Mayor promises critical support for Town Clerk after Court ruling but frustration continues
Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine on Monday pledged “critical support” for Town Clerk (ag) Candace Nelson, a woman whose appointment Narine and the majority of the Council still continue to reject.
His pledge of support came hours after the High Court refused to grant the Council’s request for an order/injunction that would prevent Nelson from functioning as the Town Clerk until the Court rules in the substantive challenge to her appointment.
When the matter came up before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow Monday morning, the High Court Judge also dismissed an application by Nelson to strike out the challenge to her appointment.
A case management will now be held on October 6, 2021 and Nelson will continue to act in the position of Town Clerk until the Court decides on the lawfulness of her appointment by the Local Government Commission.
The Mayor on Monday said his decision to recognise Nelson was in respect for the ruling of the Court and nothing else. He continues to maintain that her appointment was unlawful and he has the support of the majority of Council members who serve as APNU+AFC coalition representatives, the same coalition that Narine serves politically.
While the impasse that existed for weeks has now been abated the frustration continues, preventing the Town Clerk from carrying out her function unhindered.
The frustration was on display Monday afternoon when the Council met for its statutory meeting. Councilors rejected as “wholly inadequate” minutes prepared by Nelson from the August 9, 2021 meeting.
Nelson as the Town Clerk is tasked with preparing the minutes of the meetings but with the Mayor failing to recognise her and prompting an abrupt pause to that meeting, the minutes were only prepared to reflect what happened in Nelson’s presence.
It would appear that after Nelson left the meeting on August 9, it continued in her absence and another document of the minutes was circulated on Monday to reflect that.
“In the absence of the Town Clerk there cannot be a meeting and I cannot record anything said or discussed; I was not present,” Nelson said.
But Narine insisted that the Town Clerk has no power to end any meeting and in her absence, an acting Town Clerk could be elected from among the staff present.
He accused Nelson of acting ultra-virus and said she dispatched correspondence that was never approved by the Council. Nelson maintained that she will not accept the minutes which was prepared by someone else and reflected discussions held in her absence.
Council members were still heatedly discussing the minutes one hour after the meeting started on Monday.