Ignoring the state of the City Hall structure

first_imgDear Editor,Persons with an active interest in Guyana, particularly Georgetown, are unfortunately subjected to daily episodes of the real-life Georgetown City Council soap opera, known not as the ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ or the ‘Young and the Restless’ but rather as the “Incompetent” starring the ‘Queen’ and ‘King’ of the city.A recent episode featuring the continued disintegration of the once picturesque City Hall edifice caused the readers to be inadvertently placed in a time capsule and transported back into the times when fairy tales were popular.Just like Rip Van Winkle, who supposedly drank a magic potion after which he fell into a deep sleep, awakening 20 years later only to find out that he had missed the proverbial bus, similarly it was reported that the Town Clerk seemed to have just awakened and discovered that the structure of City Hall was decaying to the point where continuing to occupy the facility would be a threat to life and limb. Now really? This discovery is a comical one coming from someone who has been with the municipality for more than three decades and whose office is located in the very decrepit and ruinous facility for years now.Has this gentleman never read the reports that were done by several groups of international experts? Is he not privy to the warnings that were issued by his own building inspectors and engineering staff over the years? Is he blind and deaf? How could he not have been aware of the significant chunks of the building that periodically fall off posing a serious threat to passersby on Regent Street? Is he not aware that most of the roof is no good and is covered partially by tarpaulin? Is he unaware that the Concert Hall and Tower have long become a sanctuary for Guyana’s wildlife such as bats, pigeons, and other indigenous fauna?Had the shoe been on the other foot whereby the building was owned by someone else, the City Council would have condemned and closed that facility ages ago. But the City Council is above its own laws and public safety regulations. It must be considered downright reckless of the Town Clerk to have ignored the state of the City Hall structure over the last three years and to just unconcernedly allow scores of workers to occupy the building on a daily basis and to host frequent meetings for Councillors and others, all the while. His irresponsible actions should be roundly condemned by all.For the City Council to have failed to have carried out even the most basic of rehabilitative works to that edifice in the last three decades, in spite of receiving tens of billions of dollars in property rates, a portion of which is allotted for this purpose, is just simply scandalous and appalling.For the City Council to expect the Private Sector, foreign entities, NGOs and other charitable organisations to fund the restoration of its headquarters where they operate from, whilst they waste the citizens’ money on overseas trips, celebrating city week anniversaries, buying fancy sports utility vehicles for themselves, maintaining a bloated staff strength of nearly one thousand workers, half of whom have nothing to do, building presidential parks and petting zoos and fancy townhouses for themselves etc. Surely she could not be serious.This is not rocket science, all the City Council has to do for a project of this nature as is done in most other cities undertaking capital works, is to put up for sale municipal bonds, and once the interest rate is more beneficial than what is offered at the commercial banks, then there would be no shortage of people willing to invest in the bonds.Why are we paying these people super salaries with considerable perks to lead us and solve our problems when they are unable to come up with solutions that could be easily figured out by a ten-year-old?Sincerely,Mark Roopanlast_img read more