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Feb 6, 2015

On the Campaign Trail in Corozal Town

The date for the municipal election is set for March fourth and mayoral candidates on both sides of the political divide, as well as independent hopefuls are out on the campaign trail mustering support for their respective slates.  Leading up to the 2015 elections we will be featuring candidates from across all nine municipalities.  Tonight, we begin in Corozal Town where News Five’s Duane Moody caught up with incumbent mayor Hilberto Campus and his opponent.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

For the past three terms, the Corozal Town Council has been operating under a U.D.P. banner. Mayor Hilberto Campos and his team have been managing the finances and other social and infrastructural programs of the municipal body. Campos spoke of what he considers a successful nine years in office.

 

Hilberto Campos

Hilberto Campos, Incumbent U.D.P. Mayor, Corozal

“Politics is in my blood. I am the grandson of Andres Campos, who I am proud to say is the first U.D.P. mayor who got into town hall here in Corozal in the 1970’s and following his example continue to serve the people of Corozal. In 2006, I was elected and god first, I continue to serve the people and I look forward to continue serving the people of Corozal. For the last three years, we have seen an explosion of projects in Corozal town. We have the cementation of different avenues and streets. But it goes far beyond that. From 2006 up to today, we have revolutionized the way we do business at the town hall, the way we do service to the people; we have elevated the bar of doing things overall as a community. We have moved on from what used to be the old times to the modern times. We have developed a very strong relationship with the electorate. We do events that are family oriented. We have the entire community of Corozal looking forward to events like the art in the park, like the Christmas parade, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony…annual events. We have moved on a long way from the way we used to carry out business at the town hall. I am proud to say that I have been a part of that change.”

 

But another Corozaleno and rather new candidate to electoral politics, David Vega, believes that enough has not been done for the northernmost municipality. Vega, a mathematics teacher at the Corozal Junior College and a father of two girls, has been a campaigner for two years and decided to come forward as mayoral candidate for the People United Party.

 

David “Dido” Vega

David “Dido” Vega, P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate, Corozal

“I’ve been in politics shortly; maybe two years ago I got involved. I want to mention nationally that I have been involved in two conventions—on March thirtieth and on the fifth of October. So within one year, David Vega would have been in three elections. Not an easy feat, but I think it shows the determination that I have; I think I am the first politician to do that in this country.  For all the teachers all over this nation, teachers are not allowed to have a bad day because they need to deal with kids every day, teachers do not have an eight to five job because they always put in work; teachers don’t always get the resources that they deserve at the school—they always have to improvise and spend from their pockets. So what we know is that the teachers see all the social ills that our country is facing every day. I want to make it clear that I personally, David Dido Vega and my slate, does not believe in a welfare system. We don’t believe in giving handouts. We truly want to empower people. Yes the infrastructure is good, yes the infrastructure is needed, but if we empower our people then that is the driving force.”

 

In both instances, either slate has exemplary men and women from various walks of life. But as leaders, what is it that they are going to bring to the table to either win the mayorship or retain the trust of the people?

 

Hilberto Campos

“The success of any administration of any council is dependent not only on the mayor but the entire slate. I have had the opportunity to work with different people under the three different terms and every election we bring something new to the board. This time around we have two newcomers, Maestro Cruz and Nurse Gomez and my state is comprised of four teachers, one business man and one from the healthcare service. Everybody put together, we cannot have anything but progress for the community.”

 

David “Dido” Vega

“I can clearly every day hear Mister Alejandro Tun who tells me that he lost his hundred dollars from Social Security because he is a P.U.P. supporter. I can hear the young lady who said she took a picture with me at the market and her place was taken away because I placed it on Facebook. I can hear the people who work at town hall who say look Mister Vega, I have worked there for twenty years; all I want is when I retire I can get the gratuity and pension that I need. I can hear the parent who says look I cannot get the report card at St. Francis Xavier School because I owe fees. I can hear the mom who tells me, Mister Vega I have homework that my child needs to do with the computer and I don’t have the monies to send her to the computer center. So this is the driving force behind my candidacy. But my thing is this. When we are elected to serve, we must serve everyone. This division about being P.U.P. and U.D.P. has to stop.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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