By Aaron Humes: The Belize City Council has announced a reshuffling of portfolios assigned to its ten members and Mayor Bernard Wagner.
While there are claims of dissension within the Council, specifically over a planned implementation of a residential garbage tax, the Council itself says the reshuffle is to “better meet its strategic objectives and its manifesto promises.”
The critical portfolio of Sanitation and Maintenance was switched from incumbent Micah Goodin to Kaya Cattouse, who also holds the portfolios for youth, sports, and wellness.
Mayor Wagner adds staff development & training, public relations, and special events from councilor Deannie Requeña to his already heavy portfolio of finance, administration, budgeting, anti-corruption, CARILED, and human resources.
Other additions include Councilor Javier Castellanos retaining market management and now assuming responsibility for management information systems; Councilor Albert Vaughan retaining traffic management and security and assuming municipal court and enforcement; Councilor Stephanne Hamilton adding foreign affairs and sister city relations to her portfolios of tourism, diaspora relations, zoning & planning, and building unit, and Councilor Natasha Pipersburgh retains women and children, CEMO, climate change, disaster & risk management, and adds parks & playgrounds and beautification.
Deputy Mayor Allan Pollard retains Works, Infrastructure, Urban Development, and Labor Relations; Councilor Goodin now assumes E-governance and community engagement; Councilor Deannie Requeña retains after school programs, and now assumes Non-Governmental Organizations; Councilor Edmund Kwan retains local economic development, trade & investment, small and new businesses; and Councilor Michael Novelo retains cemeteries and public health.