THERE has been quite a buzz recently about a public utility company that has decided to rationalise and down size its human resource in order to save cost and improve its efficiency; however, one has to wonder whether the Georgetown Municipality would not wish to borrow/take a page out of their book and also downsize to improve its economic performance and operating efficiency. I don’t think there is a citizen of Georgetown who does not have a dissatisfaction with regard to some aspect or the other regarding the services to which they are entitled but which they hardly get from the Council. It may be the lack of maintenance of the roads and bridges, or the dreadful state of the cemeteries where their loved ones have been interred or the lack of meat inspection or hygienic slaughter of their animals at the abattoir, or the high rate of criminality in the City which the City Police don’t have a handle on, or it may be the putrid condition of the municipal markets or the closure of the daycare centres or it may be the poor street lighting in several areas of the City or the clogged drains, the profusion of mosquitoes at night or the wanton occupation of the pavements by itinerant vendors.
There could be no justification for the overmanning and redundancy at City Hall, especially now that many of its services are either farmed out to contractors or being carried out by some arm of central government. Why have sections been upgraded to large departments with a lot of cushy positions added to it? An example would be the Personnel Section that has been transformed into a Human Resources Department with a string of managers and senior officers added to it? Why is there a fully staffed Audit Section when the Council’s financial records have not been audited and qualified in decades? Why are resources being allocated to protocol services when the Council hardly facilitates public diplomacy nor encourages collaboration between international private and public entities? Why is there a Public Relations Division when the City does not have a radio station, a newsletter or even a proper social media presence?
In today’s world of cutting-edge information and communication technology, most cities are having services delivered and transactions undertaken online rather than having citizens inline — why not the Georgetown Municipality?
Why the need for so many engineers when the City no longer maintains the road network, builds bridges nor even keep the clocks on the markets running. In the days when Georgetown was the ‘Garden City’, when the City was effectively drained using only sluices and not with the help of High Capacity Flood Control Pumps, when the parapets were manicured with grass scythes and not the fancy brush cutters and trimmers currently used etc, etc. there was a small competent engineering staff
Why the need for so many managers, deputies and assistants? When Georgetown was a model City, a City that was noted for best practices, a clean, healthy, orderly and well managed City, the municipality had less than half of all those fancy, high paying plum jobs. Is it not time for that monstrous monthly payroll cost of well over a hundred million dollars be cut in half and use the savings to provide a much higher level of service to the citizenry?