By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com]–Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker this afternoon [Monday, June 23] stormed out of a Statutory Meeting of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council following a late recognition by Mayor Hamilton Green.
Whittaker was personally upset that he was not invited by the Mayor to address the meeting at the inception. He was only recognized and welcomed by Green after several Councilors objected to a letter, which was being read almost half an hour after the meeting had convened, by Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase Green.
The letter was written by Whittaker and sent to the Mayor.
“About fifty minutes engaging in semantics, nothing productive… all they talking about is about a ‘T’ that wasn’t crossed in the minutes, a word that has some other meaning, an exercise in futility… they are wasting the tax payers money,” Whittaker explained.
Whittaker told reporters that he had written the Mayor and asked to address the Council in a previous correspondence to which he [Green] agreed.
He said if he was given a chance, among the issues to be discussed were concerns surrounding the payment of stipends to Councilors, the Mayor’s grievances of being starved of fuel and basic stationary and the General cleanup of the city among others.
“Everywhere I go citizens were calling on the Government to do something, that’s why I came, we are trying to help the council,” he added.
He made it clear that he was expected to address the meeting, to which the Mayor turned up 15 minutes late, which he described as a gross indiscipline on the Mayor’s part.
“The Mayor is aware that I was coming… there was not even an acknowledgement but the humility in me doesn’t make me bothered by that but I think he stooped very low when he went as far as he did, they don’t even have a budget and I’m to advise them. They have $21 million subvention and don’t even have a proposal… how can we take tax payers money and give you when you don’t have a plan.”
The Minister says he knows Cabinet will be disappointed with his report. Meanwhile in relation to the $500 million dollars to clean up the City, Whittaker made it clear that the money cannot be given to City Hall.
“We are the implementing ministry and I’m not about to make funds available to city council when I have record telling me that they have been misusing public funds… I have got to be dumb and stupid to make those funds available,” he said, adding that “If you can’t manage little things how will u manage bigger things.”
iNews could not get a comment from the Mayor since he was still overseeing the meeting at the time this story was published.