Disappointed with Mayor of Georgetown

Dear Editor,
As a citizen of Georgetown, and more so as a Guyanese patriot, I must express my profound disappointment and deep concern regarding the positions taken and the sentiments expressed by the current Mayor of the capital city, and a former Mayor of Georgetown, regarding ‘Operation Clean-Up’, the massive sanitisation exercise that is currently underway.
In fact, I was just gobsmacked.
I cannot understand how the Chief Citizen could condemn such an exercise and try to dissuade persons from supporting such an activity. Just in case the Mayor hasn’t noticed as he drives around in his fancy sports utility vehicle, the city is in a complete mess, with heaps of rubbish everywhere; with clogged drains chockful of garbage, and with litter strewn on parapets that are all way overgrown in all the wards.
Let me just remind the Mayor that his Solid Waste Department has failed miserably, and that he and his City Council have let the citizens down completely. Let us stop the blame game, the responsibility of maintaining the city rests squarely on the shoulders of the City Council, not the Central Government.
I hope the Mayor has observed that rather than heeding his call for a boycott of the exercise, persons turned out in their numbers: from foreign diplomats to corporate leaders, to youth and civic groups, to senior officers of the Joint Services, to the rank-and-file; and that is because everyone is just sick and tired of the filthy state of the city. What would the Mayor have preferred: that the Central Government, the Private Sector and civil society show up at City Hall with bags of cash, hand it over to them, and wait on them to clean the place up?
I hear the Mayor singing the tune the old cow died on, one sung by some of his predecessors: that the Council is cash-strapped; that Council is without the requisite manpower and machines; that the city has extended its boundaries beyond its capacity; that Central Government is starving it of resources. This is all poppycock! The city is where it is because of gross mismanagement, financial and otherwise.
In trying to pull wool over the eyes of the citizens, the Mayor is hoping that persons have forgotten the times when Georgetown was the Garden City. There were no private garbage contractors costing hundreds of millions of dollars, but rather the Municipal Cleansing Services Section, which was extremely well managed, was responsible for the collection and disposal of all garbage in the city using its own equipment, residential and commercial, and the city was the cleanest in the Caribbean. This very same Cleansing Section was also responsible for the weeding of all parapets and city reserves, which were all well-manicured.
And I don’t understand this spirit of mendicancy which has taken over City Hall, where they are just sitting and awaiting subventions, donations and financial grants from Central Government. What is the city doing with all of the property rates, fines, fees and other revenue it sources on a daily basis? Does it just go to a top heavy and bloated payroll, to contractors, and to other lavish spending? One would have imagined that the Mayor would have welcomed any assistance the city could get, like this clean up.
Rather than moaning about it, the Mayor should be working out a plan of how his enervated and apathetic Solid Waste Department would maintain the cleanliness of the city when ‘Operation Clean-Up’ is over, and not leave it to become as disgusting as it was.

Sean Moniz