By Shermain Bique-Charles
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has given Saaid Greene an ultimatum to either fix the issues affecting St John’s City, or resign from his position. Greene, who is the Director of City and Urban Renewal at the St John’s Development Corporation (SJDC), yesterday that he has no choice now but to take serious action to address the decades-old problems, which include vagrancy and illegal vending in the city. “I am putting together a contract and terms of reference for my position, but I can tell you that it is a performance-based contract and so the Prime Minister is very clear — either I get it done or clear my desk,” he said during an appearance on OBSERVER AM. Greene said whenever there is a comparison about an unkempt capital in the Caribbean, St John’s is the reference point. “This brings us to a situation of shame. It is untenable what is taking place in our capital. This is the year that it has to change,” he promised.
The Director of City and Urban Renewal said he is currently putting together a structural programme that will be targeting various agencies in St John’s. “We want them to work with us in collaborative ways so that we can bring real solutions to bear on the many challenges that we face,” he said. The real vending problem, according to Greene, is centred around the Public Market square, a situation that he believes has been mismanaged for so long that it will now be very difficult to control. “A lot of businesses are there.
The vendors, those selling vegetables, those providing technology trade of cellphone repairs”, but according to Greene, it is done in a disorganised manner. The City of St John’s will also undergo a major face-lift within a matter of months, as a result of a multi-million-dollar agreement that was signed recently with Global Ports Holdings, Greene disclosed.