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Oct 22, 2019

Outrage in Hope Creek; Disagreement on Water Board Composition

There is outrage in Hope Creek in southern Belize where villagers are not sitting down to allow the area representation to impose who sits on the water board.  The village council submitted names of persons considered suitable but lo and behold these persons were rejected and instead others who lost the village council elections are being installed. A petition has been signed to support the recommendations of the villagers; if that doesn’t work, then there is the court. Here is Hipolito Novelo with a report.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

A public meeting this weekend was held in Hope Creek, Stann Creek, by the recently elected village council led by Chairlady Leticia Staine. The focus of the meeting was the village’s water board but specifically its members. According to the Chairlady, in September the council sent a list of recommended persons who they believe are qualified and fit to form the water board. The letter was sent to the Ministry of Rural Development but on Wednesday the council received an unexpected response.


Leticia Staine

Leticia Staine, Chairlady, Hope Creek Village Council

“We received that letter on Wednesday the sixteenth of October in the afternoon from the Rural Development Officer of Dangriga Mr. Danny Amencia Acosta and none of the names that are on that list are our people that we recommended. Instead they have their own names. We as the village council we are not happy with that. The people are not happy with that.”


And it is the fact that the list contains names of the UDP losing village council slate that has residents up in arms.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Chairman, P.U.P.

“What makes it even worse is that the names being put forward as the names for the water board are the losing candidates for the UDP in the village council elections. So really it is a slap in the face for the people of Hope Creek that the persons that they rejected at the polls are being now being put in charge of the water board. So I think it is really a disrespect to the Hope Creek Village Council and the residents of Hope Creek.”


Kent Diaz was appointed as the Chairman of the water board in 2017 and his term is to run for three years. The new PUP village council wants him to remain in the position.


Kent Diaz

Kent Diaz, Chairman, Hope Creek Village Council Water Board

“We got about forty-five thousand dollars available in the bank account. We all pay here so we all support the water board to take care of our business. The term runs for three years. I have been here for about two and half year. The term was suppose to be up in August but I am just waiting on instructions how we are suppose to be go changing after the village council elections. The village council changed and the new council chose they want to keep me as the chairman of the water board. I will accept becuase I work for the village. I live here. I want the best for us all.”


Leticia Staine

“Mister Kent Diaz we want him to remain as the chairman of the water board because he is doing a splendid job. I mean if someone is doing a splendid job why remove him? He was appointed by Frank Papa Mena so why is he removing him? We wrote letters to meet with Mr. Mena but to no avail. He did not appear to our meeting with us. We believe that he doesn’t not recognize us as the village council.”


But U.D.P. area representative Frank Papa Mena will have to recognize the will of the people. Two hundred persons have signed a petition to support the village council’s list.


Leticia Staine

“The people requested that we do a petition. Now we are elected by the people so we have to work with the people. So we did the petition. We got over two hundred names. We called the public meeting. They told us to invite the media we invited the media and this is the outcome of the meeting. We will reply to the letter that we received with their appointees. If they remain then we will stand beside Mr. Diaz and tell him not to handover anything.”


The possibility that this disagreement may end up before the courts is real. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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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