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Feb 23, 2012

Not a Manifesto? VIP’s Commitment Sheet

Both major political parties launched lofty party manifestos earlier this week at events that were brimming with supporters to show political muscle. This morning, the much smaller Vision Inspired by the People followed suit with its election platform for the Belize City Council. In terms of campaign financing, the VIP’s coffers are not known to be spilling over, but the launch took place at the Radisson. Still yet it was low keyed, solely a media event, minus the cheering gallery of supporters.  The VIP calls the document a “commitment sheet” of binding pledges to improve the city. Listed in the one pager are the promises that mayoral candidate Paco Smith says are deliverables. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Vision Inspired by the People Belize City Municipal Slate, today launched a document which they have titled a “Commitment Sheet” And it is indeed a single sheet of paper with a message from Mayoral Candidate, Paco Smith and the other side lists the VIP’s commitments to the old capital. And while it lacks the aesthetic appeal and volume of the U.D.P. and P.U.P.’s publication, Mayoral Candidate, Paco Smith says it doesn’t make it any less of a binding document:

Paco Smith

Paco Smith, VIP Mayoral Candidate, Belize City

“Now you have before you what we have deemed a commitment sheet, and I want to be very, very clear that this commitment sheet is not a manifesto. As brother Nedal mentioned, the word manifesto is a P.U.D.P. thing, and P.U.D.P. if you didn’t already know, is what we call the P.U.D.P. Our vision very clearly states to make the city of Belize a safer, cleaner, more equitable and productive community by way of practical solutions, very simple, very straightforward. I stress those two words, simple and straightforward, because we as Belizeans have become accustomed to these beautiful manifestos brought out by P.U.D.P., and if I recall correctly, very recently within the past week or so, you’ve seen the red and blue. And I will not lie to you; theirs is very, very attractive, aesthetically speaking, ih look good! But when you talk about the substance that is when you get the meat of the matter. Ours is a very sober, very straightforward and a very feasible approach towards addressing the needs of this great city.”

And to help manifest the solutions to those needs, along with Smith are six councilor candidates, who the VIP says are all commoners of Belize City.

Myrnamae Reynolds

Among the hopefuls are Nurse Myrnamae Reynolds and Felipe Martinez, a face you might recognize as one of those who was evicted by GOB last year March from Chetumal Street. And while they were void of the usual political grandstanding, they summed up their commitments in a couple words:

Myrnamae Reynolds, VIP Councilor Candidate

“I like mek it short and sweet and straight to the point. I nuh deh inna dis neither fi games nor fi self-gain. I deh yah fi help my people weh cyaa help deh self.”

Robert Ferguson, VIP Councilor Candidate

Robert Ferguson

“Put up more backdrops, backgrounds for the basketball court; put up fountains where the football fields at; put bleachers weh part needed and all that can be done with community work. So when the community come out and put all hands together for the fountains and bleachers, it will last longer because it’s gonna be a community effort.”

Felipe Martinez

Felipe Martinez, VIP Councilor Candidate

“I deh in this movement because I like the idea fi come out with a betta Belize. Deh ready fi duh wah difference. I know deh got the strength and they ready fi duh wah difference. I wah put in my self fi work fi wah betta Belize.”

Leslie Martinez, VIP Councilor Candidate

Leslie Martinez

“This city council yah plan fi look high and low fi wah more accessible area weh everybody could afford. Finally, in this area this council will see to it that your loved ones will be treated with respect and dignity at their final resting place instead of three feet ah swamp dah Lord’s Ridge Cemetery when wi know dah poor people cyaa afford it deh now.”

Principal on the sheet of commitments is VIP’s to vow of transparency and accountability to city residents, something, they say, that has been absent from city hall in previous administrations:

Jude Lopez

Jude Lopez

“One of the major things that our VIP City Council will be bringing to city hall is accountability. Now, don’t get misunderstood and confused, accountability isn’t all that hard to achieve if you really want to achieve it.  We all know the history of this current city administration, the two terms and the one before that which was under another government. We all know the scandals associated with them, we shall not have this in our city council. One of the things they promised is a recall mechanism in terms of the mayoral candidate. We were promised the thirteenth senator and now, last night we were told we are not going to get it. Now we must believe that we will be given a recall mechanism for the mayor, I don’t think it’s going to happen either.”

Smith says that to move the city forward, they will take on a practical approach to stimulate and growth and development:

Paco Smith

“Providing an environment that encourages job creation; that is very key. There are a lot of youths in the city who say they can’t find work; there are no jobs. Trust me, we have a plan that will bring forth job creation and we are gonna move it forward for the betterment of this city. The fourth pillar, I say is executing new funding sources for project planning and execution. Yes, we will get a subvention from government but we are not going to rely solely on that. We have identified ways and means by which to access available funding through agencies that are there specifically to assist municipal governments with developmental needs.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

The VIP is not advertising on television; instead it is holding public meetings.  This Sunday, the VIP will be at the Pound Yard from three to five in the afternoon.

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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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4 Responses for “Not a Manifesto? VIP’s Commitment Sheet”

  1. Be Real says:

    Y’all missed out on the big rally that was in town the other night!!!!!!!!

  2. alley cat says:

    The more ideas the better, so far not too many ideas have come out of this camp. Is this the Belizean T-Party with Milk?

  3. bmp-resident says:

    I really like Paul Morgan who is running for BMP, but dismayed by his absence at the Mayoral Debate on LoveFM lastnite.

  4. just me says:

    I strongly believe that the third party has a good chance of getting more votes, one recommendation is that it should be formed of people that are not being hurt by any of the 2 political parties, but it should be genuine, first comers in wanting to make a difference. Also i think that they need to stop to criticize and offer us solutions, they are still having good ideas without knowing where those funding will come from.

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