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Georgetown needs “parking lots” – Granger

President David Granger on Monday signaled the need for “parking lots” in Georgetown, but stayed clear of any direct reference to the controversial parking meter issue.

Addressing a sitting of the full Georgetown City Council at City Hall, the Guyanese leader listed several items that he suggested the municipality’s elected decision-makers should consider putting in place.

“Let us have bus and taxi terminals, parking lots to curb the traffic congestion but particularly to protect pedestrians who sometimes have to compete with dray carts, animals, motorcycles, piles of sand, debris, building waste and traffic in order to go about their business in the City,” he said.

The Guyanese leader is already on record as suggesting that the proposed rates for the parking meter service would be too burdensome. Now, he wants the City Council and Central Government to hold talks about the level of taxation. “I would like the City to sit with the Ministry of Communities to ensure that taxation is not burdensome but that taxation sustains so it doesn’t fall into debt,” he said.

City Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green told Demerara Waves Online News that she does not know how long a review of the agreement between City Hall and National Parking Systems/ Smart City Solutions by central government would take. The Finance Minister, Winston Jordan; Attorney General, Basil Williams and Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan have been tasked with examining the agreement for any illegalities.

Without referring to the brouhaha over the parking meter proposal, the President said those complaining about new ways of earning more money should not worry once there is openness. “Some people complain and they will always complain about new financial measures. Well, as long as those measures are transparent and they are approved by the council and that they are in the national interest, I am sure that the central government will lend its support,” he said.

Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan has been at the forefront of criticising the process towards the introduction of parking meters, saying there has been no consultation and a lack of transparency. He has said that preliminary research shows that the companies have no track record in providing such a service in any other country.

Duncan has said that he does not oppose the idea of parking meters.

The President congratulated the Georgetown City Council  and urged that it be an exemplar to other towns. He called for a shared responsibility among residents, service providers and other businesses to ensure there is proper sanitation and drainage to avert the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, zika, malaria and filaria.

The City Mayor and Town Clerk have said that the US$10 million investment by the company would yield about 100 jobs and 20 percent of gross earnings. At least 100 persons are expected to be employed by the company to operate the high-tech parking meter system.

  • Emile_Mervin

    While I welcome the Central Government recognizing the voices of reason and putting the brakes on this runaway parking meters debacle, the Ministers of Finance and Communities have no real business investigating the controversial parking meters fiasco for illegalities, because illegalities are not even the bases of the controversy.

    The true basis of the controversy is the lack of transparency and accountability. Critics don’t want any probe for illegalities to result in Central Government saying it found no illegalities so it will be green-lighting the project. That is the same bullspit relative to Harmon’s China trip, because folks are not saying illegalities were involved; they simply want transparency and accountability

    We want the project to be placed before the full Council and the media for deliberation and comprehension. The Georgetown City Council is an independent or autonomous entity that should not have its business reviewed by Central Government before the full Council deliberates on the business. This is what we call undue political interference.

    And instead of Granger showing up at the Georgetown City Council to give the impression he has political clout, he should, instead, have the Minister of Communities advise the ill-advised Mayor and bone-headed Town Clerk to present the entire proposal to the full Council. Otherwise, to ensure fairness, the Council should invite tenders from interested companies. If there is any discrepancy in any proposed project, the fully ventilated project should be placed to a vote. If there is any illegality, let the law take its course.

    I fear this probe for illegalities is a ruse for Central Government to green-light the project by bypassing the full Council.

    AND TALKING ABOUT TRANSPARENCY AND ILLEGALITIES, MR. GRANGER, WHERE ARE THE DOCUMENTS SHOWING EITHER THE CHINESE PAID THE US$5M IN GT&T SHARES OR THE DEBT WAS WAIVED?

    • rudeo

      I did not hold y breath over what Pres Granger would say or not say at the meeting. Note that the APNU holds 25 of the 30 seats on the council and that the significant majority of the APNU is drawn from the PNC.

      That apart the reminders that the council is not answerable to the central govt speaks volumes. I did not for one moment expect that the president would have sanctioned Chase-Green, Clarke and King for the rude, obnoxious and bombastic statements made. It is unpardonable for the trio to behave as they did towards their employers, us!.

      I support your apprehensions that the probe/investigation about illegalities is a red-herring. The trio will be given an all clear and the project will go ahead as planned.

      It would be interesting to see further developments in this and other planned projects by the trio.

      Would we have elections for mayor etc come April 2017?

  • Col123

    For a young country as Guyana to move into the next century, the President should look beyond the local of Georgetown to be the capital . He should plan a futuristic city for our country , some where contiguous to the hilly sand and clay belt neighboring a deep waterway. Surrounding areas adjacent to the main airport should be canvassed for such a project . Lands surrounding the hilly sand and clay belt should be zoned for suburban areas with zoning for city amenities, businesses and othe required legal, health, government facilities etc. permeate the locale. Plan super highways to access various cities and population areas YES..$$$$ is involved .. But it will be a futuristic project with a modern twist..

  • Emile_Mervin

    Okay. Then show the media the documents showing the money was waived; otherwise, there will always be questions about the true purpose of taking Brian Tiwarie on the trip.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Jagdeo and the PPP have taken a lot of heat from me for far worse than this parking meters fiasco, so don’t come here and expose your ignorance. I am an equal opportunity critic of poor governance.

    PS. Demwaves, why are you guys burying this story on what Granger said, but carrying three of the same news item on what Rohee said?