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Oct 28, 2019

P.U.P. Outrage over Water Board Appointments

The Stann Creek Area Representative also spoke about the appointment of water board members across villages in Belize. The appointment of new water board members would normally proceed after the election of a new village council. The appointment of the new members is the responsibility of the Minister of Rural Development, in this case, Doctor Carla Barnett who is the Minister of State for that ministry. The appointment, by law, is to be made in consultation with the village council but according to Rodwell Ferguson, such consultations were not held. According to Ferguson, P.U.P. village councils received a response to their proposal of a list of possible members.  That list was rejected and replaced with known U.D.P. supporters.

 

 

Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Area Rep., Stann Creek West

“The law specifically states that water boards are appointed by the Minister responsible for Rural Development after consultation with the Area Representative and the village councils. Somehow we misconstrued what is the meaning of consultation. I fully agree it is the minister’s prerogative to appoint but as elected bodies I expected that the minister would have called us around a round table and have a candid discussion and we agree and disagree. It is her final decision. Whatever she says we would have accepted. Last week myself and the village councils received a letter after we have submitted some proposals about two months ago and the village councils and myself we both signed proposals and recommending to the different water boards. After receiving those letters, she wrote us to say that she is proposing that these people should be appointed to the water boards and if you have any comments then you can make your comments in writing within seven days if you disapprove or disagree with anybody. But after looking at the list, the village councils are elected by the people. I am elected by the people and nobody that the village council and myself recommended is on the proposed list. Only names that are recommended by the unelected standard bearer is elected. That is where I have a problem.”


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