and I was informed on 2nd June 2020 that two named individuals Messieurs Bancroft and Gladd would be visiting the site Thursday 4 of June to take some measurements. No one turned up and I was not afforded the courtesy of a call to explain the reason for their failing to keep the appointment. Any excuse about COVID-19 would be utter balderdash.
As a senior citizen in his early eighties, who has contributed in great measure to the development of this country and my community, I consider this and other irritants grossly reprehensible. I continue to ask what benefits did the City of Georgetown receive from the twinning exercise with a small first world city named Stonecrest. It is far from satisfactory to call the Public Relations Officer at City Hall and to be answered just ‘hello’. The matter which I was raising with that person was a matter which the City Council has neglected to address for a number of decades and it doesn’t call for the intervention of Mr. Jean Drepeau former mayor of Montreal, whose management style mayors worldwide should strive to emulate.
For years on end, a majority of residents citywide have blatantly refused to dispose of their garbage in a responsible manner. The sad thing about this shortcoming is that City Hall and the garbage collectors have refused to do anything constructive about it. When one observes a householder emptying the remains from a cooking utensil and eating wares directly into their garbage bins, one wonders what sort of upbringing they were exposed to when growing up. Furthermore, what sort of logic would they bring to the fore about such remains being exposed to the elements for a week when their bins do not have holes in their bottoms. I had years ago called into a programme called ‘Georgetown on the Move’ and queried of the host if she had ever been caught in traffic behind a garbage truck in the city. She was at a loss to appreciate the reference. But then the drudge being let out from a compacted garbage truck does not amaze anyone in a community with the attendant stench. These resounding shortcomings of the City’s offices are not confined to the foregoing. I often wonder when and where is the forum for citizens to express their concerns about other issues which need rapt attention by City Hall. I refer to a letter dated 22nd November, 2017 written to the Mayor concerning an injury, which I received due to the roughness of the approach to the bridge leading to the crèche from Croal Street to South Road. The letter alluded to an elevated right diaphragm which resulted and a reply from City Hall was received June 19, 2019 to the effect that the matter was being addressed. The condition of the pavement on the northern side of Regent Street right across from City Hall is in a similar decrepit condition just waiting for a senior citizen like me to stumble and fall flat. I ask again where is the medium for these issues to be put to the Council and be urgently addressed by the City. How can the City Hall not address the extension to the left extreme seat of the second row in minibuses which are lengthened to accommodate an extra passenger and results in one having to perform a dog leg when exiting or boarding a bus.
The falling away of the parapet at bus stops greatly exacerbates the possibility of one stumbling before getting both feet firmly onto the parapet. There is no consideration about the noise nuisance emanating from motorcycles with their silencers adjusted to create pandemonium at a time when one should be enjoying some quietude. This nuisance is committed by a generation of youths who would not take the time to listen to the Jeopardy nightly programme where their limited general knowledge could be widened. Rank hooliganism like that recently exhibited on Homestretch Avenue is the name of the game. Some of these same individuals who are engaged in the hire car business cannot determine a particular house address if they observe two sequenced lot numbers on either side of a street. Is it not time for the public transportation routes to be revisited?
The death of entities like the Police Male Voice Choir Assembly Rooms, Militia Band, Maranatha Choir, and Princessville Orchestra has had a debilitating effect on what a number of our citizens then regarded as elegance or sophistication. One just has to observe the paucity in the attendance of leading figures in the society at concerts at St. George’s Cathedral or the National Cultural Centre. Then, the fora for such activities outside of the capital city is non-existent. Until we have individuals at the helm of our affairs who appreciate the promotion of the performing arts and would have been told by their parents of appearances by Mr. Rudolph Dunbar et al, our society would continue to be steeped in the ‘bum bum’ culture.
Are there individuals from the City Council who are identified to look in the welfare of sections of the city and when do they carry out visits to these areas? How many years has the Groyne jetty given opportunities for anglers to throw a line and why is the jetty at Kitty coated with moss heightening the possibility of a fatal accident by drowning? On the 10th June 2020, yours truly had to undertake the removal of para-grass which growth had encroached on the parapet on Lamaha Street between Waterloo and Camp Streets, (see photographs). Who cares about the environment when members of the diplomatic corps have to volunteer to clean our seawall frontage of garbage thrown there by some uncaring set of citizens? Just take a peek at Manget Place behind St. Stanislaus College bordering the Police Compound and observe the vermin in the gutter. This is a stone’s throw from the Ministry of Public Security. Those same people enjoy dumping discarded old gas stoves and cardboard barrels in alleyways and then complain about flooding. Many young people would not have known of the halcyon days of Major ‘Snakehips’ Henwood and Harry Mayers, when Georgetown was so clean, we could have boasted about it. I have not heard from any city father of a clarion call for a Georgetown Symphony Orchestra or a call for suggestions for attractions to be installed in the Promenade and Botanic Gardens for the entertainment of visitors – why not? And there are so many which can be made.
I thank the heavens that I am now enjoying after a number of decades, a consistent quality of electrical power supply with the minimum of short-lived blackouts. As a senior citizen and retired public servant and Afro-Guyanese, I look forward to the implementation of subsidized medication for illnesses which my race is known to suffer from. I recently observed the Public Phannacy in Georgia publicizing the dispensing of such medication free of charge.
Aug 10, 2020By Sean Devers Thirteen years older than his 22-year-old opponent, undefeated Guyanese born Lennox ‘2 Sharp’ Allen stepped into the ring for the biggest fight of his 16 years as a professional...
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