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Deputy Mayor to opt for silence if Cabinet approves parking meter proposal

Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan on Tuesday said if cabinet gives the green light to the parking meter proposal, he would stay silent but would not back down from his concerns that there was no transparency and the companies are little known.

Duncan said he supports the need for parking meters to earn revenue and regulate the overflow of traffic across the city, but he was concerned about the process. “My concern is about how this whole issue has been rolled out and it seems to have secrecy at every turn so if Cabinet is comfortable with that and the arrangement, then I have nothing to say on the matter further,” he said.

Asked whether he would take any further action if Cabinet is happy with the proposal, the Deputy Mayor said “for the time being.”

Duncan said he found it strange that the mayors of Panama City and Mexico City have not endorsed the company, Smart City Solutions/National Parking Systems, or shared their views. The Deputy Mayor said, too, that the company which was set to earn the bulk of the revenue has not defended its reputation. “We (City Council) are standing to earn 20 percent from this parking meter business and the company stands to earn 80 percent majority in terms of their earnings, yet I didn’t see them holding a press conference stating all the reasons why they are bona fide and they are the ones who should be going out there,” said Duncan who is associated with the Alliance For Change (AFC), the smaller partner in the central government coalition.

Minister responsible for Local Government, Ronald Bulkan has said that a group of four councilors with whom he has recently met has expressed concern that the majority of the revenue would be going to the investor rather than the municipality. “We recognise the need and necessity for traffic management but it can’t be viewed in isolation and the central consideration by the councilors, who have expressed their concerns to me, relates to if maximum revenues will derive from this initiative to the council,” Bulkan has said.

City Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, who headed a team to Mexico to look at the parking meter systems there, has reportedly said that the municipality would not be spending any money to bring the US$10 million high-tech parking meter system to Georgetown.

She said the project would begin rolling out on September 1, 2016.

Chase-Green has reportedly said that the contract between the company and the municipality is a “private document of the administration” and copies would not be given out for fear that it would get into the wrong hands. ”

“We took a deliberate decision not to share the contract because we wanted to secure investment. This is because of bad experiences with sharing contracts, proposals and initiatives, only to have them taken away from the Council, she said.

City Hall officials touted the deal with Smart City Solutions/ National Parking Systems as the best one because the company would be employing more than 100 persons and paying 20 percent earnings to the municipality. “They have to pay us before they deal with their expenses and we can monitor their earnings in real time. No other company offered this type of arrangement,”  Town Clerk, Royston King said.

  • Emile_Mervin

    The race to the bottom not only continues, but gains momentum. Get all you can and can all you get! Carrion crows are lurking to pounce on the carcass!

    • Col123

      First para ..”a race to the bottom”…
      Last para..”questionable deal struck by PPP ”
      Premise of report: an AFC guy is dumbfounded by a PNC proposal …you would get a fat F in English by my Prof….BTW…the AFC died when Hon Dr Naggaramatto got his SUV…the other AFC cohorts are clinging on to the PNC…

      • Emile_Mervin

        A deal was reportedly struck in 1994 with one firm, and another deal was struck in 2007 with another firm; hence two firms were originally involved. Guess which party was in power in 1994 and 2007? Should I give you a big fat F for Folly, or should I contact your professor to do the honors?

        The Mayor and Town Clerk piggybacked on the two previous deals, first agreeing to split the project between two firms before eventually eliminating one firm. The bottom line is that this project, first proposed under the PPP, deserved to be reviewed by the new Council.

        It was also unethical for the Mayor and her buddies to have had their airfare and hotel accommodation paid for by a client seeking to do business with the City.

        But I guess money passed, because the Mayor and her sidekick are treating City space the same way the PPP treated Guyana’s forests.

        • Col123

          I got you…I give you an A for following this stuff..I believe that desperation is also driving thinking of the Mayor’s office.. From my take , I do not see this as a money maker for the city. ..seems more of a scourge and too much government…They should encourage private parking “lots” in strategic points in the city to address this..i.e. adjacent to major shopping etc..Duncan should continue to speak up for the folks who voted for him…he should not cringe in the face of intimidation …

          • Emile_Mervin

            City-run parking meters and even garages are easy money makers with very low overhead operating costs. The approach to this project is fraught with serious questions on transparency.

  • Emile_Mervin

    You cannot jump in the middle of this ongoing discussion on this blog site and tell me about stopping any distortion. I backed Sherrod Duncan’s stance against the Mayor and her sidekick, Town Clerk, until the entire matter is placed before the Council for deliberation and decision.

    There was a reported proposal in 1994 and another in 2007 for the parking meter opetation. You said a contract was signed last December, but as per Stabroek News, May 27, 2016, there appeared to be another contract signing. The issue has so many people running with different portions of information that there is bound to be charges of distortion, but the news archives are there for easy reference and guidance.

  • Emile_Mervin

    The last anvil hit your head. You just don’t remember! .)

  • Gtloyal

    Mr Granger, looks like you are enjoying the sound of those nails as they are being driven into the coffin of the coalition. Burial comes next, you know. As a soldier you also know that forewarned should mean forearmed yet you do nothing. Are you not even going to try to save the day? Its your own people doing the nailing. Are you in cahoots with them?
    Are you going to willingly betray those who supported your call for a change from the corrupt past by electing you president?
    Then again, we know that Guyana is the suicide headquarters of the world. Is that so kool that now you guys have decided to introduce political suicide? Crap, do something for a change.

    • Col123

      The guy seems to lost his marbles and does not want to come out and play…or …he simply can’t do much…In the interim..we have lost any initiative to take the country forward..

      • Gtloyal

        Even so, I prefer him to Jagdeo and so does most Guyanese. Just goes to show where we are and the alternatives we have.
        As I said somewhere: I support this coalition but not unconditionally as many who support the PPP does, preferring to be dumb, deaf and blind to all the disservice that that party has caused the nation.