Council orders halt to work on Mohamed's fire-ravaged building
City Council Roundup
by Cecil Griffith
February 2, 2004
The Georgetown City Council has given instructions to City Engineer Cephas James to stop all reconstruction works now being undertaken at the Mohammed's Enterprise building on Lombard Street. The bottom storey of the business place was destroyed in a fire late last year together with an adjacent building which housed the Auto Supplies company and the Royal Castle restaurant.
At an earlier meeting the City Engineer's Department in a report said an inspection was carried out on January 9, 2004 and it was observed that "the new materials used in the construction are in conformity with materials in use at this time..."
But the report pointed out ... "that the incorporation of materials left after the fire into the new construction however requires an analysis and investigation..."
It was admitted that the City Engineer's Department does not have the equipment and facilities for conducting such an analysis and investigation.
At last Monday's statutory meeting questions were asked about the status of the reconstruction on the Mohammed's building and whether a plan had been submitted for the entire building.
Former People's National Congress Reform mayor Ranwell Jordan said a complete plan was to have been prepared by the City Engineer's Department and he enquired if this has been done... The deputy city engineer Mrs Johnson in reply said a plan was submitted but is still being processed.
This response did not satisfy councillors Llewellyn John and Gwen McGowan, of the Good and Green Guyana (GGG), Desmond Moses and Jordan of the PNCR and Fitzgerald Agard and Rudolph Harris of the People's Progressive Party/Civic. PPP/C.
Councillor Agard wanted to know if the materials being used in the reconstruction of the building were reliable and suggested a halt in whatever work is now being carried out at the site.
Councillor McGowan could not understand how staff attached to the city engineer's department was always ready to 'harass' the small property owner when there are breaches of the building by-laws, but allow the 'big ones' to do what they please.
When asked for guidance on the matter town clerk Beulah Williams informed the meeting that both Mayor Hamilton Green and his deputy Robert Williams had been sympathetic towards the continuation of the works on Lombard Street.
The normal procedure she added is to write the owner telling him or her to cease all works.
With the non-appearance of both the mayor and his deputy and with GGG councillor Chase-Green taking over the mayoral chair for the time being, the city 'fathers' and 'mothers' decided to go along with the town clerk's advice.
A PNCR councillor who ran afoul of the council's dress code received a dressing down from two GGG women councillors, when she attended the first statutory meeting of the council for 2004.
It all started when this particular councillor who is usually well-attired at sittings of the council turned up for the meeting wearing an armless dress.
Councillors Chase-Green and McGowan both of whom were wearing coats pounced on the PNCR councillor pointing out that she was improperly dressed and as such could not sit at the horseshoe-shaped table with other councillors.
The two GGG councillors drew the meeting's attention to the dress code for councillors which had been circulated among city 'father' and 'mothers' in April 2003.
The code reads ... Please be informed that the dress code for the council chamber is in effect, that is, no person will be allowed to attend a meeting in the chamber dressed in the following clothing: armless clothing, T jerseys, short pants, flamboyant colours and jeans.
Mayor Green who had presided at this meeting acknowledged that there is a dress code in existence noting that there is a degree of cultural elasticity in its practice. He called on the town clerk to indicate whether the councillor was in violation of the dress code. She said a dress code exists which prohibits the wearing of 'armless clothing'.
Changes in the
The clerk of markets Schulder Griffith has put forward a number of suggestions for increasing the revenues of the city's markets.
One of the plans is constructing double decker stalls in all the markets with Stabroek being used as the pilot project.
The council last Monday accepted a recommendation from the Markets Committee that the closing hours of the markets be extended from 4 to 5 o'clock in the afternoons. (Take note stallholders your rents are being revised and you'll get the results in the council's 2004 budget this month).
The council has plans to make the Stabroek market clock site a tourist attraction now that the clock is working and the bell is to be in place soon. The council is also to engage in discussions with the private sector "to pursue the development of the Kitty market.
Councillors up to last Friday were still without their 2004 diaries and the 2004 corrected calendars are yet to be distributed.
The 'chief citizen' who was in South Korea last week (not on council's business) has been invited to attend the 52nd national prayer breakfast to be held in Washington USA, on February 5 this year. The invitation was sent on behalf of US senators James Inhofe and Bill Nelson.