Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2014 Contents A7
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The Arima Corporation last month
named a previously unnamed park
after former mayor Ashton Ford---
but the sign for the park was erro-
neously erected at Eden Rahim Park,
and that has now been rectified.
This was the word from Arima
mayor George Hadeed yesterday after
former mayor Ghassan Youseph com-
plained in a letter to the editor of the
T&T Guardian that the PNM-held
Arima council had "renamed" the
Eden Rahim Park after Ford.
The latter is the Opposition PNM s
Youseph claimed this was done
without consultation with the burgess-
es.Hadeed corrected the misunder-
Ford also said it was erroneous to
say the Rahim Park was named after
him, since it was not.
On having another park, in Salamat
Alley, named after him, Ford said, "I
was born in that particular area, served
Arima long. I ve been in politics 46
years, a minister, a diplomat in Lon-
don. When I was an Arima councillor
at age 26, Ghassan Youseph was now
learning to talk English."
On Youseph s claim, Hadeed
explained, "This is total miscommu-
nication being put out there. The facts
are, the council was petitioned by res-
idents of Salamat Alley earlier in the
year to name a park on that street
after Ford, since that park had never
previously carried a name, and Ford
was born in that area.
"The park had never been named
and was only loosely known to some
as Salamat Alley Park. Their sugges-
tion to name it after Ford was in keep-
ing with the trend of previous councils
to name Arima parks after former
The official petition came to the
council two months ago, he said. "The
motion was brought up in council,
debated and approved."
But Hadeed said an error occurred
with the placement of certain park
signs, resulting in the "Ashton Ford
Park" sign being placed in the Eden
Rahim Park area.
He said a Lawrence Park resident
had failed to live up to a promise to
make a sign for the Rahim Park so
the council did the sign, but in error
placed the Ford park sign at the Rahim
"That has since been removed and
clearly that s what Youseph may have
been referring to. So the Rahim Park
has not been renamed for Ford,"
Acknowledging the honour of the
park sign, Ford said he was chairman
of PNM s Arima youth league at 17
and had a long history of heading
cricket and football leagues there as
well as a long political tenure in the
area he d served all his life.
A lack of funding is
responsible for the poor
working conditions at City
Hall, Knox Street, says
Port-of-Spain mayor Ray-
mond Tim Kee.
Speaking to reporters at
the unveiling of the com-
memorative sign at the Nel-
son Mandela Park, St Clair,
Tim Kee said, "Since last
year [City Hall] was sup-
posed to be fixed. We
applied for $16 million last
year and we didn t get the
money to do that."
Saying he became mayor
only six months ago, Tim
Kee said he was not respon-
sible for the present condi-
tion of City Hall.
"I came here just a few
months ago. All you see
there was obtained long
before my coming and a lot
of people are throwing
things in my direction, but
the condition that it is now
in, that didn t happen
overnight. And the addition
to the building for the office
of the mayor didn t happen
in six months."
He said the corporation
was given a small sum for
minor repairs to the building.
"We got money for very
mundane things but nothing
substantial, nothing that can
be deemed to be capital," he
Tim Kee said the $16 mil-
lion applied for would be
used to upgrade the entire
On Thursday, led by Pub-
lic Services Association
(PSA) president Watson
Duke, city police and public
health inspectors at City Hall
refused to work, citing
unsafe working conditions.
Tim Kee said workers had
a right to refuse to work
under poor health and safety
conditions, and the corpo-
ration was in the process of
finding a place to temporar-
ily relocate them.
"That s their right. We still
live in a democracy, and with
the very little resources that
we have, which cannot go
very far, we are making every
effort to make some adjust-
He said inspectors from
the Occupational Safety and
Health Authority (Osha)
planned to visit the building
and their recommendations
would be considered.
Tim Kee said he was in
discussions with the per-
manent secretary at the
Ministry of Local Govern-
ment on funding for reno-
vation work, and also in dis-
cussions with the
Commissioner of Police to
make sure that policing in
and around the city was not
Some of the protesting
workers, he added, worked
on Thursday, although they
refused to enter the building.
He could not say if the
workers came out to work
Mix-up over sign for
Ashton Ford park
Members of the Purple Masquerade group perform the limbo along Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain,
during Nelson Mandela Day celebrations yesterday. This is the first time the day has been commemorated
since the death last year of the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
No funding to
fix City Hall
The Port-of-Spain Corporation received $3 million
to renovate the area that houses the city police at
City Hall, but plans were stopped by the CEO of the
corporation, says former mayor Louis Lee Sing.
In a telephone interview, Lee Sing said, "Having
toured the police post on the ground floor, we
agreed it was totally unacceptable and needed
renovation and expansion.
"We got the money to do it under Dr Suruj
Rambachan, and it was one of 37 points we had on
the agenda to do."
Around 2012 and 2013, he said, the Ministry of
Local Government gave the corporation just over
$3 million to upgrade the police post. He said the
plan was to relocate the women police dormitories
to an annex of the public library and the men police
dormitories to the car park, while upgrade work
However, the CEO refused to carry out the
instructions of the council, Lee Sing said, on the
basis that the men wouldn't be pleased with
having their dormitories in the car park. However,
Lee-Sing said the council intended to build proper
dormitories, air-conditioned and ventilated.
"We took the matter to the Statutory
Authorities Service Commission to complain and
they wrote the CEO instructing her to carry out the
renovation. We eventually left and the work wasn't
"The problem is not with the council, not with
the adminstration, not with Central Government.
The problem is with the model under which we
function," he added.
"When you have a situation where the CEO is
not answerable to the mayor and council, there
would be confusion, and when the mayor instructs
the administration and the CEO determines the
time frame, there will be confusion."
Responding to claims that preferential attention
was given to the mayor's office, while working
conditions for staff were neglected, Lee-Sing said,
"When I became mayor in August 2010, the mayor
was housed in a little cubbyhole on the first floor. I
met buckets collecting water and newspapers
spread all over the place."
He said it took him two years to get approval to
fix the roof.
Winifred David, CEO of the corporation, could not
be reached for comment as she was in a meeting
and didn't respond to messages left with her
LEE SING RESPONDS
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