Gulf between Mayor, key officers widens City Council Round-up
With Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
January 21, 2002

The battle lines appear to have been drawn between Mayor Hamilton Green and the city council's officer corps.

The war of words involving the two sides now being fought in the media has shown a hardening of positions on how the council should run its affairs and where the power lies in getting things done to the satisfaction of citizens.

The mayor at a news conference on January 4, 2002 turned his guns on the Town Clerk Mrs Beulah Williams, the city engineer Mr Cephas James and the Public Relations Officer Mr Royston King, accusing them of not carrying out the decisions of the council.

The Town Clerk according to the `chief citizen' refuses to respond to his queries, which are, sent to her by way of memos..." certain people feel that they are untouchable..." Mayor Green declared.

Before the points raised by Mayor Green could be assimilated by those who followed reports on the news conference, the PRO fired back in defence of himself, the Town Clerk and the city engineer.

According to a report in this newspaper Mr King pointed to several inaccuracies in the mayor's media statement.

According to the PRO he is not aware of any decisions by the council, which was not implemented, noting that some of these decisions are in the process of being executed. It is now left to the other 29 councillors who sit around the horseshoe table at City Hall to prove the veracity of this response.

In her New Year's message the Town Clerk predicted 'great and exciting things for Georgetown"... while the mayor hoped that "2002 could be a turning point for the city... lifting it to glory..."

Though it may seem that the 'chief citizen' and the Town Clerk were in the same church and sitting in the same pew, they were obviously singing from different hymn books, as the new year broke with verbal attacks from the political head of the council and its officer corps. This development does not augur well for Georgetown's future improvement and development. At Monday's statutory meeting both councillors and officers came prepared for the latest bulletin from the battlefront, but the 'chief citizen' made no comment and looked serene in his cream shirt-jac suit, while the Town Clerk sported a new haircut which seemed to have matched the mayor's bald hairstyle.

Mr Hoyte's statement

Many city councillors from both sides of the horseshoe table are still smarting over the criticism by the leader of the Opposition Mr Desmond Hoyte that the council had achieved nothing over the years while in office and should be removed.

The statement first made on the GTV television programme One On One and reported in this newspaper was referred to by People's Progressive Party/C councillor Rocky Mann at Monday's statutory meeting, when he dealt with the mayor's promises after he first took over the political leadership of the council. The PPP/C's councillor who is never afraid to cross swords with the 'chief citizen' during meetings, pointed to some of the things done recently such as the improvement and resurfacing of many streets and roadways and the drainage programme with assistance from the government. But he blasted the mayor for not following up on many of his promises such as publicly recognising those householders who continue to keep their surrounding clean. They were to receive awards from the council.

Green, Hoyte and Clarke

Maintaining his cool over the Opposition Leader's statement, Mayor Green said that Mr Hoyte was not totally unreasonable in his comment, since he can only speak on information which is available to him which should come from "a one time close colleague of mine..." obviously referring to the leader of the PNC's faction on the council the party's general secretary councillor Oscar Clarke.

The way in which the mayor handled the matter left no room for other councillors to express their views one way or the other and it was laid to rest.


The council is to pay attention to a query from the Good and Green Guyana... councillor Patricia Chase-Green, about members of the city constabulary working at certain stores and businesses while off duty. Said she.... "it is wrong".

The council is now faced with another thorny issue... how to deal with the squatters on the old railway line along Lamaha Street. Mayor Green has taken the position that many of these squatters who have built cottages with concrete foundations on council's property without permission must remove for the cleaning of the drain along the street so as to allow a free flow of water to the outfall. It will be interesting to see how the tripartite council handles this situation... Oh, for a non-political administration at City Hall.