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Apr 22, 2020

How’s Belize CitCo Coping with COVID-19?

Bernard Wagner

The Belize City Council, like other municipal governments around the country, has been feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. One of its employees, Hubert Pipersburgh was the fourth person to have contracted the virus and he was also the first patient to die from the disease. With the lockdown of the country, the council had shut down its offices, and its staff is on a pay cut. With a major drop in its revenue stream from taxes, today News Five asked Mayor Bernard Wagner about how City Hall was coping with expenditures.

 

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“It requires planning. Planning has always been at the forefront of this council. If you notice, the waste control group has still been picking up garbage; that has not missed a beat. Our cemetery operations continue, our works operation continues; maybe at a smaller scale, but the point is you have to plan. As an organization you must plan so that you can mitigate the associated risks that come with negative impacts such as this. I believe that this has been a test for us as a council, many councils would have fallen, Belize City would have fallen, but we have in place the planning mechanism that ensured that our staff got paid. You neva hear nothing from our staff complaining. It may be at a half salary, but it is a shared sacrifice; everybody is taking the sacrifice. We neva ask that COVID-19 comes on Belize, and so our staff understands this. The unions, we have been working along with them to understand this to get us through this period. And I am certain that when we get through this period, those deferred payments that they didn’t receive, they will get it down the road so it is a win-win.”


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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