Parking Meter Renegotiation CommitteeBy Lakhram BhagiratChairman of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) Parking Meter Renegotiation Committee, Councillor Akeem Peter, said the owners of Smart City Solutions (SCS) have committed to return to Guyana for the commencement of consultations and possible renegotiation of the controversial parking meter contract.Chairman of the Parking Meter Renegotiation Committee, Councillor Akeem PeterPeter was at the time responding to questions from the media in relation to the work of the committee.“The principal members of the company are out of the jurisdiction. They have committed to being here in the next 14 days for the first meeting,” Peter said on Monday last.“The Committee is currently deciphering the (controversial) contract, and breaking it down so we can have our recommendations (on) the table (when we meet with Smart City Solutions),” he added. Peter said that the committee has written to SCS requesting additional documentation for the purpose of their consultation.“There has been no change to the (Terms of Reference) but as we go on and we see the need to widen the scope of the committee, then the ToR gives us the power to do so,” Peter said.The M&CC had, on May 13, 2016, entered into a contract with Smart City Solutions Inc. for parking meters to be implemented in Georgetown. A committee had previously been set up on April 26, 2017, one month after Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan had suspended the paid parking initiative. Its members comprised Malcolm Ferreira (Chairman), Roopnarine Persaud, Noelle Chow-Chee (VC), Ivelaw Henry, Trichria Richards, Carlyle Goring, and Heston Bostwick.The life of the Parking Meter Re-negotiation Committee ended when it submitted its final report and findings to the Mayor of Georgetown on August 2, and later circulated same to all Councillors. The report made three recommendations, which included renegotiating the contract with SCS, scrapping the entire project, and awaiting the outcome of the pending court cases.On September 7, there was a vote of 13:5:7 in favour of continuing the metered parking systems under a renegotiated contract. Following the vote, the Council had agreed to appoint a Special Select Committee consisting of seven Councillors and two members of the public with expertise and experience in the fields of accounting, law and engineering to meet with SCS. They would discuss the terms of the agreement with a view to renegotiating it in light of the findings and recommendations made by the previous committee, which had carried out an examination of the project and reported its findings to the council.Following much delay, the new Special Committee to re-negotiate the controversial Parking Meter Contract with Smart City Solutions was selected. The Committee is being chaired by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) councillor Akeem Peter.Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and a majority of the city councillors voted for APNU Councillor Noelle Chow-Chee to be Vice-Chairman. The other members of the new committee are Councillors Oscar Clark, Jameel Rasul, James Samuels, Heston Bostwick and Ivor Henry. People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Councillor Bishram Kuppen was also nominated, but declined.The Mayor mandated that two members of the public also sit on the committee, and Civil Engineer Owen Godfrey Edwards and Accountant Robin Hunte were selected.The new committee, according to the draft TORs, would be tasked with engaging Smart City Solutions with a view to renegotiating the terms of the agreement entered into between the parties, and more specifically to seek to take into account the concerns raised and addressed in the reports of the Special Committee in relation to costs, fines, enforcement, profit-sharing, areas, times, and other factors identified in relation to the project, plus any other relevant actions as the committee may, in its discretion, determine or as may be suggested by the general council. Upon completion of the negotiation period, the new committee would have to prepare a report setting out the proposals and or agreements arrived at, and present same to Council at a meeting called for that purpose.