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Mar 14, 2003

Mayor charts new course for capital

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Yesterday was Belize City’s turn and today the newly elected leaders of the nation’s capital took their place in the sun. While the four o’clock start time for the inauguration ceremony was too close to news time for a full report, News 5′s Janelle Chanona managed to get a preview from the mayor, in which he highlighted the council’s plans for the new three year term.

Anthony Chanona, Mayor, Belmopan

“One is to strengthen the institution of City Hall by introducing maybe a little more efficiency, accountability, transparency, as an institution. Secondly, I think we are going to be focusing very positively and actively the invitation for private sector investments and industry, trying to create jobs. And thirdly, more importantly, is to continue the wonderful legacy of the campaign, which was the house-to-house street campaign, listening to residents. I think as an institution, City Hall, we as elected representatives need to do that more often and not only around election time. So if we can listen to our business community, we can listen to our residents, we will be able to improve on the services that we deliver.”

Janelle Chanona

“Have you all highlighted a project that will be the first that the Council will embark on?”

Anthony Chanona

“We had several in the pipeline, the first big one that’s coming up for tender is of course the new Central Market. That’s a thirty-three year old building that has seen its day, so that will give Belmopan, I think the first big facelift. We expected the Diana Company to come in shortly and get their operations up and running. We’re looking forward to the herpetarium, the tourist village, and hopefully if the scare of war could be avoided, we would expect the Windgate to also.”

In case you were wondering what on earth a herpetarium is, a quick check of the dictionary reveals that it is a home for reptiles and amphibians; in short, a special zoo full of snakes and lizards.

In addition to Mayor Chanona, the City Councillors are Beverly Swasey, Clifton Hall, Sharon Palacio, Eufemia Filipi, Lucas Ica and Alvaro Hidaldo. Belmopan was one area where independent candidates did exceptionally well. Highest vote getter for the independent slate, Paul Morgan, actually beat the last place U.D.P. candidate by three votes. And for those viewers who may not be aware, Mayor Chanona and reporter Chanona are father and daughter.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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