Details of overseas visits to be presented
City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
July 1, 2002
The city council's international committee, whose chairman is Mayor Hamilton Green, is to prepare and present details relating to the two visits last month by teams comprising councillors and officers to Cuba and Miami in the United States.
At the last statutory meeting of the council, People's National Congress/R councillor Zaman Ali wanted to know the make-up of the two teams one of which was headed by Mayor Hamilton Green and the other by Deputy Mayor Robert Williams.
Councillors are also to question the financial costs to the council for the visits. The 'chief citizen' described the talks his delegation held with the Cubans as successful and was loud in his praise for the way in which municipal affairs are conducted and the positive results especially in the field of Public Health.
The possibility exists for persons selected by the council being sent to Cuba for training in Public Health and learning the Spanish language.
In Miami the delegation headed by the Deputy Mayor met with a number of mayors and city officials and discussed areas of collaboration between the municipalities in Georgetown and Miami. Meetings were also held with US businessmen with promises for Georgetown to be supplied with the necessary equipment for improving the lighting system in the city.
The government has paid over $75M in outstanding taxes to City Hall, and is expected to follow this up with another payment by month end (July).
The Deputy Mayor, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, at the meeting pleaded with the government to make available as soon as possible the $16M subvention to the council. The sprucing up of the capital for this week's CARICOM summit is evidence that City Hall has the resources to do a good job with additional assistance from government. Taxpayers are however asking... "why only now"?
The rehabilitation of Stabroek Market is still to be completed according to a report which is now in the hands of city 'fathers' and 'mothers'.
The report noted that additional variations by the consultant costing some $40M have caused an extension in the handing over date which was to be May 15, 2002.
The Inter-American Development Bank has an input in the funding of the rehabilitation programme. The works are being undertaken by a local contractor.
Meanwhile, the area east of the market continues to pose a serious if not hazardous traffic problem as well as a health threat where food, and locally made drinks are sold by day and night, in the open.
The Deputy Mayor has warned his colleagues around the horseshoe table at City Hall of the need for a welfare office to be attached to the city constabulary.
"This department has problems, which must be addressed now..."
The council was at the time discussing the behaviour and attitude of some members of the city police while on the job. Absenteeism was also a matter of concern to councillors. At the last statutory meeting the chief constable was called upon to explain and answer questions on the performance of her department. As a result of her explanations the need for a welfare officer came to the fore.
During the meeting the 'chief citizen' expressed surprise that senior staff in many of the departments are not disciplined when found guilty of infractions... "enough is enough, somebody must be culpable..."
Earlier, the mayor had vowed to take drastic action against senior officers who flouted the decisions of the council. A case in point is the failure by the city engineer to put in place the necessary protective measures and systems at certain points in around City Hall following the recent shoot-out in the vicinity of the city police headquarters and the office of the mayor and the administration.