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Mar 14, 2012

Orange Walk Mayor in hot seat over firings

Kevin Bernard

This morning a string of reports were circulated about the firing of some thirty-one employees from the Orange Walk Town Council. According to the reports, the newly elected Mayor, Kevin Bernard, has been heavy handed on workers, terminating their services almost immediately since taking office, after he was sworn in last Friday. Earlier today, we asked Bernard if he had sacked thirty-one employees of the council.

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town

“I want to make it absolutely clear that that is not the case. In the area, I want to start with the first case of the administrator. I took office on Thursday morning to come in and do a normal transition. I had requested that the administrator be with us at least until the fifteenth until we seek a new administrator; however, he informed us that he had already been paid off by the previous council and that he was no longer interested in working along with the Orange Walk Town Council.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay. So, he left voluntarily?”

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard

“Voluntarily, yes, he left voluntarily; that is the administrator. So the administrator was never fired by us. As it relates to the issue of Mr. Robert Pate, his services were made redundant because of the fact that we saw that there were a lot of operational costs and we are looking at making sure that the council is efficient and we saw that Mr. Pate being a political of the U.D.P., and that his position that he had held wasn’t really a position that the council needed to have because there were people already duplicating the same work that he was doing.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so he was terminated?”

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard

“He was asked to leave, yes, indeed.”

Andrea Polanco

“And you’re saying that it’s by no means, political victimization?”

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard

“No, by no means. The main purpose of we asking him to leave is that we believe that the council could operate with the members that we already have working.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so in total, how many have left the town council?”

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard

“There are two employees, actually asked to leave nuh. There is the messenger, Mr. Aragon, he came to us and said he didn’t want to be a burden on the council. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes. There was no intention of letting go anybody; however, these two ladies came up and were cussing out everybody, making insults on my person as well. I believe that I cannot allow the type of insubordination; these persons didn’t work on a full-time basis; they worked on a rotating weekly basis and so I decided that we will not continue with their services as rotating cleaners and they were asked to not report to work any longer.”

Andrea Polanco

“With that said, do you anticipate any more volunteers leaving, whether voluntarily or otherwise?”

Via Phone: Kevin Bernard

“Well, so far Andrea, I have met with all the persons of the transport department and we had a very cordial sit down talking about how we can improve the efficiency of the department. My job is not to take jobs from anyone but our goal is to improve the efficiency of the council.”

Bernard says that he will be doing further assessments in terms of the responsibilities assigned to council personnel. He says that there may be a re-assignment of duties, but that the town council continues to operate smoothly.

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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10 Responses for “Orange Walk Mayor in hot seat over firings”

  1. Santa Elena Resident says:

    What do they expect?? How can you work for someone whose ideology is not the same as yours? Those appointed by the previous town council shouldn’t have even bothered showing up the day after the elections. Should have fired yourselves.

  2. justic says:

    discrimination again and baias … why not offer the person another post instead of taking away his bread earning

  3. belizeanpride says:

    I agree with you JUSTICE post them somewhere than fire them, this is why politics are so crazy. I don’t see why we like to do this in our political affairs. mein that’s why working for a political post is not good, get employed for 5yrs that’s if they reach the 5yrs and get ready to pack things to go home again. find them another job but fire people those that earn the bread like this is really injustice. no party should continue this BAD IDEOLOGY we should change it. hope the people get the idea what’s to work for political parties.

  4. Buju says:

    So Santa Elena Resident – they should fire all the people in the government service who are PUP???

    I glad you da pup cause you really simple!!!

    Think fast talk slow……

  5. Santa Elena Resident says:

    In the words of the self-righteous prime minister- “collateral damage.”

  6. Santa Elena Resident says:

    So Buju I guess the prime minister simple too when the excuse he offered for the firings as recently as last year was that simply they were just collateral damage. Guess it takes a fool to know one, huh.

  7. Jay,,, says:

    we need to stop this madness!!! How would you feel for someone to take away the bread and butter from your children. These are the same thing we are trying to discontinue. People please when will we have a better Belize if this is the mentality we have? WE need to unite red, blue yellow green this is one Belize, One People. Lets grow Belize lets grow in every special way for our children of tomorow

  8. Earl Grey says:

    PUBLIC OFFICE is for PUBLIC SERVANTS, to serve the public. It should have nothing to do w/POLITRICKS

  9. Pontius Pilate says:

    That’s right! Collateral damage. S. E. Resident has forgotten what was his/her PM decree on this matter. What did Patrick Faber said about this? These UDP workers are leaving on their own and they are crying wolf. They can’t work and they are not willing to work, that is their reason for leaving. All these people are political appointees working because a post was created for them. Investigate!

  10. Buju says:

    Political appointees or not


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