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EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Bernard Wagner reflects on first six months in office

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Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2018. 8:19 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: It has been six months since the People’s United Party (PUP) has led the Belize City Council after 12 years out in the cold.

Our newsroom caught up with Mayor Bernard Wagner today to get an update of what has been happening at city hall since he took office.

He revealed that his council has focused a lot on social infrastructure as was promised in their manifesto. The Mayor said that his council has hired 51 new employees who are mostly single mothers and youths.

Additionally, the council has handed out over 500 back to school knapsacks for families across Belize City’s constituencies in addition to a pantry drive which over 500 families benefited from.

Mayor Wagner added, “Similarly we organized the first ever summer constituent basketball tournament impacting over 240 children and youths.”

According to him, while his council has focused on humanitarian efforts, the council has not abandoned its legal mandate of keeping the city’s physical infrastructure.

He said that the council has continued to maintain streets, drains, canals and overgrown lots at a sustained pace, and, it is about to rehabilitate the Ring Road and the Holy Immanuel Streets in the Lake I constituency along with 9 other streets.

Additionally, the council is also set to build a grand park on the south side that will rival the BTL park on the city’s north side.

While the council has embarked on these initiatives without the support of central government, Mayor Wagner revealed that his council will soon have more access to finances.

“We are about to float the muni-paper which will bring in close to 7 million for cash flow support and help us in carrying out our work,”
he said.

According to Mayor Wagner, he is satisfied with the progress that has been made by his council.

“Our council has performed extremely well and I’m proud of our achievement so far,” he said. “Things should multiply as we enter our
new financial year and are better able to chart our own destiny.”

He added, “Our future success, however, will depend a lot on attitude as we continue to battle forces both externally and internally that are not align with the council’s vision.”

Mayor Wagner pointed out that 60 percent of the council’s budget had been spent before his administration took office. He also informed us that several persons argued that his council would fail.

“GOB has not given us one cent but yet we’ve been able to meet all payroll, unlike Belmopan City Council,” he informed.

 

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