Renovation works to be investigated City Council Roundup
by Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
February 4, 2002

City Hall is to seek the services of a Quantity Surveyor to investigate the renovation works now being carried out on the building housing the City Engineer's department.

The decision was taken at last Monday's statutory meeting when Deputy Mayor Robert Williams, of A Good and Green Guyana (GGG) party and councillors Rocky Mann, Prabhodial Sattan, Rudolph Harris of the PPP/C raised a number of questions some of them accusatory on the way in which the renovation works were being done.

Councillor Harris in his usual over aggressive style of debate... (his voice carries far beyond the confines of the City Hall chamber)... alleged that vehicles have been seen by him removing building materials from the compound, using the Charlotte entrance.

'I monitor this place night and day...' said he. Councillors Mann and Sattan questioned the large cost overruns for the completion of the building on Charlotte street and the Avenue of the Republic, while referring to documents prepared by the City Engineer's department. Deputy Mayor Williams who is also chairman of the council's finance committee referred to a voucher which had been presented to him for the approval of $192,000 for the purchase of windows from someone residing on the East Coast Demerara, for his signature. He did not sign.

The Deputy Mayor wanted to know "how the same people who are doing the work under the council's special projects programme which falls within the City Engineer's Department could monitor, assess and then approve the works... this is an abuse..."

Mayor Green then suggested that a Quantity Surveyor be called into look at "what is going on not only at the City Engineer's building but at other works being undertaken under the special projects programme." When PNC/R and former Mayor Ranwell Jordan asked for the officer in charge of the project to be questioned by councillors he was told by the Mayor that she was not available. The chief constable Gail George was unable to explain why there was no security at the site at the time. She has been ordered to submit a report to the Town Clerk.

Promenade Gardens Security
The disappearance of the third set of vapour lamps from the Promenade Gardens and a lone female guard to police the facility during the nights sparked the ire of the councillors from all sides of the horseshoe table last Monday, with the PNC and GGG city mothers' leading the attack. The lamps were gifts to city hall. GGG councillor Patricia Chase-Green who raised the matter said lots of things are taking place in the Promenade Gardens adding that someone must pay for the loss. The unanswered question was "why a lone female guard was on duty at the time during the night shift... according to the Deputy Mayor... Thank God she is alive..." It was this guard who discovered the missing lamps.

The PNC/R's Phyllis Beckles enquired "what time the woman guard was visited during her watch", telling her colleagues... "We are guilty for leaving that woman alone in the gardens..." When she took over the lamps were there.

The `chief citizen' in summing up the debate declared... "the ineffectiveness of the constabulary is a major problem of this administration..."

Peace Ambassador
Mayor Green is going on his first trip for the year to South Korea.

He has been invited to take part in a World Federation for Peace- sponsored convention (put on by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church) which will be discussing world peace, after being identified by the organisers as an ambassador for peace in the world... The `chief citizen' at last Monday's statutory meeting urged councillors to assist him in the formulation of his presentation to the convention, while at the same time appealing to them to give him an appropriate per diem. His hotel and travel expenses will be taken care of by the organisers. The theme is `The role of business, economic and financial institutions in establishing a culture of peace'. The convention begins on February 14, 2002.

****It's been brought to my attention that there are no lights installed at the Bourda Green, where breakages of stalls are now a regular feature and a headache for members of the constabulary... but there are bright lights on the Mall from Cummings to Light streets.

****Chief Constable, why aren't the opening and closing hours of the Mall from Alexander street to Bourda street being adhered to?.. Is it true that some stall holders have their own keys to the dilapidated gates? Could the administration explain why certain businessmen are allowed to use the pavements on Robb street to display and sell their goods?

Members of the city police are now equipped with long batons, but more training is needed to teach them how to carry them. Some constables still use them as walking sticks.