Diverting the blame will not help
OUR capital city of Georgetown has deteriorated from its once proud state of a “Garden City” into a state of a total environmental mess and disgrace. But what is even worse is that those who have been in charge of managing the affairs of Georgetown since 1997 do not seem much concerned and has been spending most of their energy in finding excuses and blame throwing, mainly directed at the government.
The Mayor and his City Hall confederates have been singing a never- ending song of not having finance to execute works necessary to restore Georgetown to its once glory days and also it needs to widen its source of revenue collection. This contention may have some merit, but what is the reality?
First, there has to be a shortage of finance at City Hall because its revenue collection is dismal and nothing tangible is being done to go after those who owe large sums in rates and taxes; consequently, some are now before the courts.
Second, even the small amounts of revenue collected by City Hall are being mismanaged, misappropriated and misspent. Therefore, there cannot be any money available to execute works which are necessary to have Georgetown in a habitable state. And the Burrowes Commission of Inquiry brought out clearly the corruption and the inept and ineffective management which have been permeating City Hall for decades. Therefore, if City Hall cannot manage small amounts of finance, would they be able to properly manage larger amounts?
You do not have to be an economist to know that even with a small amount of money, effective work could be done if that money is managed effectively through the cutting down of extravagance and proper prioritising of spending.
At the same time, City Hall have been failing miserably in ensuring the by-laws governing vending, littering, waste disposal, builders’ waste and construction of buildings are effectively enforced. Consequently, swarms of illegal vending nests have sprung up all over the city unchecked. In fact, some at City hall have actually defended this unfortunate situation and some may be even financially benefiting from kickbacks from these illegal vendors.
Another baseless argument being put forward by some is that central government is not giving assistance to City Hall. However, those who advance this argument are clearly suffering from selective amnesia, because one of the first things this government did when it assumed office in 1992 was to refurbish several roads which were in a horrible and almost impassable state, including Main, Regent and Robb Streets among others. Ever since then central government has virtually taken over road building and repairs in Georgetown and this is in addition to the support it has been providing in drainage and solid waste management. And every time City Hall becomes cash strapped, central government has come to its rescue by paying up its rates and taxes in advance.
The fact is Georgetown is being managed in the same manner this country was managed during those dark and dreadful 28 years. And this is not surprising, because the common factor is, the same political party is involved.
The latest song being played by the Mayor and his City Hall confederates is that newly appointed Town Clerk, Ms. Carol Sooba is responsible for the horrible state Georgetown finds itself in.
But how can this be so when Ms. Sooba has been there for only a few months? Georgetown has been in this state for more than two decades and therefore how can Ms. Sooba be blamed. Strange enough, during the stewardship of previous town clerks, the mayor and company did not place the blame on them.
However, because Ms. Sooba is perceived to be pro-PPP, whether she is so or not, and she has touched some “corns” of his who are now before the courts, the mayor and his cohorts are foisting the blame on her.
The truth is that the mayor and his confederates have fiddled with the city and have failed to get their acts together. It is high time that they either get their acts together or get out. The citizens of Georgetown are fed up.