Last Updated on Wednesday, 7 December 2016, 13:46 by Denis Chabrol
Elections for Georgetown’s new Mayor and Deputy Mayor have been announced but Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan is calling for a debate among the candidates before the December 15 election.
“I call on any Councillor(s) contending for the position of Mayor, as I am, to let’s have a public discourse/debate on the management and future of Georgetown,” Duncan said on his facebook page.
The prospective mayor has already been laying out his vision for the city through his 14,000-strong following on Facebook. The election will not be decided by Georgetown’s citizens but by a vote from the 30 councillors in the City Council.
“If I become Mayor of Georgetown, our city will become pro-business to compete with the international capitals of the world because people don’t visit countries, people visit cities,” Duncan said on Facebook.
“I would meaningfully re-engage the Private Sector. In this context I would setup the Mayor’s Business Forum that improves what the current Tripartite Committee sets out to do,” Duncan continued.
The deputy mayor also said he hopes to include civil society in that conversation and to increase the representation of Central Government in municipal matters.
The mayoral race comes as Georgetown’s citizens grip with a proposed parking meter project that would see them paying for parking services.
The City’s Councillors will meet later this afternoon at an Extraordinary Statutory Meeting to discuss the By-Laws of the Parking Meter Project as well as those for the proposed Container Fees.
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has come out to challenge both the Parking Meter Project as well as the Container Fees.
“We have not been able to meet as often as we like,” PSC executive member, Ramesh Persaud told the press corps recently. The commission is concerned that the parking meter contract would only see some 20 cents going to the city’s coffers for every $1 spent by taxpayers.
“By time they complete both phases of the parking meter project, they could raise as much as $750M per year and City Hall only gets $100M,” Persaud continued. Another PSC member said: “when you think of the context of this, it’s really going to affect the smaller person.”
It is believed that incumbent-Mayor Patricia Chase Green will also contest this election. Since Local Government Elections were held earlier this year, Duncan has been at constant odds with Mayor Chase-Green over transparency, accountability and inclusive decision-making.
Chase-Green is from the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Meanwhile, AFC’s Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan said his party will stay clear of who should be Georgetown’s next Mayor.