“I have nothing to say as yet” – Mayor

first_imgThe life of the Parking Meter Re-negotiation Committee came to an end with it submitting its final report and finding to the Mayor of Georgetown on August 2, 2017, but almost one week later, the report is yet to be circulated to Councillors. Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase Green acknowledged receiving the report, stating, “I am still looking at it as I said before there will be a special meeting held by Council, a copy would be given to every Councillor so they will have enough time to look at it and then we will look at the options that were recommended by the parking meter team,” she said.Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green“I am reading the report in detail and so presently I have no information to give to the public,” Chase Green responded when asked about the content of the report.M&CC had entered into a contract with Smart City Solutions Inc on May 13, 2016, for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown.However, the project came under intense scrutiny and rejections from various public and private stakeholders, the Opposition and even some central government officials over the clandestine way it was being foisted unto the populace, its prohibitive pricing and the contracting company’s general disregard with the way the new mechanism was introduced to the public, among many other concerns.After becoming effective in late January 2017, several large protests were staged in front of City Hall calling for the contract to be revoked, while multiple stakeholders took the M&CC and the SCSI to court over the matter.Under pressure, on March 21, 2017, the Minister of Communities who had initially passed the By-laws bringing parking meters into effect, ordered that it be suspended for a period of three months to facilitate the re-negotiations of the terms of the contract.The Parking Meter Committee was established on April 26, 2017, one month after Bulkan suspended the paid parking initiative. Its members consist of Malcolm Ferreira (Chairman), Roopnarine Persaud, Noelle Chow-Chee (Vice Chairman), Ivelaw Henry, Trichria Richards, Carlyle Goring, and Heston Bostwick.Since its establishment, the Committee has consulted with various stakeholders inclusive of the Movement Against Parking Meters and civil society. Consultations are ongoing and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the Councillors’ office to meet with the committee members and submit their proposals. When asked about the possibility of refunding citizens who would have bought parking meter credit in bulk quantities, the Mayor said it is too early to make a pronouncement, adding she will have to await the report from the Committee and would act accordingly. The Committee’s Terms of Reference (ToR) was drafted and voted upon by the majority of members of the M&CC. The ToR provides the Committee with the authority to “engage with all stakeholders within the parameters of the framework agreed upon by the Council, Cabinet and Smart City Solutions (SCSI) to seek to determine what terms of the agreement can and should be negotiated to bring the contract in harmony with the desires of the Council, Central Government, SCSI and the citizenry.The Mayor has since excused herself from all matters related to the renegotiation of the contract since it was herself, Town Clerk Royston King and Councillor Oscar Clarke who signed and implemented the controversial project. The PPP Councillors also have recused themselves since they noted they were against paid parking from the inception.last_img

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