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Belmopan Mayor lashes back at Ministry of Local Government regarding appointment of Acting Mayor

Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2023. 8:56 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On November 27, 2023, Mayor of Belmopan City Sheran ‘Sharon’ Palacio indicated that she will be attending the Local Climate Action Summit COP28 in Dubai.

Mayor Palacio said that during her absence, Councilor Hope Amadi will hold over as Acting Mayor.

However, quickly following the publishing of the release, a sitting councilor questioned the Mayor’s decision.

The Ministry of Local Government also intervened and said that based on Section 10(2) of the Belmopan City Council Act, Councillor Sanie Cal is the duly elected Deputy Mayor of the Council.

Palacio has since responded saying that “it is no secret the lengths my Council has gone to undermine my authority and thwart the running of the Belmopan City Council. Today makes no exception.”

“In my absence however, (again) seeds of discord are being disseminated on Social Media. Whereas, said mediums have made it easy and simpler to communicate and make/share decisions and ideas for continued operations at the highest level. You will note that the act like all laws used to govern our country were crafted at a time when modern technologies in communications were non-existent. Succinctly, being in Dubai does not prevent me from being in direct contact with my people 24/7. Digital technology has contributed to whole new world. Let it be known that a bunch of non-functioning Councilors continue to organize and do everything in their power to stifle development,” Palacio said.

Palacio further explained that Councilor Sanie Cal’s role as Deputy Mayor ended on October 9, 2023.

According to Mayor Palacio, a motion was moved and seconded at a virtual council meeting held on October 26, 2023 to dissolve his role.

“At said meeting, five of the six Councilors protested having a virtual election. Given their insistence, we agreed to have the election proceedings in person at a later date. That date has been set for December 12, 2023.

Bear in mind that precedence has been set where on numerous occasions when I travelled, I made appointments without any objection from Local Government. This occasion should have been no different. The Belmopan City Council Act makes no provision for a situation where a Deputy is not elected. Therefore, in the absence of such a rule, and in the interest of good governance, the appointment of Councilor Amadi is progressive. Councilor Amadi’s record speaks for itself as a servant-leader and he is more than capable of handling the task,” Palacio added.

The Mayor further asserted that she will not be sidetracked from the opportunity to represent and serve the people to the very best of her abilities.

 

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