The ongoing Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into operations of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has brought many startling revelations to light and according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Government is not deaf to these disclosures.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonThe Minister of State told reporters at this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday that while Central Government recognises that local democracy through Local Government Elections brought into place the management of the city, because of the strategic location of the city, they cannot be oblivious to the things that are taking place there.On this note, Harmon posited that his Administration is concerned with some of the revelations coming out the Inquiry.“So yes we are recognising the matters that are coming out of the CoI but as you know, the COI is still a matter that is ongoing and that while you may be expressing concerns about what is coming out, it is the recommendations coming out of that CoI that the Government will have to take actions on,” he stated.However, Minister Harmon explained they will have to await the completion of the CoI and the recommendations of the Commissioner, retired Justice Cecil Kennard, before actions can be taken. He explained that the Terms of Reference of some of these commission of inquiries permit the Commissioner, if they find that it is in the public’s interest, to make preliminary recommendations if they find that actions needed to be taken even before the CoI has completed its work. “[But] we have no recommendation of such, so we may have to await the findings of Justice Kennard and what his Commission determines in this matter,” Minister Harmon said.Justice Kennard, the former Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), was sworn in back in September as the Chairman and sole Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the operation of the city government.Among some of the exposures during the public hearings, which commenced on September 24, 2018, and is being held at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, was that a plot of riverfront land, reportedly not the property of City Hall, was leased to a shipping company by Town Clerk Royston King since April 5, 2016, at the cost of $625,000 per year.It was also heard that the Town Clerk allegedly collected monies from nine specific drivers of the Route 44 (Industry) route. The drivers paid a rental of $3000 each to occupy a stretch of the roadway that spans from the Avenue of the Republic to Hinck Street. Consequently, some 45 drivers were left to fend for themselves as the area remains occupied by the said drivers.Only recently, it was also reported by sections of the media that King also purchased a property located at Happy Acres, East Coast Demerara, for $30 million. This was confirmed by his Attorney Andrew Pollard to be true.King has been sent on leave pending the outcome of this CoI.Moreover, the hearings also revealed that the Georgetown municipality is deeply indebted to contractors as well as to its staff. Apart from not remitting employees’ union dues and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) deductions, it was disclosed that City Hall has not been handing over its employees’ pension deductions and is in arrears on its fire and motor insurance policies to the tune of $24 million.The hearings are expected to conclude on October 31, after which the Commissioner will make certain recommendations based on his findings and hand over same to Government for actions to be taken.Over the years, City Hall has complained about lack of funds, which is a mere contradiction to its excessive spending. Concerns were raised over this issue, and it was noted that while the building is in need of repairs, millions of dollars have been squandered excessively.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 McDonnell declined to comment. KSPN program director Ray Kalusa did not return a phone call. No announcement has been made on a temporary or permanent replacement. — Bob Keisser KSPN management said when Krikorian was fired that they would aggressively seek a new partner for McDonnell, and several sportscasters co-hosted the show the last few months, including Jason Smith, Dave Denholm and Gary Miller. But industry sources say the option of not renewing McDonnell was also on the table. McDonnell has been a fixture in L.A. sports radio for three decades and was a host on the first all-sports talk station in the market, at KMPC. His stay at the ESPN affiliate lasted five years. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In a predictable move, KSPN (710 AM) on Friday informed veteran afternoon drive-time sports talk host Joe McDonnell that his contract would not be renewed and he was off the air immediately. McDonnell’s contract expires next month. The move comes almost four months after McDonnell’s former partner, Doug Krikorian, was fired.