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Jun 30, 2020

Lee Mark Chang Challenges City Hall for Unpaid Food Bills of $18,000 Plus

A letter was leaked today in which businessman and U.D.P. standard bearer for Caribbean Shores, Lee Mark Chang is threatening legal action against the Belize City Council for unpaid food bills, racked up under former Mayor Darrell Bradley’s administration. In a letter, dated June twelfth and addressed to the Senior Finance Manager at City Hall, Chang’s attorney from Mikhail Arguelles and Associates speaks of a property taxes trade off agreement between Chon Saan Palace Limited and the former U.D.P. council in which the restaurant was getting food in lieu of taxes. Chon Saan Palace claims that it provided over eighteen thousand dollars in food between September 2016 and October 2017. The letter contends that under the previous administration, the outstanding invoices would be applied to Chon Saan Palace Limited’s property taxes owed to the council. The letter seeks confirmation on whether the usual arrangement will be honoured for the upcoming taxes due in April 2021, almost four years later. Since there has been no response to the letter, the attorney is proceeding with a claim for damages in the Supreme Court. Today, Lee Mark Chang says he has exhausted all avenues to collect on this bill, but to no avail.


Lee Mark Chang, Proprietor, Chon Saan Palace

“So when they are trying to drag my name into trade offs. What is the difference between the trade offs and cash? It is the same thing, you still have to pay for it; it is still cash. At the end of the day, every year, without fail, a city council representative comes to me to collect.  I pay all my bills cash; even with them not paying me my money. I could have took them to court long time. But I, as a businessman, rather do it through the amicable approach. You know what, yo owe me this money, pay me the money.”


Lee Mark Chang


“So exactly under what administration was this bill incurred?”


Lee Mark Chang

“It was under the U.D.P. administration. I think you have quite a number of people who used to sign for it. And even after the new administration won, they have credited from me. But ever since this issue came up, they have stopped. Usually it is over a period of time. It is not like one day they come buy everything one lick. And I usually save it up because at the end of the year, okay, what’s my property taxes and I pay for it. Or if I owe them, I pay them the extra cash and if they owe me, they pay me whatever they owe me.”


Darrell Bradley

News Five reached out to former mayor, Darrell Bradley who was in the south today. Bradley, via Whatsapp message says, “I have no specific knowledge of those bills so I cannot speak to the amount or accuracy of the bill. I will say that it was not unusual for the council to make arrangements with trade creditors. We did not have any standing agreement. But set offs is something councils before me did and I think the current council does it. Likewise it is not unusual to incur bills on food. This is a fourteen month period. Just on the twenty-first September parade, the council would have paid for food for a lot of employees and volunteers. We also had the Christmas programme, Labour for Belize, meetings etc. and most times we ordered Chinese food because it’s the cheapest.”

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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