Home Letters The more things change at the City Council, the more they remain...
As the old saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. The image displayed on a local television channel and on a news website recently of a member of the Public Relations Department of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown in a deep slumber, drooling and with his mouth hanging open during the course of a statutory meeting of that body speaks volumes of the lethargy of the administration.
How is it possible in the midst of a meeting of that august body, presided over by no less a person than His Worship the Mayor, and attended by other ‘city mothers and fathers’, senior municipal officers and members of civil society, that an officer could nonchalantly fall asleep and only awaken after a rumpus broke out about the ineptitude of that very department to which he belonged.
Was he that bored, blasé and uninterested in the proceedings that he thought it best to catch up on some ZZZZZZZs? Or was he sending a subtle message to the Councillors that the meeting was just really a complete waste of time.
Why didn’t any of his colleagues wake him, or is sleeping at these meetings a norm? Will he be hauled over the coals for this indiscretion or will it just be treated as a point of jester? In some countries, Generals and a Vice Premier who were caught napping during public functions addressed by their leaders have faced dire consequences.
But then again, this is City Hall, and you have about 10 senior functionaries who were fingered for grave acts of misconduct by a Commission of Inquiry but who continue on their merry way as though nothing has happened. Indeed they continue to make a mess of things at the Council and are ostensibly given a pat on the back.
I would like to suggest that for their future statutory meetings that the chairs be removed and as is done in some municipalities in the far East, that the Councillors and the officers be made to stand for the duration of the meetings. This would result in shorter meetings, in everyone remaining awake and having less idle talk.
The more things change at the City Council, the more they remain the same.