President urges City Hall to have clearer vision for Georgetown
– underscores importance of involvement of all stakeholders
By Devina Samaroo
At a time when tensions are high within the City Council concerning the ongoing parking meter scandal, President David Granger delivered his first address to the Georgetown Council on Monday.
While not attributing his remarks to any particular incident, the Head of State urged the Councillors to have a clearer vision and more
profound mission for the development of the municipality, noting that the involvement of all stakeholders was most vital.
He made it clear though that his intention was not to pass any instructions to City Hall on how they should manage their affairs.
President Granger reminded the Councillors that they have a duty to represent and serve the people who elected them into office, noting that if they do not perform satisfactorily, they can easily be voted out at the next Local Government Election, which is slated to be held before December 2018.
“Each one of you represents at least 2800 citizens: you don’t represent yourself, you don’t represent your family, and you don’t represent your political party. You represent 2800 citizens and you have to listen to them; sometimes you are tempted to speak for yourself, but speak to them first and find out what their views are before you attempt to make public your opinions,” he charged the Councillors.
He continued, “If you don’t perform, you are going to get a bad report and people are not going to put you in office if you abuse and misuse that office.”
The President emphasised that their return to the table was not dependent on their political affiliations but on their personality and
Granger also underscored the importance of proper planning before undertaking any projects.
In this regard, he urged the Council to consider the establishment of a special commission to deal with these matters.
“I ask this Council today to consider – please, note my language because I don’t want to be misreported, I haven’t come here to give instructions – I am asking the Council to consider the possibility of establishing a national capital planning commission,” he stated.
This commission, he said, could be tasked with reviewing the numerous plans which have been prepared over the years, and to develop structured approaches to urban renewal.
In addition, the President commended the work of the Council, particularly its efforts to prevent massive flooding in the city and for commencing the initiative to beautify the capital.
“The city must regain its image as one of the most picturesque and pleasant places for residents and attractive destination for visitors; it must become a showpiece: a place which features attractions and services allow everyone to experience the good life,” he said.
With this in mind, President Granger pledged greater assistance from Central Government in helping to push the urban development agenda and to further develop the capital city.