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Govt orders review of parking meter contract

The Guyana government has taken a decision to order a review of the Georgetown parking meter contract, Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced Wednesday.
Harmon made it clear that government was not keen on overreaching into the work of the council but the City was important to the lives of all Guyanese.
“We respect the independence of the council, …we will be looking at illegalities,” he said.
City Mayor Patricia Chase- Green, who led a three-member delegation to Mexico on a parking meter awareness visit, has said that it the project would be rolled out on September 1, 2016.
The agreement between the Georgetown City Council and National Parking Systems/ Smart City Solutions, he said, would be reviewed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Harmon said Central Government’s review had nothing to do with the rates for parking on selected streets in Georgetown.
Cabinet was briefed on the issue by Minister responsible for Local Government, Ronald Bulkan amid lingering concerns about transparency of the deal.
Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan has said that if Central Government supports the agreement, he would remain silent but stick to his concerns that the companies have no track record in providing parking meter services in any other country.
Bulkan has said that major concerns by at least four City Councillors with whom he has met include the fact that 80 percent of the revenues would be going to the companies.
However, the Deputy Mayor has said that the company would be investing US$10 million and employing more than 100 persons to operate the high-tech system.
  • Emile_Mervin

    I appreciate that Minister Harmon does not support the Central Government overreaching into the affairs of local government, unless the safety or livelihood of citizens are at stake.

    One of the reasons the former Opposition parties pushed for a Local Government Commission was to end undue interference in the affairs of local government. It was all about local authorities functioning independently.

    I am of the firm conviction that the Mayor, her political stallions and fillies erred when they arrogantly sought to impose, without consultation with the Council members and citizens, a parking meter operation on residents of and visitors driving into the capital and looking to park on certain streets, especially in the central business district.

    Additionally, I don’t think a 80%/20% income distribution in favor of a private firm utilizing prime City space is beneficial to the City. I don’t care if the firm is putting up US$10M and hiring 100 people; the primary resource of the business is City space.

    I SUPPORT AN OPEN DISCUSSION AMONG ELECTED CITY COUNCILORS ON THIS AND ALL ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT CITIZENS. LET THE LATIN AMERICAN TRIP BE JUST A BAD IDEA THAT NEVER BORE FRUIT.

    And to all those who ignorantly and blindly support the Coalition, even when us messes up, you are not helping solve problems; only aggravating the problems.

    • M Nicols

      ‘I appreciate that Minister Harmon does not support the Central Government ‘
      Is he a minister or a public civil servant?

      • Emile_Mervin

        This is a whole new debate that may or may not go anywhere, but based on what I have seen the last year, the Coalition can pretty much do anything. Nothing surprises anymore.

    • MEMES Unlimited

      Assuming it’s 20% of gross income….that is huge and most satisfactory; translates to an average Net income of about plus 35% after capital costs, financing costs/amortization, operating expenses, depreciation. The city is giving up its unused/undeveloped “space asset”, converted to a recurring income stream…albeit not sustainable, since folks will vote with the pedal to the floor and purchase more, from the many malls and supermarkets with free parking.

      • Emile_Mervin

        I don’t know what factors were considered in arriving at 20% for the City, given that this would be a novel concept in Guyana and no scientific or empirical data exists showing how drivers will respond. Consequently, will it be 20% of $100,000 or $1 million or $1 billion?

        To make the concept work, the concept has to be sold in a manner that appeals to drivers; not scare the heck out of them or make them ask a ton of questions. This concept started off on the wrong foot.

        In parts of New York City, drivers can pay anywhere from 25 cents per 20 minutes up to 1 or 2 hours, to 25 cents per 30 minutes for up to 1 or 2 hours. I don’t think Georgetown has a street parking congestion and space problem like New York, so the parking meter fees in Georgetown should be both reasonable and affordable.

        If the parking meter idea eventually takes off, start with 25 US cents/GY$50 for 30 minutes and allow for a maximum of 2 hours. And this is an operation the City should own and operate, as opposed to contract out.

        Finally, parking violation tickets can also be a useful revenue source. People need to be informed and involved to support any revenue generating initiative so everyone can be on the same page working together. The Mayor, like Oscar Clark, is a political dinosaur. The Town Clerk is a major let down after observing Sooba’s distasteful behavior.

        • MEMES Unlimited

          I agree with your substantive points Mr. Mervin; since the 20% alluded to is based on my natural business understanding of a net positive deal where someone seeking a transaction with me to finance an underutilized/undeveloped business place/activity which can potentially soar to generate significant returns and gross income (20%), creating my response…”where and how soon can I sign”.

          However, with partner(s), as in the case of the electorate, I would not consummate until all are advised by way of the terms & conditions of the agreement prior to execution…the “unknown variables” equation.

