Oct 20, 2020 Letters
In Guyana, one often hears the term, “You have got to give Jack his Jacket”. And so I must say, that in terms of the Mayor of our capital, one must admit that since he has assumed office, there has been a significant reduction in the lavish exorbitance that was enjoyed by some through the misspending of property rates in the rampant duplicity, and well known profligacy, at City Hall.
Gone are the very expensive monthly overseas jaunts to the furthest corners of the world without any tangible returns as was undertaken by his predecessor, gone are the wasteful projects like the ‘Presidential Park’ on the Merriman’s Mall, gone are the luxury staff conferences and seminars at high end resorts around the country, gone are the mega billboards trumpeting what were deemed to be City Hall’s successes.
However, there seems to be considerable reluctance on the part of the Chief Citizen to reduce the bloated payroll and the plenitude of purposeless departments that siphons off so much money which the City badly needs.
Why does the City need a public relations department with a super salaried head and a ton of underutilized staffers that are lollygagging all day long? The citizens do not need window dressing, they are well aware of the realities and shortcomings of the municipality. Varnishing the truth about stray animals roaming the streets makes no sense, everyone would be better off if the stray animals were impounded, or mosquitoes were fogged or non-functioning street lights fixed, pot holes mended, or the Abattoir restored to working order, or the cemetery debushed, or the shuttered day care centres reopened. Having a public relations department that is paid millions of dollars each month to put up a façade that everything is bright and beautiful at City Hall makes no sense and it should be immediately disbanded.
Then there is the underperforming Personnel Section, which in such circumstances of low achievement any serious and progressive organization would have made the tough and sensible decisions of considering a new leader assimilation process and the educating and training the rest of the team to be able to successfully deliver, but what did they do? They aggrandized that section into a mega department promoting the same non performers to super salaried management positions and hired a number of persons to numerous high paying and non-essential positions causing the payroll to become even more turgid. This needs to be corrected by deflating the department back to a small but efficient section.
Additionally, the Council is also saddled with a huge nugatory internal audit section which is heavily staffed by persons who are highly paid, but which has never ensured that internal control processes are operating effectively within that organization. With the amount of fraudulent activity, corruption and systemic breaches that were discovered by external sources over time, is it not time that this section be demobilized and dissolved and the services of a competent audit company be contracted when needed?
Mr. Mayor it is time for some layoffs, downsizing, and outsourcing at City Hall, if services are to improve.
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