It would have served the letter writer better to remain silent

Dear Editor,

I refer, with deep regret, to a letter written by Mr. GHK Lall, which appeared in yesterday’s edition of the titled Stabroek News. “The Ministry of Local Authorities manages a parallel city”. This letter, stripped of the usual obfuscation and desperate attempts at literary language, very simply condones the utter incompetence and systemic mismanagement that is prevalent at City Hall. The attempt to accuse the central government of a lack of funds and, knowing that it is the duty of the Council to collect the taxes owed to it, the letter further attempts, in the absence of a piece of evidence in support of a flight, build a hypothetical example of what is supposed to relate when trying to collect so. Editor, this is nonsense. Have you had the experience, for example, of leading a small organization that receives, a week after the end of an amnesty on interest charges, a bill for 13 million dollars, whereas you never had previously billed for actual taxes, let alone astronomical interest charges?

Did you, perhaps, then reasonably ask for an extension of the amnesty which has just been concluded, so that the relatively small amount of actual taxes can be fully reimbursed? Were you then told that it was impossible? Have you appealed this decision in person several times to no avail? Have you wondered if the amount claimed was really for the building because the partial lot number did not match your records? Were you then assured that this was the case and that the sum had to be paid immediately, otherwise the consequences would be disastrous? Did you then, on the advice of your superiors, pay the sum claimed in full? Only to have a similar sum claimed by the Council a year later? Editor, there’s an old adage that says something about opening your mouth and removing all doubt. It would perhaps have served the author of the letter better to remain silent, but the deed is done.


Faye Elizabeth Alleyne

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