City Hall will be writing to the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan soon to request an additional month to continue public consultations on the Parking Meter project.
This is according to Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green on Tuesday during a telephone conversation with Inews.
According to Chase-Green, a vote was taken by Councillors on Monday to give the Parking Meter Committee an additional month to complete its consultations, as the initial three month period which was granted by Bulkan, will end later in the month.
The one month request, if facilitated by Bulkan, would also extend the suspension of paid parking around Georgetown.
On Monday, Chairman of the Parking Meter Committee, Malcom Ferreira was quoted in other sections of the media saying that the additional month would allow the contracting parking meter company, Smart City Solutions Inc. (SCSI) to produce several documents, including a socioeconomic feasibility study. This, he says, will further enhance the negotiations.
The Parking Meter Committee was established on April 26 2017, one month after Bulkan suspended the paid parking initiative.
Its members consist of Malcolm Ferreira (Chairman), Roopnarine Persaud, Noelle Chow-Chee (VC), Ivelaw Henry, Trichria Richards, Carlyle Goring, and Heston Bostwick.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference (TOR) was drafted and voted upon by the majority of members of the M&CC. The TOR provides the committee with the authority to “engage with all stakeholders within the parameters of the framework agreed upon by the Council, Cabinet and Smart City Solutions (SCSI) to seek to determine what terms of the Agreement can and should be negotiated to bring the contract in harmony with the desires of the Council, Central Government, SCSI and the citizenry.”
In addition to that, it obligates the committee members “to listen to proposals made by the other concerned parties and report same back to the Council for the council to make a decision on whether to accept or reject the said proposals,” “to advocate Council’s position in relation to the contract being mindful of the concerns of all the stakeholders,” to put forward workable solutions to any impasse that may arise with a view to arriving at an agreement that is mutually beneficial to all the stakeholders,” and “refer all financial suggestions to the Council’s Financial Committee for its opinion and /or advice.”
The committee members are responsible for negotiating the position taken by the Mayor and City Council with regards to the parking meters among themselves, then upon conclusion of the negotiating period, they are required to prepare a report and present same to Council at a meeting called for that purpose, setting out the proposals and or agreements arrived at.
Since having been elected, the members were sworn to secrecy pending the submission of a report of recommendations to the M&CC.
M&CC had entered into a contract with SCSI on May 13, 2016, for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown.
However, the project came under intense scrutiny and rejections from various public and private stakeholders, the Opposition and even some Central government officials over the clandestine way it was being foisted unto the populace, its prohibitive pricing and the contracting company’s general disregard with the way the new mechanism was introduced to the public, among many other concerns.
After becoming effective in late January, 2017, several large protests were staged in front of City Hall calling for the contract to be revoked, while multiple stakeholders took the M&CC and the SCSI to court over the matter.
Under pressure, on March 21 2017, the Minister of Communities who had initially passed the by-laws bringing parking meters into effect, ordered that it be suspended for a period of three months to facilitate the re-negotiations of the terms of the contract.