A showdown is looming between Mayor of Roseau, Cecil Joseph, and proprietor of Acme Garage, Peter Karam, after the mayor told state-owned DBS Radio on Wednesday that a survey shows an obvious problem with the boundaries of Karam’s business place on Cork Street.
Karam is now calling on the government to put a ‘cap’ on Joseph. “I am asking the Minister of Information to put a cap on this man immediately this morning,” Karam told DNO on Wednesday. “This man is out of control. Stop him, get him off our back.”
According to Joseph the survey, conducted by the Land and Survey Division, revealed that Acme Garage boundaries are not clearly demarcated “with the exception of masonry wall at the eastern and western corners of the property.”
The mayor said furthermore the sidewalk in front the business place “is occupied in most parts by vehicles and masonry owned by acme garage” and “the covered drains that adjoin Cork Street and the sidewalk are also being occupied in part, but to a lesser extent, than the sidewalk.”
Joseph said the city council will be meeting today to discuss the matter and he intends to write to the proprietor of Acme Garage “to inform him that we need to sit and discuss and to look at the way forward.”
But Karam told DNO that he has no intention of meeting with the mayor. “I am not going to speak to this brother at all,” he stressed. “He is very unreasonable and I think there is something wrong with his thinking. I have done nothing different from 1959.”
Karam argued that his business place is not and has not caused any obstruction to the public. “The public and Acme Garage are the most friendliest,” he stated. “There does not exist in writing from 1959 one letter from one member of the public, neither to the transport board, neither to the planning authority, neither to the city council, neither to the traffic police, that any member of the public has ever been denied passageway or walkway on the property of Acme Garage.”
He further stated the law dictates that his business ‘is entitled to enjoyment of the frontage of our property.’ “He cannot deny that to me,” he pointed out.
Karam is of the opinion that Joseph is using the power of his office to carry out a ‘vindictive campaign’ against his business. “He used the government radio station to attack the Acme Garage,” he said. “Why is no other radio station running that story? The mayor is the one after Acme Garage. He is unrelenting at us. He is not giving up. He wants to show off and flex his muscles.”
Joseph and Karam have locked horns before on this very matter. In July 2012 Karam stated that the mayor had “declared war” on his company and alleged that Joseph was harassing and frustrating the operations of Acme Garage.
Back then he said the matter stems from a verbal confrontation between himself and the mayor over a vehicle that was reportedly parked in front of the establishment.