Last Updated on Monday, 26 February 2018, 21:28 by Denis Chabrol
Former Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan on Monday filed a no-confidence motion against Town Clerk, Royston King.
The motion may come up for debate next month.
The motion, which was seconded by Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran, cites a long list of alleged administrative transgressions by King.
The motion charges, among other things, that the Town Clerk removed vendors from Stabroek Market Square and Robb Street; signed a parking meter contract with Smart City Solutions; and ‘leased’ parts of the Bel Air Park and Farnum playgrounds without Council’s approval. It was under his administration, the motion states, that the Treasurer cannot account for GY$300 million that has prompted steps by the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit, and the award of contracts without following procurement rules.
City Hall has already lashed out at Duncan and APNU/PNC-aligned Councillor, Andriea Marks for criticising him.
Marks has in the past called for King to go because his actions were not in the best interest of political supporters.
APNU Councillor, Alfred Mentore has also expressed similar concerns.
Following is the full text of the motion:[WHEREAS] the Municipality of Georgetown, the National Capital City governed by the Municipal and Districts Councils Act, Chap. 28:01, and which said Act (2009 Amendments to the Principal Act) places on every Councillor a responsibility and duty, among other things, to “Ensure that the municipality is managed in a professional and competent manner by a qualified Town Clerk”;
[AND WHEREAS] His Excellency President David Granger when he visited City Hall told the Council that we are not on the City Council to represent our political parties but to represent the people;
[AND WHEREAS] Town Clerk Royston King has acted outside the interests of the citizens of Georgetown and has shown a total disregard for the Municipal and Districts Councils Act 28:01 which adumbrates the role of the Town Clerk and Council and sets the latter as the supreme decision making body at the municipal level for the City of Georgetown;
[AND WHEREAS] The removal of the vendors from the Stabroek Market and Robb Street environs in 2016 / 2017 without the authorization of Council, which action brought great distress and hardship on said vendors and which situation saw Central Government intervening; reiterating that vendors ought to be treated with “sensitivity”; President David Granger describing the latter action as “reckless”;
[AND WHEREAS] The contract for the Metered Parking System for Georgetown before being signed was not laid before the Council; and said contract did not derive from the tender and procurement procedure as per Chap. 28:01, among other defects, described by Central Government’s as “onerous”, “burdensome”, “ignorant”, and “exploitative”;
[AND WHEREAS] the Central Government has had cause to call out the National Police to protect citizens from City Hall and its operatives enforcing the bylaws of said Metered Parking System for Georgetown;
[AND WHEREAS] Councillors have made several inquiries / requests of the Town Clerk for specific information relating to the business of Council and have had no responses; in particular Councillor Gregory Fraser’s request for the Minutes showing where the former Council is alleged to have agreed to the Metered Parking System for Georgetown;
[AND WHEREAS] The implementation of a Container Fee, unknown to Council, and a subsequent unilaterally decision by the Town Clerk to block certain businesses that were unwilling to comply with the demands he made on them, as they questioned the fee’s legality; and a competent court subsequently throwing out several cases brought against City businesses on the premise that the M&CC had no right to charge such a fee;
[AND WHEREAS] the Auditor General’s report of 2016/2017 illustrates that the 300 million dollars given by Central Government for the Georgetown Restoration Programme could not be properly accounted for, among other issues and allied matters, has recently led to the announcement of a forensic audit by the Office of the Auditor General;
[AND WHEREAS] there has been a wanton abuse of “Emergency Clause” under Section 234 “Variation of tender procedure in cases of emergency” to spend millions of dollars, and as a result of which the tendering process, as articulated by Chap. 28:01, has been abandoned altogether; and use of which clause is calculated to subvert the power of the honorable Council;
[AND WHEREAS] the general welfare of workers of the City Council continues to diminish under the tenure of the Town Clerk due to the chronic late payments of wages and salaries, and other benefits, while deduction of monies from workers’ pay for NIS, PAYE etc. continue but which are not transmitted to the relevant agencies;
[AND WHEREAS] there are large amounts of monies owed to companies and individuals for goods and services provided to the Municipality, with some businesses and individuals waiting for over a year for payments; with contracts entered into unilaterally, against the spirit and law, Chap 28:01, including but not limited to Part VII, Section 230, Sixth Schedule (7)(8),
[AND WHEREAS] the general finances of City Council continue to be reported untimely and inaccurately to the Council under the stewardship of the Town Clerk who ultimately is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown, Section 77.(1);
[AND WHEREAS] the Town Clerk unilaterally decides when the Mayor is out of the jurisdiction whether the Deputy Mayor or Councillor can perform the functions of Mayor and what benefits and privileges should accrue to that said individual, and which actions have caused the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan to write to the Mayor a reprimand, stating, among other things, “There can be no doubt that the letter and spirit of the law contemplates that there must at all times, be a Mayor within the jurisdiction of the municipality and common sense would reveal that this would more so apply to the capital city”;
[AND WHEREAS] the Town Clerk unilaterally entered into an agreement with the company Impressions for the “lease” of numerous billboards and spaces said billboards occupied, without the authorization of Council, and which issue cause the Minister of Infrastructure, Honorable David Patterson to write to the Town Clerk to correct, Section 239, 320, 321;
[AND WHEREAS] on the firing of two officers of the City Constabulary with regards to an alleged sexual assault / rape of a juvenile male who was at the time detained by the City Constabulary and on which firing the Mayor express that Her Worship was “misled” by the Town Clerk, and on which allied matters the Legal and Affairs and Security Committee found the Town Clerk demonstrated poor judgment;
[AND WHEREAS] the “lease” of the Farnum Play Ground and the converting of the Bel Air Playground to an area for residential homes for himself and others, without the consent or knowledge of Council, which latter decision a court of competent jurisdiction is recently ruled against, and on which decision of the Town Clerk occasioned the Minister of Communities, has cause to write to the Mayor saying, “I inform you further, that the undertaking by the Council to convert green spaces in residential areas into housing and other commercial ventures does not find favour with Central Government”;
[AND WHEREAS] the recent “contract” in excess of 125 million dollars awarded by the Town Clerk to Chung’s Global for the works to the Le Repentir Cemetery has not been derived from the tender and procurement procedures as per Chap. 28:01, or the authorization of Council;
[AND WHEREAS] the Minister of Communities, Honorable Ronald Bulkan recently wrote to the Mayor stating, among other things, “I am concerned that the level of internal democracy exhibited by Council may fail to meet the minimum threshold required by Article 74 of the Constitution, and that is expected by His Excellency President David Granger….”, the Minister on that occasion requiring, “a complete list of all contracts, leases, sales, and other transactions involving assets (real estate, equipment etc.) under the control of Council, between the date of assuming office in April 2016 to present”;
[AND WHEREAS] the powers and authority of the Council has been usurped or altogether circumvented on several occasions by the Town Clerk in executing projects and awarding contracts without the consent or knowledge of Council;
[AND WHEREAS], the Town Clerk’s careless and reckless actions, though often guided otherwise by Council, when considered together are calculated to have caused irreparable damage to the image and goodwill of City Hall and the Coalition Government at Local Government before the residents of the municipality, among other considerations;
[NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED] that Council hereby moves and declares a vote of no-confidence in Town Clerk Royston King.
Notice of this Resolution is given on February 26, 2018 and in accordance with Standing Order Rules (8), Chap. 28:01.
Motion proposed by: Sherod Avery Duncan
Seconded by: Lionel Stanislaus Jaikarran
Titles respectively: Councillor, Mayor and City Council, Municipality of Georgetown; Deputy Mayor, Mayor and City Council, Municipality of Georgetown