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Feb 22, 2019

Micah Goodin Benched Indefinitely Following Tirade at City Hall

Micah Goodin

Flanked by his team at City Hall, Mayor Bernard Wagner today announced that he was relieving Councillor Micah Goodin of his responsibilities at City Hall which including staff development and training as well as youth and sports. Goodin’s troubles began soon after he was sworn in. It started with the Councillor berating the City Administrator in the conference room and escalated into a scuffle in the corridors of City Hall on Wednesday. It was all recorded and the temperamental Goodin is heard ranting about money for an approved project.  It is not clear at this time how long Goodin will be sidelined. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Since taking the oath of office on March fourteenth, 2018, Councilor Micah Goodin has been a fixture at City Hall, doing his job as an elected official to address the needs of the municipality.  But his tenure thus far hasn’t been without challenges.  Goodin’s brash personality has brought him into conflict with his colleagues at the Belize City Council on several occasions, the most recent being an outburst with City Administrator Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt earlier this week.  Here’s a snippet of an audio recording in which he berates the senior manager.

 

Voice of: Micah Goodin, City Councilor

“You could have a seat.”

 

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“I prefer to stand.”

 

Micah Goodin

“C.A., why you always have to insult my people dehn?  Why you always have to be disrespectful to my people dehn?  Why? Why? I done gaan da caucus, I done get dis thing approved and now you wahn embarrass my people fronta people.  Why, C.A.?”

 

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“Would you like a minute to calm down?”

 

Micah Goodin

“No, no.  I really want to know why.  I feel like you di target me and you di target my people.  Dis is not the first time.”

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“Well councillor, I am very sorry that’s how you feel, but I think it’s also fair to say that your people have been very disrespectful to my office.”

 

Micah Goodin

“C.A., I am the councillor, if you have a problem you can come to me.  I took these matters to caucus, that was my idea, my suggestion.  I am an elected official, I da noh no lee bwai out yah.”

 

It’s that aggressive attitude, followed by a brief scuffle as he exited City Hall on Wednesday evening, that has since resulted in him being sidelined and stripped of his responsibilities.  Flanked by his councillors, Mayor Bernard Wagner addressed the media on the matter earlier today.

 

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

Bernard Wagner

“Since taking office, I have tried to mentor and guide all my councilors, particularly Councilor Goodin so we can all, as a group, realize our full potential as leaders of this city.  This past week, Councilor Goodin tabled several new initiatives to caucus for consideration even though these initiatives were not a part of this fiscal year’s work plan and budget.  Nevertheless, caucus considered these because we believed they were worthwhile and would be good for the community.  The council’s accounting procedures require certain requirements to be met prior to funds disbursement.  So while these budgets were approved, it was not anticipated that funds were required for immediate disbursement on Wednesday morning.”

 

That notwithstanding, Councillor Goodin approached the City Administrator by reportedly barging in on a meeting in progress and demanding an audience with her in respect of a payout for one of those initiatives.  Based on the mayor’s description of the procedures that ought to have been followed, Goodin, according to the City Administrator was attempting to flout the process.  When he was reminded of those requirements, he attempted to reprimand the City Administrator before exploding in a fit of rage.

 

Voice of: Micah Goodin

“…and I deserve to be treated with respect.  How can you, this document went to caucus and now you wah deh ya di tek my bwai fi wahn laughing stock.  Noh mein, you cyant di talk to people like dat.”

 

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“Excuse me.”

 

Micah Goodin

“You cannot be doing that.  Yoh cyant di do that C.A., and I noh wahn accept it.  I will not accept it!  Have sohn respect fi my people dehn because ih noh wahn be nice.”

 

According to Mayor Wagner, the order of priority, as well as the need for business to be conducted properly, was explained to the councilor upon assigning him the portfolio.  That, however, was completely ignored on Wednesday.

 

Bernard Wagner

“This is what was explained to staff within the councillor’s portfolio, however, this was interpreted as an unwillingness to disburse the funds which led to Councillor Goodin’s outburst with our City Administrator.  We consider such actions by our elected officials to be unprofessional and unacceptable.  We must respect the protocols that are established through the legislation and as such it cannot be business as usual where politicians can intimidate senior administrative personnel and staff.  We cannot be about the people while on the other hand treat our own staff with disrespect and disdain.”

 

That condescension later spilled into the corridor of the office building where a brief scuffle ensued between the Councillor Goodin and City Hall staff.  Words were exchanged.

 

Micah Goodin

“Weh gaan on mein, noh touch me bredda!  No touch me!”

 

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“Yoh might wahn go deal with that.”

 

Employee

“Da who di go ahn soh mein?”

 

Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt

“Your councillor.”

 

Micah Goodin

“I tiad a dis f*cking r*ss een ya.”

 

For that altercation, Goodin has been stripped of his portfolio indefinitely and benched from council activities.

 

Bernard Wagner

“After gathering the pertinent information, I have taken the following decision with full support of my deputy and all councillors and we will be redistributing the portfolios assigned to Councillor Goodin as follows.  Management Information Systems will now be assigned to Deputy Arnold.  Youth and Sports will now be assigned to Councillor Ryan Elijio and Training and Staff Development will now be reassigned to Councillor Pitts.”

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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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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