Dear Editor, PERMIT me space in your esteemed print as a response to “Forensic audit of City Council set for March 18.”
Of course, it is time that such an exercise take place with regards the entire financial management affairs of the City’s municipality. As a matter of fact, the not-so-long-ago conducted Kennard enquiry, and submitted report into City Hall’s business, underlines why this imperative becomes urgent, so that its affairs can be properly ascertained, thus setting the city on a corrective path for better management of its administrative affairs, and of course, proper service to the city.
However, I must take issue with part of your statement in paragraph two of [the] article which gives the understanding that Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) councillor has led calls ‘’over the years” for such an exercise. This is not true, and permit me an explanation to this effect.
Rocio Higuera Venezuela
Editor, my understanding of the quoted phrase, as used, is about a period of in excess of the period 2016 to current, meaning some reasonable amount of time. As far as I am aware, he has only been a councillor since 2016, a just-comer, whose particular reasons, as reported, calling for such an investigation at city hall, has more to do with scoring cheap political points for and on behalf of his political party, the PPP/C, rather than having a genuine interest into the city’s welfare, and how it is managed by the city fathers and mothers. Further, it must be reminded that it was this same councillor, in the run-up to the last local government elections, seeking to garner votes for his party, who emphatically stated that there would be no increase in taxation for the city and that new ways must be found to garner revenue for an already starved council coffers.
Rocio Higuera Globovision
Editor, though this is an aside, it is necessary to expose Kuppen’s great pretence about his supposed interest in the council’s affairs; for had he been genuine, he would have known that there is no municipality that is owed so many billions in rates and taxes, and in which there has been no property valuation for over two decades; in addition to the fact of numerous instances of citizens still continuing to pay domestic rates although there would have been conversion of their properties into business entities – that could deliver efficient, much less proper services to its citizens
Finally, in the article referred to “…There is a lot that is not proven and tested, and we know with the corruption and mismanagement of the city, a forensic audit is important”. This councillor is in the category and mould of the Modi Sankars and a phalanx of like persons that had spent a considerable time lambasting city hall for its perceived, inept management of the city’s business, and of course, corrupt practices. Certainly, it was their right as citizens to criticize such actions at city hall that have been inimical to the better interests of its administration, and to the city in the process
However, they have all been convenient, selective, and more so hypocritical in the vitriol that they poured on city hall. First of all, they must be reminded that what had obtained at City Hall was not in isolation of the larger plateau of rampant state corruption, inclusive of the pillaging of state resources, which numerous conducted audits have exposed, and which had taken place unabated under their political party, the former PPP/C administration. It would seem that they were either absent, and in another galaxy, or if present, read the news wearing extremely dark lenses. Otherwise, where were their voices then?
Secondly, corrupt practices at the M&CC were no more or less than that which had been pervasive in every nook and cranny of state institutions, even within the system of local government that had existed under the dictatorial PPP/C government. Thirdly, all that occurred at the Council was that the prevailing environment enabled dishonesty, because of the absence of proper systems. In fact, it was the former mayor, Mr Hamilton Greene, at whose constant complaints about questionable instances within his then council, that had led to the Burrowes Commission, which findings among others, not only led to the sacking of the then town clerk and the city treasurer, but also pointed out to the absence of administrative controls in the form of systems that had been the cause of the immoral practices; and the necessary recommendations that such guidelines be implemented. Thus, it was Mr Greene who was the first city official to challenge what had been taking place, and not Kuppen
Fourthly, one should not be in any doubt that these “upright citizens”, given their line of attacks on the city and its administration, did so from a purely political perspective, as well as race, given the fact that when the city had stunk to high heavens, with its citizens almost suffocating under the unbearable daily stench of the numerous garbage piles – they were deafeningly silent, and never even bother to question the non-intervention of then central government. It is further noted, too, that their attacks on City Hall, aired in the post 2015 period, never mentioned the gradual restoration of the city to a habitable capital, and the role that the current administration has been playing in this vital process