The Art of The “Possible”: A Councillor’s Journey Through “Covid-19”

Engaging in Private/Public Partnership for Public Projects…Trying a Creative Solution.

What can you do when Central Government is not releasing funds to certain Regional Corporations? What does it say when the Government repeatedly justifies its disproportionate provision of funds by blaming a global pandemic? These questions have plagued me since 2016, but moreso last year- when this entire Covid-19 crisis began and the subsequent budget allocations were made and compounded an already difficult period. 

How could I serve my burgesses while maintaining social distancing on a very hands-on job?

Things in the district weren’t going to repair themselves or be fixed on their own. I had to broaden my perspective and scope to address the needs of the people. Thinking outside the box is something that I still do, especially because it is needed during these unprecedented and challenging times, where we also cannot rely on the Government’s assistance on any major level.

I started approaching private businesses. After all, these beautiful spaces identify as parts of their area too and that meant that the maintenance and development of the infrastructure were also part of their interest, as well. The deplorable roads, poor drainage and other problems were probably doing more harm to their finances than they cared to admit and they were probably just as frustrated as I felt.

It was time to get them involved. When a curb wall fell in St Helena, I decided I had to reach out. Thankfully, Harry Persad and Sons answered the call. In a short time frame, they removed the slab of concrete that was blocking the watercourse, which in turn has saved the residents from a lot of inconvenience.

As my district falls prey to flooding, Modern Electrical in conjunction with RJS Contracting joined forces for the construction of a massive box drain along the Streatham Lodge Road Extension, St. Augustine South. Having been granted all the necessary approvals from the Tunapuna/ Piarco Regional Corporation, I presided over the construction of a 200 feet concrete box drain. I am delighted to report that since its construction, flooding in this road has been a ‘thing of the past’. Burgesses themselves are very grateful for the new infrastructure and such a monumental project would not have been possible had I not been proactive in my flood mitigation efforts.

We know that Hard Work breeds Success… but Innovation and Persistence also breeds Success.

There’s a deeper message here, apart from praising the businesses for their response. I hope more establishments will assist with whatever means they can, because this is certainly a trying time for both the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. Now is the time to be Creative.

Innovation is the way of the future.

Being resourceful can actually save your life.

And remember, help will come, once you continue reaching out for it.

Finally, I implore everyone to obey all health protocols and when you encounter a difficult problem: Try a creative solution. 

– Richard Rampersad

Vol. 1, Issue 3