In the middle of a swirling controversy over the introduction of parking meters in the nation’s capital city and the government’s decision to review the contract, President David Granger will leave his Vlissengen Road office on Monday and travel to the heart of the city to address City Councillors.
It will be the President’s first visit to City Hall since being elected and will also mark the first time in more than 20 years that a sitting President will address the City Council. Municipal elections were held earlier this year for the first time in 22 years.
President Granger is expected to lay out his vision of where he wants to see the nation’s capital and the role he believes the government could play in ensuring that vision is realized in conjunction with the municipality’s own plans. He is also expected to address transparency and democracy at the local government level.
This past week, the government announced a cabinet decision for the review of the parking meter contract entered into by City Hall with a private contractor.
That decision followed a public outcry and expressions of concern from several city councillors who protested that they had not seen the contract and were unaware of all of its details.
The President’s decision to address the city council is also being seen as an effort to quell growing distrust between city councillors from the APNU+AFC Coalition.
The coalition holds the wide majority of city council seats. Of the 30 seats at the Georgetown City Council, the coalition won 25 of them at the local government polls. However, the parking meter fiasco has seen the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who both belong to the coalition, going at each other publicly over the way the contract was handled.
The Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan, has made known his disapproval while the Mayor has been trumpeting the contract as signed and sealed.