          Furthermore, an industry standard driver/shopper impact study has to be concluded to arrive at the best possible pricing schedule for pilot plant/commercial operation parameters to be derived so that all are on board. In the absence of the above observations/study, those very same businesses along Regent Street/Water street/Main Street where most business are located, will suffer a massive downturn in income with shoppers seeking other venues with free parking…Survival Supermarket, Giftland Mall, Massey Supermarket, and other investors who will jump on board to build out with free parking as the massive swing is initiated…compliments of the dinosaurs.

  • Emile_Mervin

    First, when I was ranting and raving against the PPP, it was fine with you, as you agreed with my posts. The moment I started calling out the Coalition for its blunders, you started viewing me as being an opponent of the Coalition.
    That’s your problem, not mine.

    More pointedly, I recall openly resenting the 5%-50% pay raise, and you asked me to take one for the team. Remember that? Why would you ask me that if you did not see me as a Coalition supporter?

    Second, I never predicted gloom at every corner or that the renamed ministries would fail. The re-named ministries is a stupid, symbolic idea with no productive consequences! And I am definitely not against parking meters as a revenue source; only that the process be transparent and democratic.

    Third, you need to get over yourself thinking that the issues are about you versus me or any Coalition critic. The issues are public in nature and, therefore, subject to public debate and discussion. I don’t have to attack you to make any point on the issues because you are not a public issue. Enough said.

    • Reason

      You have a history of ranting and raving. I accused you, of course you denied; then proved my point unknowingly.

      I agree with a post, or posts, that make sense. I don’t just agree for the sake of being agreeable, or to get along.
      I have never viewed you as an opponent. In fact, this paranoia of yours occur from your incessant rants.

      I don’t remember telling you to take anything for any team. What are you speaking about? You are probably leaving the reservation now.
      I have always supported the increase in ministerial salaries and I make no apologies now, as I didn’t in the past.

      I don’t mean to be disrespectful, so don’t take what I am about to say as a slight, however, you don’t exist as far as I am concerned. I don’t see you in anyway because you aren’t on my radar; as I am sure, likewise. Nothing personal, bro.

      This coalition government is accomplishing the majority of what they set out to do, and more. Because the renaming of ministries doesn’t comport with Mr. Mervin, doesn’t imply that their mandate isn’t successful. Again, you ranted about the latter; and still continue. You are a professional ranter if there’s such a word, or occupation.

      I am an advocate for transparency. I support Sherod Duncan because I believe he is an honest young man who has the peoples’ interest at heart. Having said that, this parking deal with the City is going to be successful because most of your predictions, thus far, have been presented based on assumptions. Facts have been relegated as an aside in your arguments.

      When have issues been written about Mr. Reason? You have me blushing here, bro. Thanks for the abundance of confidence invested in me.

      Of course the issues are public and open to said discussions. It’s not about Emile, or the highway. I rarely even post on this site – probably once before my post to you. I casually do so on Stabroek News.

      Thanks for respecting my privacy because I wouldn’t be able to tolerate your rants if I were a public figure.

      • Emile_Mervin

        Mr. Reason,

        If I don’t exist, as far as you are concerned, and I am not on your radar, then why do you even bother with these lengthy posts of yours that have you baring your venomous fangs at me for merely venting opinions on public issues? Think about it.

        I have read your blogged posts on SN even though I ceased blogging there around the start of the year, and although I or anyone don’t share your posted views, that’s no reason for me or anyone to dis or attack you. That’s not how a discussion or debate works.

        Starting with a post on DW, two days ago, which warned me to run before some anvil lands on my head, you seemed to have deliberately migrated from SN to DW just so you can engage me in particular, since you have not gone after anyone else here with such venom. Then you turn around and tell me I don’t exist or I am not on your radar? The self contradiction is too stark to miss.

        Unless you are the human embodiment of the Coalition, I cannot comprehend why you would get emotionally worked up to the point you single me out for being critical of the Coalition. Again, the issues are not about us, bloggers, but public in nature. Enough said.

    • MEMES Unlimited

      Mr. Reason….seems to be the very antithesis of reason. Not “if you don’t feed it, then it will die a natural death!”….but also, WHEN, it will not be fed. What the “business man Mr. Reason” fails to understand; there is a mountain of expanded taxes being foisted upon the public with the economy in full scale contraction, and the very same businesses where those meters will be positioned…THEY WILL DIE AN UNNATURAL DEATH!!! …heading to the nearest shopping mall with “free parking” to do my shopping.

  • Col123

    The central govt need to find out why this city is broke … period!…an independent audit is needed and send some folks to jail if any found guilty … get new blood to manage the city’s finances…nickel and dime for parking meters would not make a difference in a cake shop economy…

  • Emile_Mervin

    You are the one who left Stabroek News to come after me on Demwaves, because you can’t come after me on Stabroek News since I don’t blog there anymore. Check your usual 4 or five line posts on SN compared to multiple paragraphs in your short exchange with me here. This is profoundly telling of your anger at me for openly critiquing the Coalition. And I dare you point to a single attack I launched against you. I don’t waste my time on us bloggers because we are not the real issues.

  • Emile_Mervin

    God bless you!