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M&CC in a perpetual state of financial crisis (Pt one)

first_imgDear Editor,Most citizens of Georgetown, stakeholders and men-in-the-street are aware that the City Council is being mismanaged, because they are feeling the brunt effects on a daily basis.The frequent garbage removal disruptions is fresh in everyone’s mind, and will continue to be a problem, since those services have been outsourced to highly paid contractors.Georgetown continues to experience flooding in some areas due to the drains and canals not being cleaned, with some not being cleaned for years. Many of the buildings owned by Council have been falling apart for years, including the main City Hall building, the City Abattoir, and the markets — inclusive of Bourda, Stabroek and Albouystown.Many roads are in a state of disrepair, even though Council is responsible for their repair and maintenance. There is chaos and congestion on the streets and pavements due to lack of enforcement of existing laws and unlawful/selective permissiveness.Rates and fees are going up, but services are not being performed; while Council maintains a massive and highly paid staff of over 800 employees, in addition to highly paid contractors.Building codes are constantly being violated, and the City Constabulary has been embroiled in one scandal after another, while crime is prevalent in many Council areas.The Council is in a perpetual state of financial crisis, with no proper accountability or transparency for the billions of dollars spent over the years. In fact, it is so bad that the Auditor General has been unable to completely audit the books of the Council for many years, due to sloppy recording-keeping and missing records even though the necessity for proper accounting records and procedures have been raised and should be known to the Town Clerk and City Treasurer.The Council’s Finance Committee, headed by Councillor Oscar Clarke, approves all expenditure for the Council, but it has never presented any detailed reports of payments it has approved, or contracts which it has examined and approved. In other words, no contract for any project has ever been presented to the full Council for examination and approval, except for the parking meter contract, which was released under extreme public pressure.The Finance Committee has never presented any report on the people who were granted amnesty, reductions or waivers on interest on rates & taxes owed to Council. The 2018 budget for the Council has not yet been presented, and while some discussions were held, it was discovered by myself and a few Councillors that highly inaccurate and misleading financial information was included in the draft budget proposal, including $414 million in liabilities without any meaningful details.Laws governing tendering for products/services over $250,000 are routinely being disregarded, while the Town Clerk’s office waits until the problems become so large that massive contracts have to be handed out for issues that could have been resolved with routine maintenance and repairs.Council has been deducting National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Revenue Authority and Credit Union contributions from employees’ salaries, but has not been paying these sums of money to those entities which I first raised in the Council.In fact, the union representing the employees threatened strike action a few days ago, demanding that those contributions and outstanding salaries be paid immediately.No reports have ever been presented on the amounts owed to those entities, but when the City Treasurer Ron McCalmon was pressed for details at the last statutory meeting, he verbally reported that $138 million was owed to Guyana Revenue Authority for employees’ income taxes; $116 million plus $9 million in interest was owed to the National Insurance Scheme, and $36 million is owed to the employees’ credit union.I demanded that a written report be presented to all Councillors, but I am doubtful that it will ever be presented, since requests for many other reports have not been fulfilled by the Town Clerk, who is in charge of administration.Yours sincerely,Bishram Kuppen – CouncillorMayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetownlast_img read more

Huskies fall in game 3

first_imgCoach Kalb also noticed times that his players seemed less willing to sacrifice the body than they had previously been in the playoffs. “People have to be willing to take a check to make a play” he said, saying the guys hadn’t been willing to do it in game three. But, it’s also clear that Wongstedt doesn’t plan on mailing it in tomorrow. [asset|aid=1126|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=2a210b47f53086fb6a5f03d899eb3dca-payden-game4_1_Pub.mp3] And so, the Wolverines take a 3-0 lead in the series, with a chance to wrap it up on Thursday night, at 8pm, at the North Peace Arena. Early in the second, Whitecourt notched another, this time on the powerplay, when Zack Blain stopped a Darcy Charrois point shot, with the rebound falling right to Rod Lavoie, who tapped it home, to make it 4-1 Whitecourt. Lavioe knew it was a huge goal, putting some daylight between them and their hosts. Late in the second period, two Whitecourt penalties on the same play gave the Huskies a full two-minute two-man advantage. It only took 21 seconds before Payden Wongstedt hammered a point shot through the crowd, to get the Huskies back in the game. But, though Fort St. John still had some time left on the powerplay, and though Whitecourt took another penalty shortly thereafter, the pups couldn’t get more than the one goal, and they still trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes of play.Payden Wongstedt had a few theories on why the pups powerplay struggled. “We weren’t controlling it properly, the bounces weren’t going our way, and we’ve got to start winning more draws” he said. In the third, Jordan Stead added all the insurance the Wolverines would need, shoving a loose puck past Zack Blain, to make it 5-2, which was how it all ended. Advertisement Talking to Payden Wongstedt after the game, it was clear what had been missing in the game. [asset|aid=1124|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=2a210b47f53086fb6a5f03d899eb3dca-payden-lacking_1_Pub.mp3] Likewise, coach Bob Kalb was a little disappointed with his team’s effort. [asset|aid=1125|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=2a210b47f53086fb6a5f03d899eb3dca-bob-game3_1_Pub.mp3] As far as players that he had been impressed with on the night, coach Kalb said it was a pretty short list, for such an important game. He singled out Dylan Apsassin, Dan Pappin, and Payden Wongstedt as players who always give a good effort, as well as his three midget call-ups (Robbie Sidhu, Jordan Walters, and David Green). Walters and Green played on a defensive pairing on the night, while Cody Kalb was clearly suffering from a shoulder injury, and barely seemed able to play. Advertisementcenter_img After playing their hearts out in Whitecourt in games one and two, it seemed like a couple of days off and a return to home ice would be just the ticket for the Fort St. John Huskies. But, trailing the series 2-0, the Huskies had a disappointing game on Wednesday night, as they struggled to generate scoring chances, and stem the tide of the Wolverines attack.It was the Huskies who drew first blood, when Dylan Apsassin stole the puck from Whitecourt goalie Ryan Demharter, and backhanded it into an open net. It was a shorthanded goal for the Huskies, and just the start they needed.- Advertisement -A few minutes later, Mitch Ternan dug out a puck in the corner, and centred to a wide open Kjell Reid, who buried it to even the game 1-1.Whitecourt would get a short-handed goal of their own, when Mitch rose beat Linden Apsassin to create a two-on-one, and then beat Zack Blain short-side to give the Wolverines the lead.With less than 2 minutes remaining in the first, Ryan Whelen doubled the lead, when Jordan Stead gave him a gift in front of the net, after the Huskies had been unable to clear their defensive zone.Advertisementlast_img read more