LGC controversy…claims some Commissioners seeking to cover up wrongdoingsThe Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC), Mortimer Mingo, has no authority to remove Commissioners from committee meetings since the Commission is a constitutional body.Commissioner Carol SoobaThis is according to LGC Commissioner Clinton Collymore, who spoke to Guyana Times on Monday in the wake of a fellow Commissioner, Carol Sooba being barred from attending deliberations on City Hall’s Commission of Inquiry (CoI) findings.Collymore pointed out that based on legal advice provided, Mingo unlawfully acted outside of his capacity and they intended to address this matter at the next meeting.“We’re going to raise the matter again when we have another meeting, because they intend to pursue this matter. We have gotten legal advice and we were told that the Chairman doesn’t have that authority and the Local Government Commission doesn’t have the authority to expel a member because it is a constitutional body,” said Collymore.He opined that Sooba was experienced in the Mayor and City Council’s operations and the LGC was allegedly attempting a cover-up. He also hinted that this outcome was linked to a political card, played by the Chairman to dissolve some of the recommendations in the report.Commissioner Clinton Collymore“There are other reasons for this. One of the reasons is that she was at the municipality for a very long time and she has some institutional knowledge as to what is going on and they don’t want that exposed.”Sooba confirmed that she was asked to recuse herself from a particular meeting where those discussions would be convened. She was told afterwards that she could not sit on the meeting to discuss other matters upon the insistence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman Andrew Garnet.In this regard, Collymore stated, “The Commission agreed to recuse her from her matter, but in the interim, it seems as though the Chairman got other advice. He is saying that she has to recuse herself from the entire Commission.”LGC Chairman Mortimer MingoWhen contacted for an invited comment on Saturday, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall also condemned these actions, positing that the CoI would have compiled the findings and the LGC was only responsible for implementing the report. While rejecting the decision to prevent Sooba from sitting at the meetings, the Attorney posited that her presence was essential to her appointment as a Commissioner.“I reject such a notion, because the Local Government Commission is simply engaged in considering the report and possibly, to recommend or implement these recommendations. The Commission is not making any findings. Those findings have already been made by the CoI. I cannot imagine how Sooba’s presence can influence or prejudice,” said Nandlall.“On what basis are you excluding her? The report is already completed. What is going on now is examining the report to determine its implementation. As a duly appointed member of the Commission, if the Commission was assigned that responsibility, then she must play a part,” he was quoted as saying.Disciplinary measures were recommended for senior staffers of the Mayor and City Council with the Town Clerk, Royston King as the chief for gross misconduct. Some of the officers are expected to appear before the Commission next Wednesday.Efforts by this publication to contact the Chairman proved futile, since he was not in office and his phone was unreachable.
One of Ireland’s most-strangely named villages is beating the recession by cashing in on its name.For years people have smirked at the signs welcoming them to the Inishowen village of Muff.But now locals have brushed aside suggestions to rename the village because they like it just the way it is Tara Reddin, chairperson of the Muff Festival, says visitor numbers have never been greater.“There was talk that people wanted to change the name but why would we do that?“I am born and bred in Muff and I never knew the double-meaning of the name until I went away.“Now we all just laugh at it and make the most of it,” she said. Tara revealed that the festival committee has even bought in a range of “I Love Muff” merchandise which is selling like hotcakes around the globe.The merchandise includes t-shirts, keyrings and baseballs with regular orders coming from as far away as America and Australia.Tara says stag parties coming to Donegal often come to the village to have their picture taken by the ‘Welcome to Muff’ signpost.“Muff is a small village and it only has one pub so it’s not a place where stag parties stay.“But they often come here to have their picture taken and might have a quick point or go into the local shops,” she said. She points out that most elderly people in the village aren’t even aware of the double-meaning of the village’s name which is officially referred to in some on-line dictionaries as “a vulgar word for a woman’s private area.”One of its most famous visitors was British comedian Alan Carr who had to have his picture taken beside the village’s sign when he played in nearby Derry.And Tara said that nobody in the village takes offence when people have a snigger at it.“I think we can all take a joke at this stage. If it brings people into the village and they want to spend a pound, then what’s wrong with that. “It’s not every village I Ireland can cash in on its name,” she said.* The Muff Festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend.IT’S ALL IN THE NAME – MUFF IS THRIVING! was last modified: May 30th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:muffMuff Festivalthriving