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Aug 1, 2017

Why Darrell Bradley wants Dion Leslie to succeed him at City Hall

Attention now turns to August twenty-seventh, when either Dion Leslie or Philip Willoughby will be chosen by United Democratic Party voters to replace Bradley. Already enjoying the open support of at least one U.D.P. area representative, Tracey Taegar-Panton, Leslie became the de facto front-runner when Mayor Darrell Bradley publicly endorsed his candidacy today, and pledged to work for him leading up to the convention date and going into municipal elections. According to Bradley, he is not seeking to influence voters’ selection as much as he wants to support Leslie as the right man for the job.


Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“For what it is worth, my support will be behind councilor Dion Leslie; and I know that he can continue the vision, the strong leadership – he has been right there by my side over the last five and a half years, working on all of the difficult challenges. One of the biggest areas that City Council has faced is sanitation; that was his portfolio through all the years since I was mayor and he has really been there, fighting to ensure that we had made a good transition in relation to the B.M.L. staff, that we could pay off all of our debts that we earned to the sanitation contractors, now we have only one contractor who is working with the City Council, that we could have a good transition to our own staff. And I think any leader, whenever they demit office, one of the big things is that they would want to see continuity in terms of the good work. The only thing that I consider in making whatever decision is the best interest of Belize City. I indicated to you earlier on that when a leader demits office, he wants to see that there is certain continuity in relation to some of the good things that has happened in Belize City – one of the things is the relationships and partnerships that we have built with the private sector and individual citizens, so that when I look at the city that I would want my son to live in, I’m quite confident that Dion Leslie can build that city; he can build the partnerships and the relationships. I do these things deliberately because I look to the future, and I look to the kind of leaders that can bring about that future that we all ascribe to live in. I know that perhaps that may cause disquiet in certain corners, but I am a voter in Belize City. I am a member of the United Democratic Party. I am somebody who has additional insight because I have been in the office of mayor. I know the headaches and the struggles; I know the loneliness and the frustration that you feel when you are in that office. I know when the City Administrator calls and tell you, ‘we have problems with payroll, we have problems with this, we have dealings with that’ – and you are getting stress from up top and you are getting stress from your colleagues. And I think that Dion Leslie has the stuff that can deal and navigate will all of those things to make a very positive impact on Belize City. It’s not that I am concerned that what I say might [cause] problems; it is that I would want what every single resident of Belize City would want – a city that is growing; and in wanting a city that is growing, you have to look for leaders who can create that change that you want, and I am one hundred percent certain that Dion Leslie can create that.”

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