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Jun 28, 2017

New Enforcement at “Party Strip” Not About Politics; D.O.E. Agrees

We have been reporting that the Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is at the center of a controversy involving residents and business owners in the vicinity of Newtown Barracks.  Despite the predicament in which he finds himself, the mayor has a strong ally in the Department of the Environment.  Earlier today, the D.O.E. sent out a release addressing the issue of noise pollution, supporting the Belize City Council for enforcing the noise abatement regulations.  But is there a political undercurrent guiding Mayor Bradley’s decision to enforce laws relating to nightclubs, particularly those along the entertainment strip?  During the last general elections held in November 2015, U.D.P. Caribbean Shores Standard Bearer Darrell Bradley ran against and lost to Kareem Musa by a narrow margin of fifty votes.  The surprising outcome once again shifted control of the constituency to the People’s United Party, after two consecutive terms of U.D.P. rule.  While Bradley has not openly expressed an interest in re-entering the race, nor has he declared his candidacy for Caribbean Shores, it is strongly believed that he is prepping himself once again to take on his opponent.  If that were indeed the case, then recent actions to come down on noncompliant bar owners along Newtown Barracks, may lend credence to what many say is merely a ploy to win over voters come 2020.  At a public consultation one week ago, several residents voiced concerns about issues arising from weekend activities along the seafront stretch, none more vocal than a handful of P.U.P. stalwarts.  So, is the two-time mayor attempting to woo those voters by yielding to their demands?

 

Darrell Bradley

Isani Cayetano

“Now there’s a charge, if I may, that all of what has taken place since the consultation last Wednesday sets you up to gain as much political mileage as you can, given the fact that it is also said that you are intent on running once again in the Caribbean Shores area and those who were in attendance at the public consultation are voters that you would look at to cross over to your side of the football field, so to speak.  How do you respond to that?”

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“Isani, those arguments would be proffered by individuals who seek to misrepresent what we’re trying to do.  This is something that has been in the pipeline for two and a half years.  We’ve worked very aggressively on getting those regulations in place.  It has been slowed.  The regulations for the zoning, I think, represent a healthy approach in dealing with some of the concerns that have been raised there.  This has never been an issue about politics; we’ve never made it about politics.  This is a vibrant commercial zone in Belize City.  We want the area to be enhanced, but enhancing it means that we properly plan and manage it and we accord in accordance with the law.  So that for those people who say that, all I can say is that that is not the case.  This is an issue that when we had that public consultation which, again, is the fourth in a series of public consultations.  We actually gave out fliers in the area, we invited all the businesses.  There were a lot of people who came to that public consultation who don’t live in the area but they may be affected because they are workers or they are business owners.  So that that was a discussion among stakeholders, which is what we need to do going forward.”

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