GEORGETOWN Mayor Patricia Chase-Green on Monday announced that by Friday, City Hall is likely to announce officially that the rates for use of the parking meters have been slashed by half. This means that citizens will now pay $100 plus VAT per hour. As it stands before the official announcement, Chase-Green clarified that motorists are still required to pay for the spaces, but will not be booted if they overstay their time.
Issues surrounding the parking meters came up at the fortnightly statutory meeting after Councillor Noelle Chow-Chee requested that the standing orders be suspended so that clarifications can be sought on the project.
Councillors were especially concerned about details that appeared in the press over the weekend about the parking meter contract; one that is said to be the old contract that has since been amended.
People’s progressive Party (PPP) Councillor Khame Sharma was chided by the mayor and Town Clerk Royston King for his remarks that the city is “dying” and that people are hurt because of the implementation of the new parking system. He charged that the city is tremendously affected by the fact that City Hall is trying to force the new system down the throats of citizens.
Another Councillor, Malcolm Ferreira, questioned whether that, as there is no booting currently, persons can simply park without paying.
Councillor Chow-Chee’s remarks that some councillors are “snakes” who debate one thing at the horse-shoe-shaped table and then do something else in public, were deemed unacceptable and thus expunged from the records.
Meanwhile, the mayor accused Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan of peddling misinformation to the public that has resulted in unrest. “If it’s not your way, it’s no way. Let us be honest and fair Mr Deputy Mayor,” she said.
The deputy mayor stood up to defend himself, but was interrupted frequently on points of order from the mayor.
Meanwhile, the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM), has been consistent in its call for a revocation of the contract between the M&CC and Smart City Solutions, the company contracted to manage and operate the meters.
MAPM is protesting the lack of transparency with regard to the contract, the fact that there was no bidding process and the exorbitant fees attached to parking.
Marcel Gaskin on behalf of MAPM had said that a reduction in the fee will not be accepted, but a complete revocation of the contract instead.
“We’re not accepting a reduction. What we want to see is the feasibility study, the impact study, the due diligence of SCS and the evidence of the tender process that was done to select SCS. If they can’t produce these things, then we’re asking that the contract be revoked,” Gaskin said. He said the issue is not about fees alone, but deals with transparency and accountability.
His statement came just one day after President David Granger met with the mayor and town clerk and requested that there be a reduction in the “burdensome” fee.