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Aug 10, 2022

Should Micah Goodin be Paid While on Study Leave?

Micah Goodin

Former deputy mayor Micah Goodin has been awarded a scholarship by the Government of Belize to pursue a law degree at the University of the West Indies and is set to depart the country in the days ahead.  But his leave-taking is not without dispute.  The councilor has written to City Hall requesting that his portfolio be reassigned.  He is also seeking a leave of absence for an initial period of six months with his full monthly salary intact.  Legal studies, however, aren’t a semester-long course.  In fact, it’s an academic pursuit that will see him studying law outside of the country for a few years. So, with eighteen months left before his term of office as a councilor expires, is it fair for City Hall to compensate him for work that he is forgoing in favor of a law degree, monies that are being drawn from taxpayers dollars?  Earlier today, News Five sat with Mayor Bernard Wagner to discuss the issue.  Here’s what he told us.


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“The councilor, Micah Goodin, has written to the secretary of our caucus asking for leave to pursue legal studies in Jamaica, I believe, and so our secretary essentially put that request via our media platform to see how the councilors would react to that request.  Again, the mayor can, based on the City Council Act Chapter 85, I think Section 11, that the mayor can, may grant leave to any councilor who requests it, but it has to be with the concurrence of four councilors.  Based on the round-robin motion that was sent out by the secretary, to date that four hasn’t been met as yet, and so that situation still remains in a flux.”


Isani Cayetano

“Based on the regulations, the leave of absence would only apply for a six-month period, but common sense would tell you that anyone pursuing legal studies abroad, we’re looking at a few years, at minimum.  How is this going to work in terms of this particular individual seeking a six month leave at a time, and the fact that he has the constituents of Belize City to serve as an elected official?”


Bernard Wagner

“Well again, it’s left up to the individual.  I believe we have about eighteen months remaining, on my last check, of our term.  And so, based on the regulation, as you say, the mayor may grant leave to councilors in six-month segments.  So what would be required here is for me to essentially, based on the concurrence of four councilors, give essentially three six-month segments of leave.  I don’t how that would sit with the residents of the city.”


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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