PNC/R councillor, city employee in slapping incident
Disciplinary action being sought
City Council round up
with Cecil Griffith
April 23, 2001
Mayor Hamilton Green says that up to yesterday there had been no response from the leadership of the People's National Congress REFORM (PNC/R) on the future membership of one of the party's councillors.
The `chief citizen' had written the leader of the PNC/R group of councillors, Mr Oscar Clarke drawing his attention to an incident earlier this month, involving one of the party's councillors Rameshwar Ramsaroop.
According to reports, councillor Ramsaroop during a visit to the Town Clerk's office had a heated argument with a female member of staff, which ended up with an exchange of slaps to the face with the councillor taking the initiative. One eyewitness said the employee was ready to counter any further attack as she reached for one of her shoes, while a senior officer in the Town Clerk's office intervened.
At the last statutory meeting of the council, the mayor informed councillors that "a member has acted in a manner unbecoming of a councillor and the unions have called on me to intervene which is justified."
"We should express our disquiet and ask the appropriate authorities to take condign action," the `chief citizen' continued.
This column has been informed that mayor Green sent the letter to the PNC/R general secretary Clarke who is also the leader of his party's faction on the city council. The letter, a copy of which has been sent to the party's leader, seeks their assistance in settling the matter.
The Guyana Local Government Officers Union has also sent a letter to the PNC REFORM leader Mr Desmond Hoyte requesting his intervention and calling for the removal of councillor Ramsaroop from the council.
When the Ramsaroop matter was raised the PNC REFORM councillors who had turned up for the meeting were summoned to Congress Place for what was described by one councillor as a `briefing'. The date was March 9.
Councillor Anthony Boyce, a member of the Good and Green, Guyana (GGG) from his experience at the last statutory meeting of the council may now come to realise that silence is golden. The councillor rose to speak on the final accounting of monies collected during the last Mashramani parade with special attention being paid to the fees paid by stallholders along the Mash route. A report by the social development committee revealed disappointment "in the amount garnered from the allocation `spots' and `bar'." The committee was unable to recommend payments to all those employees who were detailed to work during Mash day.
Councillor Boyce who is a regular attendee at statutory meetings but has assumed the leadership of the silent majority, avoids making contributions to any debate while the leader of his party is in the mayoral chair.
On this occasion he attempted to respond to oblique references to person or persons who had been involved in the Mash day arrangements and the collection of fees.
But he was swiftly sent to Coventry by the `chief citizen', who continued with the other matters on the agenda while the councillor remained on his feet seeking to be recognised by the `chair'.
Recognising the futility of his efforts to get a hearing, councillor Boyce took his seat. The GGG councillor, while other councillors and staff had left the meeting in the council chamber, took his grouse to anyone who would listen, as they gathered in the city hall compound. "Is this the behaviour of a city councillor...?" asked a visitor to city hall... my response was yes...
The soft sell
"There will be some dislocation.." declared mayor Green, when he addressed a large gathering of stallholders in the Stabroek market last week.
The `chief citizen' arranged the meeting to brief the small entrepreneurs on the rehabilitation plan for the Stabroek market and how they will be affected when work begins within the next few weeks,
The mayor was at his best when he interacted with the stallholders responding to their many questions which raised a number of concerns relating to their livelihood, displaying a genuine understanding of the issues ventilated and showing a willingness to work with them all the way. `Let us work together', was his rallying cry.
The assurance has been given by mayor Green that adequate security would be provided at the market when the rehabilitation work begins.
At the next meeting the mayor must insist that representatives from the construction company be present to interface with the stallholders ready to answer their questions of concern.
The Stabroek market according to mayor Green was built some 120 years ago at a cost of little more than $560,000 at that time.
Congrats to Mr Clinton Collymore, who retains his job as minister within the local government ministry. Let me venture to give some advice to the minister, whose background is journalism, your approach in the months ahead before local government elections must be more hands on and you must be ready at all times to deal with issues coming from the municipalities, especially Georgetown with dispatch. This was not the case in the past.