THE EDITOR: This letter is in response to Dr Allan Sammy’s, chairman of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation, comments at Wednesday’s joint select committee’s meeting in Parliament where he expressed concern over local government reform and whether the corporation will be able to handle the additional financial burdens.
I’d like to ask Sammy to “have several seats,” as the young people say. As a woman working in the public sector, there are multitudes of public servants who complain about bureaucracy, red tape, the inexplicably long time it takes to get simple tasks completed, lack of funding or the ability to get financial allocations on time. Yet, when the opportunity arises for change or a procedure created to promote efficiency emerges, they are resistant to change or reject it outright.
Every time the corporations are highlighted in the news, it is for mismanagement of funds, fraudulent activity or general complaints about the unresponsiveness to the needs of residents in their districts.
Local government reform should be welcomed with open arms. As I understand it, they will get their allocations from the Ministry of Finance faster, they will be allocated a percentage of the income from property tax collections to aid in the development of their respective communities and the executives will have autonomy similar to that of the Tobago House of Assembly.
In that regard wouldn’t they be responsible for increasing their manpower to meet their new needs and responsibilities? Why then is Sammy going to the JSC to spread his negativity? If anything he should be happy that reform is coming.
Local government reform is needed for so many reasons. At the end of the day, I am concerned with one thing and that is getting that river next to my home dredged. My family and I cannot survive another flood season. Every time we make a report and seek a response they make excuses about funding, lack of equipment or delays in selecting a contractor. What about my family, my home and myself?
Local government reform promises development and efficiency for corporation activities. Stop complaining and make it happen.
VANESSA DEONARINESINGH, Penal