Controversial China trip…

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No confidence motion against Georgetown Mayor, Deputy defeated
A MOTION expressing no confidence in Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green and his Deputy, Robert Williams, was defeated by a majority vote at Monday’s statutory meeting of the City Council.
It was moved by Councillor Ranwell Jordan and seconded by Councillor Junior Garrett but was only supported by 12 votes and rejected by 14 votes.

The wording had urged Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Kellawan Lall, to instruct the Acting Town Clerk to, immediately, call elections for the Mayor and Deputy.
The movers said the Council is obligated by its by-laws to hold elections for the two posts annually and a candidate for the Mayorship can serve no more than five consecutive years.
They alleged: “The Mayor continues to display attitudes contrary to good governance of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown, evident in the dealings with his recent trip to China, wherewith he failed and refused to report to the Council how the expenses thereof were met and what was the nature of the arrangement with donors, especially, the Chinese Government.”
Speaking in support, Jordan said the resolution was properly and clearly before the M&CC and action following its passing will see the dawning of a new day.
He charged that the municipality has been exposed to “a leadership that has darkened its visions and eroded the spirit of democracy and good governance.”
According to him, in the first six months of this year, Mayor Green made six overseas trips which were deemed official and, because he refused to give proper reports on them, especially on his recent one to China, the no confidence motion was tabled.
Garrett declared he is a proud member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), a party which he claimed embraces the principles of accountability, transparency and adherence to the laws of Guyana.
He posited that what Mayor Green did in connection with his recent visit to China was tantamount to fraudulent conversion, as the money received and spent on it did not pass through the Treasury Department of the M&CC.
Garrett said a vote against the motion would send a message that Councillors are lawless and can do whatever they wish with taxpayers’ money. It would also be a vote for the continued discrimination of the over 900 employees, yet Green saw it fit to take both the Systems Analyst and his wife on the controversial journey.
“It’s time for the City to return to its former glory. You should vote for this motion because history would never forgive you for allowing this City to go further down into the gully,” Garrett urged.
Councillor Patricia Chase-Green, also supporting the move, claimed she “felt hurt over a lot of things that the Mayor did and allowed to be swept under the carpet.”

Best interest

Councillor Llewellyn John said the motion was fit and timely and in the municipality’s best interest.
But Councillor Oscar Clarke, also General Secretary of the PNCR, voiced his disagreement and called those in support short-sighted.
He said they should have been able to perceive that “the motion was made possible only because of the higher authorities.”
Clarke said the principal law stipulates that elections for the Mayor and Deputy should be conducted every year but that was conveniently overlooked and selfish objectives and motives were behind the movement.
He added that the motion was not only unnecessary but one that all who supported it would come to regret at some point after.
Councillor Gladstone George remarked that “there will be total darkness in the City if the motion is carried” and advocated that it be ignored.
Councillor Hector Stoute said the Council spends more time attacking the Administration than talking about the citizens who elected them.
“A motion should be passed against all of us. I’m not voting yes or no,” he said.
Williams explained that, while the law says the Mayor should not exceed five years in office, the same law limits councillors to three years.
He said councillors take charge of the Council and any no confidence in the Mayor means no confidence in the entire Council.
Green observed that the fact that no People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member asked to speak on the motion meant that they were instructed by the higher authorities to support it.
He denied ever saying that the China trip was nobody’s business, as has been reported in certain sections of the media.
Green reiterated that not a cent or any cheque went into his pocket as a result of his visit.