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Mar 14, 2018

The Blue Tide Reaches City Hall – Wagner and Team Now in Charge

There was a changing of the guard today at City Hall, from the red to the blue.  A new mayor and councillors for the country’s largest municipality took the oath this afternoon before a supportive crowd.  The P.U.P.’s Bernard Wagner and his team of ten councillors, a week ago, won convincingly the trust of voters and today they officially took over the administration of the city. Fresh from victory, they pledged to work with honesty and integrity putting people above all. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

One week to the day, after trouncing the United Democratic Party’s slate in Belize City, Mayor Bernard Wagner and his team of ten councilors were introduced at City Hall as the new municipal administration.  Officials of the People’s United Party descended on 109 North Front Street shortly before two o’clock this afternoon to usher in a new Belize City Council, twelve years after ceding management of the Old Capital to the U.D.P.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“Today, as our newly-elected council is sworn in, we recognize that we are taking over a city that faces tremendous challenges.  Our urban housing stock leaves a lot to be desired.  Housing development has been unable to keep up with urban population growth.  Our transportation network is inadequate and has impeded mobility and human productivity.  Flooding and climate change challenges have been further exacerbated by poorly designed drainage, infrastructure and poor maintenance.”

 

Before a throng of avid supporters, Wagner took the oath of office, formally succeeding Mayor Darrell Bradley as head of local government.

 

Bernard Wagner

“I, Bernard Wagner, being duly elected as a member of the Belize City Council, do solemnly swear that I shall at all times, to the best of my ability, exercise the powers and perform the duties of my office in the best interest of the residents of Belize City, in accordance with the constitution, laws and regulations of Belize and Belize City.  So help me God.”

 

For the next three years, the incoming body will be working to achieve a mandate it has set out for the development of Belize City and its residents.  Having earned the faith of the people, Mayor Wagner and his team are now charged with moving things forward.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“No candidate who earlier swore the oath of office got here alone, so each of you must remember that it is the hard work of many and the trust and confidence of even more that has delivered this opportunity to you.  Accept this responsibility with graciousness and humility.  This council ran a campaign on a message of change and on the promise of greater openness and transparency.  They based a campaign on the clear distinction between two ideas; one idea that was based on projects and the other on people.  It’s about the people, Bernard said.  So now this council, while fully aware of their responsibility to the residents of this city, must now fulfill its mandate and give meaning to those very real plans and ideas laid out in their manifesto, ensuring that whatever they do will be people-centered and people-driven.”

 

For the newly-appointed council, getting here was no easy feat.  Each candidate was faced with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of convincing the electorate that his or her team was a better alternative to the extensive U.D.P. rule.  The effort paid off in spades.

 

Candice Pitts

Dr. Candice Pitts, Councilor

“On the night of that launch, I asked you, the residents of Belize City to enter into a new partnership with the P.U.P. team eleven to make sure that we start developing this city and help to improve the quality of your lives.  You agreed to this partnership and you elected us into office.  And so, on behalf of this team and on behalf of this newly-elected council, I thank you.  I thank all of you, and on behalf of myself, I promise you that I will remain honest, that I will remain transparent, that I will remain diligent, that I will remain bold, that I will remain firm and that I will remain humble.”

 

Of particular interest is that the new Belize City Council also has a strong youth representation with Alan Pollard Junior and Micah Goodin.

 

Micah Goodin

Micah Goodin, Councilor

“If you listen to us, all our stories, it is because of you the residents of Belize City that we are here today.  It is because of you that we are who we are.  It is because of you that we are successful and all of us, we just want to give back.  Who mi wahn eva imagine wahn lee dutty lee bwai from through Majestic Alley, weh gaan da Sadie Vernon, mi wahn deh ya todeh?  Who?  Belize City, we will not fail you.  We will not let you down.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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