…‘I became frustrated from the lack of cooperation’- Jaikarran
By Ramona Luthi
Former Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikarran has thrown in the towel and formally handed over his resignation letter to the Mayor and City Council (M&CC)on Tuesday last, asserting that he will no longer be heading City Hall’s Market Committee.
This is according to Jaikarran on Thursday, who confirmed to INews that the notice to the M&CC was with immediate effect.
Probed for a reason, the Councillor said he became frustrated with the “run-around” he was getting from City Hall’s administration- which is headed by Town Clerk, Royston King.
He recounted that for the past months, the Committee was making attempts to relocate vendors from the Stabroek Market Wharf, after the Public Infrastructure Ministry had indicated its intention of beginning rehabilitation works at the vending site in the coming months.
“I was Head of the Market’s Committee and we were trying to reposition vendors from the Stabroek Market Wharf because the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is going to start renovating that area, shortly. For the last three to four months, five months, the Town Clerk is not cooperating with us. The administration is not cooperating,” he explained.
The Alliance for Change (AFC) representative said that the Market Committee was tasked with providing a list of places to the Council, for the merchants to be relocated to. However, without the administration’s assistance, the task proved futile.
“They asked us to come up with a list of places to put these vendors but they’re not giving us any suggestions. Now we’re not admin so we don’t know what the Council owns and what the Council doesn’t own. So it got to the stage where we were doing site visits and we kept going around in circles and I got very frustrated with that. That’s not my way of doing things,” he explained.
Back in 2017, Jaikarran was elected Deputy Mayor over his predecessor, Sherod Duncan who had often been very outspoken against the actions of the Mayor, Patricia Chase-Greene, and Town Clerk, King.
However, when Jaikarran continued down the same path as Duncan- being critical of City Hall-, the AFC Councillor was “blocked” from being re-elected in 2018.
Following the Mayoral Election earlier this year, Chase-Greene had taken her place at the head of the horseshoe table and opened the floor for nominations for the position of Deputy Mayor and both Duncan and Chase-Green’s People’s National Congress (PNC) colleague, Councillor Oscar Clarke, rose to nominate their candidates.
However, Clarke was allowed to nominate his choice-which was Councillor Akeem Peters, and Duncan, who intended to nominate Jaikarran, had to take his seat.
Immediately after, Councillor Ivelaw Henry rose to second the nomination after which both Duncan and Councillor Tricia Richards both stood up resulting in the Mayor asking one of them to be seated.
When they both remained standing she was asked to recognize one Councillor and she chose to listen to her other PNC colleague, Richards, who then successfully moved a motion for nominations to be closed resulting in Duncan being denied the opportunity to speak.
It was that scenario that initially signalled some amount of bad blood between the Coalition partners at the City Council level.