Mayor Chase-Green throws out No Confidence Motion against Town Clerk
Monday afternoon’s statutory meeting of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council descended into what councillors themselves called a “Circus” when a No Confidence motion against Town Clerk Royston King was rendered inadmissible by Mayor Patricia Chase-Green.
Clear divisions among Councillors were laid bare after the Mayor relied on the legal advice of former Magistrate Maxwell Edwards to guide her decision.
Although the motion was placed on the agenda, no debate arose and King prevailed with the Mayor insisting that the Council could not engage in any vote of no-confidence against him.
The ruling led to an immediate walkout by Councillor Sherrod Duncan who moved the motion and his Alliance for Change (AFC) colleague, Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran, seconder of the motion, respectively.
According to former Magistrate Edwards, if the motion is passed in its current form it will have no legal effect, arguing that the motion was imposing disciplinary action against the Town Clerk which the council is not authorized to enforce.
The former Magistrate said disciplinary action can only be taken by the Local Government Commission, reasoning that even if the motion is voted on and passed, it will not amount to any actual punishment.
But According to Duncan, he never intended to punish King but to engage in a discussion at the level of the full Council on his [King’s] performance. Duncan said the confidence vote would have been sent to the Local Government Commission for action to be taken.
“The motion never called for his dismissal, never called for its suspension. It clearly states that you have no confidence because of his performance… then the motion goes onto the local government commission for them to look at the matter and he is given a chance to be heard. But before that can happen in the Council the Town Clerk is heard through his legal advice,” Duncan said.
The former Deputy Mayor described the unfolding at City Hall on Monday as “bizarre” where the legal advice secured by King is accepted by the Council before he, the mover, is heard on the matter.
Duncan further argued that it was unethical for the Council to rely on and accept that a legal advice from Edwards, who is the husband of sitting Councillor, Noelle Chow Chee.
Duncan told the Council that the advice clearly shows why Edwards is a former magistrate and not a sitting one.
Edwards urged that Duncan amend the motion to remove the no-confidence vote, allowing for only a discussion, or the motion must be disallowed.
When the option was put to Duncan by the Mayor, he insisted: “I will not change a line, a word or a full stop, I will not amend any of it.”
The Mayor gave Duncan a second option, pleading with him to amend the motion and allow for only a discussion but he sat quietly.
This led the Mayor to rule that the motion cannot be allowed in its current form.