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Union gives Local Govt Minister 72 hours to remove Sooba

Town Clerk Carol Sooba

The Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) on Thursday issued a 72-hour ultimatum for the removal of Town Clerk of the Georgetown City Council, Carol Sooba because she is unqualified.

GLGOU President, Dale Beresford said his union dispatched a letter to Local Government Minister, Ganga Persaud calling on him to rescind Sooba’s appointment.

Beresford said her confirmed appointment earlier this week was in direct contradiction of an interviewing panel that had unanimously agreed that Paul Clarke, the holder of two degrees and experienced in management, diplomacy and project execution. He is a former City Councillor.

The trade unionist said if Sooba is not removed from office by Monday workers would take appropriate action but it would not be a strike because that could be used as a weapon against them.

Sooba, a University of Guyana law student for several years now, is not the holder of a degree. “It was a blatant disregard and disrespect of the entire panel and a blatant waste of our time if you are going to just disregard our recommendation,” said Beresford who was a member of the interviewing panel. The others included Deputy Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green; the Principal Personnel Officer of the Public Service Ministry, Mr.Grant and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Colin Croal.

Now earning GUY$355,000 monthly, including allowances, Sooba’s confirmation as Town Clerk has drawn the ire of several councillors and municipal employees. Their main reason for rejecting Sooba is that she is unqualified. Others say her management style is faulty.

However, there are others who say that shortly after she began acting as Town Clerk in July 2011, workers are being paid each month and aggressive efforts are being made to collect millions of dollars in rates and taxes. Her admirers say she is also taking stern measures to weed out corruption.

Critics of her appointment argue that it has belittled the value of education and meritocracy.