Governing body for resuscitated GAM to be decided next month
GINA, GUYANA, Friday, March 24, 2017
All Mayors and councillors will gather on April 21, 2017 to decide on the new executive body for what would be, the newly resuscitated Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM).
The meeting to elect the governing body of GAM is among several resolutions, coming out of the two-day deliberation at the Herdmanston Lodge in Queenstown, Georgetown where the Mayors from the nine municipalities, gathered and brainstormed strategic planning goals and steps for the action-plan of the re-resuscitation of GAM.
The mayors also resolved to holding, another conference, whereby, every municipality is expected to make a presentation on their challenges and issues, Mayor of Georgetown, Her Worship, Patricia Chase-Green told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
“We recognise that all the municipalities have some very burning issues, and if we are going to have the association, we must have one voice coming out, and so we have decided that there would be a mayors’ conference, where we would invite all mayors and deputy mayors and councillors and we would have roundtable discussions to deal with the issues that affect all municipalities,” Mayor Chase-Green explained. This concern which will address such issues as valuation of property, solid waste management, fiscal transfer, among others, is set for later next month as well, she said.
She explained that this will ensure that, GAM going forward in its functioning, will have a better understanding of the needs and concerns of each municipality. “So when we speak now as an association, we would be speaking with one voice and we would know that for us to really serve our citizens, these are the things that we have to have,” Mayor Chase-Green explained.
The Georgetown Mayor expressed the hope that when the new association is formed, the executive would take up the mantle and “be the one voice for the municipalities.”
GAM was founded in March 22, 2005, with assistance from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM.) The association had as its mandate the achievement of a unified approach to the development of municipalities in Guyana, in pursuance of better service to their respective communities. Over the years, however, the local government association, like many aspects of the local government structure, fell into disrepair.
The two-day deliberation among the Mayors was to enable the representatives of the municipalities to identify some of the key activities which can be undertaken, within the shortest time possible, for GAM’s reactivation.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, who delivered a brief message to the Mayors at the opening of the deliberation on Thursday, explained that the GAM’s resuscitation is another step in the ministry’s effort to support the local government councils’ empowerment, for them to become critical partners in local and national development.
The minister had also announced that the ministry would be able to provide a subvention to defray, at least initially, significant portions of the administrative expensive that would be incurred for the functioning of the association. The ministry would also be able to provide assistance and support in relation to the funding of project proposals which would have been generated, as well as provide support in the setting of standards, the minister had explained.
By: Macalia Santos