Following the decision to have the controversial Parking Meter Contract renegotiated with Smart City Solutions (SCS), Mayor Patricia Chase Green said Town Clerk Royston King’s statement that the negotiating committee overstepped
its mandate remains just his opinion and does not influence the work of the Council or its decision.
At Thursday’s extraordinary Council Meeting, the report of the negotiating committee was debated and a vote was taken. Thirteen members of the Council voted for a renegotiated contract with SCS, while five voted to scrap it and seven voted to wait until the completion of court proceedings.
M&CC had entered into a contract with Smart City Solutions Inc on May 13, 2016, for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown. The Parking Meter Committee was established on April 26, 2017, one month after Minister Bulkan suspended the paid parking initiative. Its members consist of Malcolm Ferreira (Chairman), Roopnarine Persaud, Noelle Chow-Chee (VC), Ivelaw Henry, Trichria Richards, Carlyle Goring, and Heston Bostwick.
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 life of the Parking Meter Re-negotiation Committee ended when it submitted its final report and finding to the Mayor of Georgetown on August 2, 2017, and later circulated to all Councilors.
It was the end of the debate when King said that the negotiating team, headed by Councilor Malcolm Ferreira, overstepped its mandate during its consultation period. This statement riled Ferreira up who fought in vain to defend his work.
“That was the Town Clerk’s view and I would have said the Council adopted the report in its entirety and if the Council adopted the report as it was presented. Going back to whatever the Town Clerk thought makes no sense,” she said.
“We accepted the report as it was presented and the Town Clerk’s role in this is to ensure that the records are taken and decisions are being recorded, advice given when necessary so if the Council adopted the report in its entirety that is the way the Council would have addressed the report,” she added.
On the contrary, Chase Green said she felt that the Committee would have fulfilled its mandate and congratulated them on the work completed.
At Thursday’s meeting, Councillor Gregory Fraser of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) colluded with Alliance For Change Councillor Sherod Duncan and Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran, along with the People’s Progressive Party’s Councillors Khame Sharma and Bisham Kuppen to scrap the contract.
Councillors Heston Bostwick, Carolyn Caesar, Noelle Chow-Chee, Oscar Clarke, Welton Clarke, Yvonne Fergusson, Junior Garrett, Winston Harding, Ivelaw Henry, Tricia Richards, James Daniels, Monica Thomas and Patricia Chase Green all voted to have the contract renegotiated; while Councillors Malcolm Ferreira, Carlyle Goring, Andrea Marks, Alfred Mentore, Akeem Peter, Phillip Smith and Sophia Whyte voted to await the outcome of the pending legal proceedings.
The Council at its next Statutory Meeting on Monday will deal with the way forward. A letter has to be written to the Communities Minister asking for extension of more time of the suspension of the parking meters. However, the new negotiating team is mandated to have at least two members of the public. (Lakhram Bhagirat)