Showdown looms between Green and Boyce

City Council Round Up
with Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
September 13, 1999

A showdown is expected at this afternoon's statutory meeting of the Georgetown City Council, between Mayor Hamilton Green, leader of the Good and Green Guyana (GGG) and one of the members of his party.

Councillor Anthony Boyce, who supported an unsuccessful motion at the last statutory meeting of the council, calling for new elections for a mayor and deputy following the extension of the life of the present council has found himself in hot water with the 'chief citizen'. He had seconded the motion which was in the name of councillor Desmond Moses, a member of the People's National Congress.

When the issue was raised, Mayor Green after a short exchange ruled that the motion was out of order. This ruling did not go down well with some GGG councillors including Patricia Chase-Green and attorney-at-law Llewellyn John. Since the meeting, the mayor sent a letter to councillor Boyce reminding him of a meeting held in the mayor's office on August 30, of a consensus reached among councillors.... "that in order for us to demand more from officers and the public, individual councillors must at all times act with propriety, be within the law, preserve the integrity of the Municipality and maintain the dignity, befitting a member of the Georgetown City Council..."

The mayor's letter related how he observed "a new operation on the reserve on Mandela Avenue between Hadfield and D'Urban streets.." Upon enquiry of the man who said he was carrying on the operation, the 'chief citizen' said he was told the permission was granted for the operation of a cane juice stand, by the GGG councillor. During the meeting with the mayor, councillor Boyce is reported to have said that he did give permission to the man, but that both the structure and business belonged to the GGG councillor and that the man involved was merely councillor Boyce's agent. According to the mayor's letter the councillor's action is a "serious infringement since you neither revealed your personal interest in this area, nor drew council's attention to it, during the several discussions that took place, dealing with illegal squatting and occupancy of the public reserves...."

"This is inexcusable", the letter noted. Mention was also made in the mayor's letter to councillor Boyce of "other reports of similar infringements..." by the GGG councillor.

In the final paragraph, Mayor Green made this point.. "I hope you share the view that this behaviour pattern is incompatible with membership of the city council...."

I have been informed that Mayor Green has already moved to take further action against councillor Boyce by sending a letter to the Chief Election Officer seeking the removal of the GGG councillor. In 1994 all the GGG councillors with the exception of the leader were called upon to sign letters of resignation minus the date. These are now in the possession of Mayor Green. Councillor Boyce has vowed to attend this afternoon's statutory meeting and sit among the GGG councillors.

The Stabroek Market What's really going on at the Stabroek market...Mr Mayor..? The on- again off-again repair works on the eastern canopy needs to be explained. When I visited the market last Saturday whatever work had been done during the week had come to a standstill and no one, engineer or city constable was around to shed any light on the progress of the repairs. During last week the minister for municipal matters, Mr Clinton Collymore announced on television that the government intends to be involved in the Stabroek market rehabilitation while referring to the Inter-American Development Bank's urban rehabilitation programme, which is still to be launched.

Mayor Green is on record as saying that the city council would be hard-pressed to find funds to carry out the repairs even to the eastern section of the market and had told his colleagues around the horseshoe table that he had raised the matter during a meeting with the new President. The 'chief citizen' had acknowledged that the council also lacks the manpower to do the job.

From what Minister Collymore has said the rehabilitation of the Stabroek market has been brought to the attention of the government and something needs to be done. What has not been made clear by the minister, is who will have full responsibility for carrying out the restructuring hall or minister Collymore and his team of engineers? Meanwhile, the displaced vendors are left to suffer, being left in the open to the elements on Water Street. As for those stallholders in the market, complaints abound about a drop in business with the closure of some of the gates on the eastern section of the facility. Last month the 'chief citizen' at a statutory meeting invited councillors to visit the Stabroek market to update themselves on the repair works. I wonder how many of them took up this invitation. To ensure their presence, Mr Mayor, why not arrange for this month's stipends to councillors to be paid outside Stabroek market. It seems that though both minister Collymore and Mayor Green are in the same church, they are singing from different hymn books....Let's get with the rehabilitation job and not leave it until the twenty-first century.

A thank you note At last there has been some improvement in the state of that section of Peter Rose street, in Queenstown outside Herdmanston House, the residence of President Bharrat Jagdeo. The large potholes were covered after this column brought its deplorable state to the attention of the City Engineer's department.

Chief city engineer, Cephas James and his team still have to tackle the deteriorating streets in several parts of the city, the cutting of high grass and bush along the streets of the capital as well as the cleaning of drains and alleyways, not forgetting the immediate removal of grass and bush from the parapets.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples