I REFER, with deep regret, to a letter penned by Mr. GHK Lall of letter writing infamy, which appeared in yesterday’s (Thursday) edition of the Stabroek News with the headline. “The Ministry of Local Government is Running a Parallel City”.
Mr. Lall, I will try to refrain this time from casting aspersions upon your motives, your relevance, and even your purported integrity, but I freely admit that it will not be easy so please bear with me.
Your letter, stripped of the usual obfuscation and hopeless attempts at literary language, very simply condones the total incompetence and systemic mismanagement which prevails at City Hall.
You attempt to blame a lack of funds on the central government and, aware that it is the council’s duty to collect the taxes due to it, you further attempted to, in the absence of a morsel of evidence to support your flight of fancy, construct a hypothetical example of what supposedly pertains when it tries to so collect.
Mr. Lall, you and I both know that this is nonsense.
Have you had the experience, for instance, of running a small organisation which receives, one week after the end of an amnesty on interest charges, a bill for $13 million dollars, having never previously received an invoice for the actual taxes, let alone any astronomical interest charges?
Did you, perhaps, then reasonably, request an extension of the just concluded amnesty so that the relatively small quantum of actual taxes could be paid off in full?
Were you then told that this was impossible? Did you appeal this decision in person several times to no avail?
Did you question whether the sum demanded did actually pertain to the building because the partial lot number did not accord with your records? Were you then assured that it did and that the sum had to be paid immediately or there would be dire consequences?
Did you then, on the advice of your superiors, pay the demanded sum in full? Only for a similar sum to be demanded by the council a year later?
Mr. Lall, there is an old adage that says something about opening one’s mouth and removing all doubt. It would perhaps have served you better to have remained quiet but the deed has been done.
I see that you attempted in your letter to question the President’s sanity.
Mr. Lall, you may question mine or the Mayor’s or the sanitation supervisor’s or that of the building inspector or, most credibly, your own, but after this bit of self-indictment, the last thing you should do is question that of His Excellency.
Faye Elizabeth Alleyne