Georgetown Street to be renamed after Chinese City
By Bibi Khatoon
Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green on Tuesday evening clarified that monies were not taken from the City Council’s coffers to pay for her recent trip to China.
Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the Council, she told Councillors that the trip was organised by the Fuzhou City, in the Fujian Province and all expenses were paid by the Chinese Friendship Association and other partners.
The Mayor was accompanied to China by Town Clerk, Royston King; Chairman of the Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke; City Engineer, Colvert Venture and International Relationship Committee member, Carolyn Caesar. They spent a total of ten days.
Chase-Greene said that Georgetown and Fuzhou City share a twinning relationship since 2006 and her visit was premised on resuscitating the cooperation. As such, she disclosed that the street next to the Chinese Embassy in Georgetown will be renamed ‘Fuzhou Road’, a continuation of a previous decision taken by Former Mayor, Hamilton Green.
She noted that at their own expense, the Chinese agreed to make the street into a road and install lights among other amenities.
According to the Mayor, the China trip was discussed at the Council’s October 16, 2017 meeting at which Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikaran was absent.
Several concerns were raised about the Mayor’s recent travel after councillors, including the Deputy Mayor claimed that they were unaware of where she went, and more so, at a time when City Hall is in a financial crisis and the employees are yet to be paid.
“The council did not pay so I did not leave the workers hungry,” Mayor Chase-Green said.
She further clarified that the only monies paid by the Council were ‘out-of-pocket’ which is US$25 per day.
To this, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Clarke related that he would not have gone on the trip if the Council did not provide some sort of financial assistance. At the meeting, Clarke displayed the items he bought in China, which included a comb, a purse and other fineries.
Meanwhile, the Mayor accused some councillors of having their personal agenda.
“I’m not going to sit here and let some councillors do what they do in the streets with my name.”
The Council urged the Mayor to better publicise her overseas trips so her constituents can be better informed of her meetings. However, the Mayor said: “Am I to understand as Mayor of this City I am not allowed to look for ways and means for the development of this city? Any Mayor does that and it was not at the expense of the Council.”
“Be it whoever sits in this chair, the opportunity will arise where you will be offered to go to visit other cities and to come back and make recommendations for the city of Georgetown that you so love and that you would have won a seat for.”
She, however, told the Council that she would be visiting Valletta Malta on 21-24 November 2017, to attend the Commonwealth Local Government Conference and it will not be financed by the council’s coffers.
Asked why there were no photos publicised of the trip, the Town Clerk alluded to strict social media policies in China.