Town Clerk labeled “liar, dishonest” after back-peddling on payment for kite-flying article

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2016, 17:01 by Denis Chabrol

Managing Editor of Demerara Waves Denis Chabrol is condemning in the strongest possible terms allegations of misinformation leveled against the media house by Town Clerk Royston King.

King made the allegation after Demwaves published an article detailing the City Council’s plans to charge persons for flying Kites in Georgetown over the Easter Weekend.

The source of the report was a press release issued by Christine Cheddi and prepared by signed by Debra Lewis, the Public Relations Officer of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown.

In the release it is explicitly stated that Persons flying kites in open spaces in Georgetown will have to pay to do so to assist with preparation of the areas and clean-up activities afterwards.

“Citizens who use the areas would be required to pay a minimal fee to offset expenses, and to assist with after event cleaning activities,” the City administration said in the release

In a release, City Hall did not disclose the amount of money to be paid and opted only to say it would be “minimal.”

Several calls to King’s office went unanswered and a City Hall spokeswoman did not immediately provide the information.

In a subsequent media report and video, King vehemently denied the contents of the article. He stated that “we regret that misinformation and we are not sure where it is coming from, but certainly it has not been the practice of this municipality to charge people to fly kites or even engage in allied activities on Easter Monday. What we have said is that we are asking vendors and business people who are desirous of doing business on that day to make a contribution to the council, by paying a small fee which will help us to offset cleaning expenses and to help us to sustain the works which we have started in the city. But certainly not to picnic, certainly not to fly kites, certainly not to engage in allied activities. This is completely wrong and it is certainly not coming from us.”

However, Chabrol issued a statement accusing King of being a liar and dishonest.

“Demerara Waves condemns in the strongest possible terms Mr. King’s claim of misinformation. He is a liar, dishonest and despicable human being,” said Chabrol.

The career journalist indicated that several checks were made with the City Administration before the article was published.

“I called him several times this morning before publishing the article and he refused to take my calls. The PRO promised to return my call with the rates but she never did. I went to his office and he refused to see me and I said what i had to say aloud so he heard me nevertheless. He and his PRO must take the blame and not use other media houses to cover themselves from their own mess,” said Demwaves’ Managing Editor.