It has been very clear, from the statement made in the Throne Speech last year, that the intentions of this government regarding the municipalities are evident.
It is so simple. Taking away the right to determine the representatives on the city council, not being able to choose the next mayor is wrong.
Our elected officials are held accountable to the ratepayers and residents of the city. They need to be available to address the needs of the taxpayer in a timely fashion. Ignore them or under-serve at your risk.
Can the new, minister-appointed officials be publicly held accountable to the same extent?
Who takes away their “right to run the city” if they fail, you or I?
The minister’s “smoke and mirrors” public consultation was a farce. The Government’s own commissioned survey, set out to gather the best response from the Bermuda community, received an overwhelming shout to leave the municipalities alone.
Did this have any effect on its predetermined course of action? No. Because it was predetermined. The Bill was already written, the plan in place and tabled just one week later — all to be done and dusted before the delayed election from a year ago.
We still have yet to see a formal result and response from the Government about the public forum and the results it yielded. It seems our community is not even deserving of a response.
This minister (Walter Roban) is wanting to finish what he started in 2009: to take control of the City of Hamilton and the Town of St George, control of the waterfront.
His own waterfront plans released at the two public meetings confirm the grab. It’s as simple and as transparent as that!
• Charles Gosling is the Mayor of Hamilton