Letter: MAPM to resume protests if metered parking resumes under SCS

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Dear Editor,

The Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) has taken note of recent reports in the media purporting that there will shortly be a resumption of the parking meters system in the city under the concessionaire Smart City Solutions (SCS).

MAPM takes umbrage to this announcement and at the continued underhanded efforts by officials at the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown to forge ahead to foist this corrupt contract on the Guyanese citizenry despite the MAPM along with other stakeholders highlighting ad nauseam the numerous deficiencies in the process of selecting and engaging Smart City Solutions as the provider of parking meter services in Georgetown.

The 13 councilors, who voted to renegotiate this corrupt contract have demonstrated their laxity for transparency and due process. The five members of the committee appointed to renegotiate this corrupt contract were some the same aforementioned thirteen and it is clear that they intend to carry out their mandate in the same incuriam de aequitate manner.

It speaks volumes that there is already talk of the resumption of parking meters when there is no evidence that a feasibility study and a cost benefit analysis was done, two things which the public has been asking to see for months and which was also highlighted in the Ferreira report.

The MAPM will not compromise on its position that the contract between the City Council and SCS suffers from a number of procedural and other deficiencies and may be deemed illegal due to breaches of various laws such as section 229 of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chap. 28:01 which provides that notice must be given and invitation sought from the general public bids by way of sealed tenders bidding for execution thereof of contracts exceeding $250,000, and to select from among those bids using a fair and transparent process and abiding by fixed and pre-informed guidelines of eligibility by bidders.

We would like to remind the M&CC also that evidence is yet to be produced by the Mayor and Town Clerk that prior authorisation was given to the Town Clerk for the execution of the SCS contract by majority decision of the Councilors as is required by section 56 of the Act.

MAPM would like to reiterate its position that we are not against a structured system for traffic regulation within the central areas of the city including measures to facilitate the orderly parking of vehicles and the need for the M&CC to increase their revenue base.

MAPM is not prepared to support, neither allow the successful renegotiation of this corrupt contract or the resumption of the parking meter system in Georgetown by SCS regardless of the minimal cost attached.

We therefore stand ready to mobilise our supporters to resume our street protests and exercise any and all options available to us to prevent this abomination from moving forward.

We also call on the Honourable Minister of Communities not to release the suspension of the parking meter bylaws.

Movement Against Parking Meters
(MAPM)

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