|Burrowes organises teams to collect garbage, recover debts for M&CC|
|Friday, 28 September 2012 23:18|
TWO teams - one for monitoring garbage collection in the city, and the other for recovering debts owed to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) -- were yesterday organised by Head of the Implementation Committee (IC), Mr. Keith Burrowes; and work in these areas will begin on Monday.
The IC, set up to investigate the operations of the M&CC, considers garbage collection and debt recovery as priority areas of the council; and Burrowes installed the teams yesterday at a meeting he convened at Sleepin Hotel, on Brickdam.
Present at the installation ceremony were Town Clerk (ag) Carol Sooba and Public Relations Officer Royston King. The teams are made up of staff from the City Council and from another debt recovery agency, Burrowes informed reporters.
According to Burrowes, people with over 20 years of experience in debt recovery are carrying out this task free of charge for the council. “We are issuing letters to the people who are not paying, and then we will send our people out to them. This will go for as long as all the money owed the council is collected.”
Burrowes is expecting full support from the press on this exercise. “I think the press can do a good job…picking up the business people who are dumping all over and highlighting them on the front pages of their newspapers. We can’t wait on the City Council alone, because, when there is rubbish, it affects all of us.”
The Town Clerk offered that the council intends to tackle the garbage problem from its source. “The people who usually dump are not the source of the garbage,” she said.
Meanwhile, at a meeting late last month, Burrowes said there will be no further procrastinating, and that the issues of garbage collection and debt recovery will have to be dealt with practically.
He acknowledged that the City Council alone should not be blamed for the garbage situation in the city. “The problem is so bad that, sometimes minutes after the Council cleans up an area and moves on, the area is again filled with garbage.”
He identified some businessmen who use vagrants to dump garbage and citizens who do not pay their rates and taxes as additional contributory factors to the city’s garbage problem, adding that other plans to be implemented will include strategic use of the Town Constabulary to catch garbage dumpers.
The proposals for garbage dumping will also include the erection of ‘no dumping’ signs, and even though people will dump their garbage regardless under those signs, at least, when they get caught, they would not be able to say that that “they didn’t know.”
Burrowes stressed that debt recovery was a main area of operation, and there was urgent need to establish an effective Debt Recovery Unit. He said that even if 25% of the rates and taxes targeted were collected, workers will be paid at the end of the month.
He hopes that the presence of these uniformed persons at business places or residences may embarrass people into honouring their obligations.
POLITICS AND PERSONALITIES
However, he noted that he has begun to see some changes in the way workers at the municipality operate. “They are more versed in what they are supposed to do now,” he remarked.
Burrowes said the few “bad eggs” at the council will not cause him to lose faith in that entity. “I will continue to have faith in the City Council for as long as I have dealings with it. No one will change my faith in their operations. The majority of workers there mean well.”
Meanwhile, the acting Town Clerk chose to sit to the very back of the meeting, despite being invited by Burrowes to sit with him at the head table. She caught sight of the Public Relations Officer sitting at the head table as she was proceeding up front, and decided to go to the back, prompting King to remark - “I ain’t got time with she!” The situation apparently amused Burrowes.
Sooba nevertheless ended up to the front to deliver a few remarks.
Issues between the two officials arose when Sooba, after being appointed acting Town Clerk, requested King to proceed on leave, prompting objections from municipal workers and the union representing the council.
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