Jul 31, 2021 News
– Mayor says will not accept replacement
Kaieteur News – The Local Government Commission (LGC) recently demoted Georgetown’s Acting Town Clerk, Sherry Jerrick, to the position of Deputy Town Clerk, with Mayor, Ubraj Narine, saying that he will not accept the replacement, Candace Nelson, saying that no reason was given for the decision.
The Mayor made that disclosure at a press conference yesterday, which was held in his complex in the City Hall compound, Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown.
During his presser, the Mayor expressed his dissatisfaction with the Commission’s action to demote Jerrick and their decision to appoint interim Town Clerk, Nelson. The Mayor made it clear that the Council will not be accepting or addressing the Commission’s newly appointed Town Clerk.
He explained that the Council never requested or sent a complaint to the LGC in relation to Jerrick and as such, he questioned why she is being demoted without any reason given.
Narine added that Jerrick was Acting Town Clerk for almost two years and within her time in that position the Council had no issue with her. The Mayor believes that the Local Government Commission’s decision to remove Jerrick from her position is an action of injustice, especially since she executed her decisions fairly and the right procedures were followed. The City Mayor not only noted that he and the Council will not be accepting Nelson as the new Acting Town Clerk but also gave several reasons for their decision.
According to him, the Council had issues in the past with Nelson for a period of time, mainly because of her behaviour. He then made reference to when Nelson had stated that she will not be instructed by the Council. He also said that at the meeting when Nelson made that statement she was demoted to a substantive position as a training officer.
Mayor Narine also questioned what process was followed to appoint Nelson and stated that she is not qualified for the position. He further questioned why the Commission would demote Jerrick who he described as a professional to replace her with “incompetent people.”
The City Mayor also noted that the Commission should consider what they did and noted that there would be huge battles at the level of City Council due to the new appointment. Another reason why the Mayor said that he will not be accepting Nelson, is due to the fact that he believes that the Government wants to impose her on the Council – and added that he will not have any respect for Nelson.
Nelson’s appointment as the new Acting Town Clerk takes effect from July 28, 2021. However, the Mayor noted since then the interim Town Clerk was supposed to make contact with him but never did.
Moreover, the Mayor noted that some members of the Commission who are in contact with him related that Nelson’s appointment was never brought to a consideration at LGC meeting. He further noted that some Commissioners also have an issue with Nelson being the interim Town Clerk.
According to him, these Commissioners were not in favour with the decision but it was based on instruction from one of the Ministries, which he believes is the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.
Mayor Narine explained that prior to Jerrick’s demotion, on July 27, 2021; he received three letters from the LGC. He noted that the first letter is a notice of ‘Show Cause’ to Jerrick for an asset register, which he explained was produced to the Commission through their lawyer.
The Commission in return sent a letter to Jerrick stating that it will not pursuit any disciplinary actions against her in relation to the late submission of the asset register, even after an extended deadline was given.
The Mayor also explained that the asset register of the Council needed upgrading and noted that the register was upgraded before it was forwarded to the Commission. Narine then highlighted that the problem came after the LGC, in his words, reported the issue, prosecuted and acted as the judge of the matter.
He said the Commission failed to follow the right procedure. He then noted that the correct way to deal with any disciplinary action against any officer of the Council is that the Council will make a decision at a statutory meeting and allow the Town Clerk to write to the LGC secretariat after which the Commission will proceed with investigation.
However, in Jerrick’s case he said, the local government body did the reporting themselves, and took their own actions, which resulted in an injustice, the Mayor said.
As a result of the Commission’s actions, the City Mayor stated that they have filed a court action and they will have further discussion with their attorneys. In addition, the Mayor said he had also reached out to Julius Faber, the Chairman of LGC, twice requesting a meeting with him and his Commissioners. The Commissioners are, Clinton Collymore and Norman Whittaker – two former Ministers of Local Government; Trade Unionist, Carvil Duncan; former Town Clerk of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, Carol Sooba; former Region Four Chairman, Clement Corlette; Ms. Joan-Ann Romascindo; and Nicola Denise Trotman.
Kaieteur News yesterday made contact with Nelson, who stated that she is unaware of the Mayor’s press conference and what he discussed. As such, Nelson added that she will refrain from making any comment until she reads the article.
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