President concerned about proposed “burdensome” parking meter fees and contract

During a recording of the weekly "Public Interest" television programme, the President said his government does not intend to interfere in the operations of the municipality, but he is disappointed that there are members of the council who were not consulted before the contract was finalized.

President concerned about proposed “burdensome” parking meter fees and contract

President David Granger has added his voice to the chorus of concern being expressed about the secretive Georgetown City Council parking meter contract with an overseas based company for the setting up and operation of parking meters in Georgetown.

During a recording of the weekly “Public Interest” television programme, the President said his government does not intend to interfere in the operations of the municipality, but he is disappointed that there are members of the council who were not consulted before the contract was finalized.

“I am disappointed that there are members of the Council who feel they have not been consulted. And the whole purpose of having democratic elections is to have democratically run councils”, President Granger said.

He noted that there must be “greater transparency”, adding that while, “Central government cannot overrule the Council.┬áBut we can ask for transparent procedures to prevail in the city council.”

Asked about the reported proposed $500 per hour parking fee that might be levied against drivers, Mr. Granger said $80,000 per month in parking fees would be burdensome to both the rich and poor.

That $80,000 per month figure represents eight hours of parking per day for 20 days.

The Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green and Town Clerk, Royston King have found themselves under an avalanche of criticism over the parking meter contract.

Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan has been very outspoken on the issue and has challenged the way the contract was entered into and the “shadiness” of the deal.

The deal represents a 49 year contract with the City Council benefiting from just 20% of the fees collected. The Council would not have to make any investment and would also allow the private company to control full operation of the meters.

On Wednesday, the government announced that it would have the contract reviewed by the Attorney General Chambers and the Ministry of Finance, since it could have national implications.

The government is looking for any illegalities.

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