Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Town Councillor of the TWIN TOWNS, Western Belize town board


Latest gossip I got from a Santa Cruz resident, was that we are being cheated over in our side of the Macal River of the twin towns. I was told and I don’t know if this is true, or not? But I was told that the San Ignacio Town side of the river has 11 weed eater machine workers cleaning street sides and 4 trucks to pick up trash and garbage. While on the Santa Elena Town side of the Macal River only 3 weed eater machine workers are assigned and 1 trash truck. I do know that we go a month sometimes and even longer before our garbage is picked up quite often. I had put that down to insufficient funds. They tell me in the suburbs of Santa Cruz nobody is doing anything from the Town Council, because they have no voice on the Town Board. I’m not sure about this, but it is my information that a Santa Cruz resident is running as an Independent, Alfonso Cruz Jr. for the Twin Towns board.
That we get some attention in Hillview, is due to my articles about Hillview. Hillview and Santa Cruz are like two suburbs that are growing rapidly and probably have more houses than the center of old San Ignacio Town of by gone days, some 30 years ago. They are up in the hills from the Western Highway and all these houses out here are not observable when a person normally drives past on the Western Highway through Santa Elena Town. The other day I was over in the KON TIKI area. There are a lot of bad streets and many, many houses out there as well. Hundreds of them! Totally neglected by the TOWN BOARD. I hope the KON TIKI people have a resident running for the Town Board as well. The party doesn’t matter.
Interesting story about the current TOWN BOARD UDP Council, that are running. The word I got, and have to admit I don’t really know the truth. But the current slate of candidates running for re-election as incumbents in the UDP Council, never got appointed by a UDP Convention out here in the West. I’m told there was no UDP CONVENTION and no DEMOCRACY in the process, just an acceptance and appointment by the UDP party leader DEAN BARROW.
Today, the PUP campaigners came by, and actually gave me an expensive flyer in color, for their slate of PUP candidates. In the news somewhere, the PUP make an allegation asking the existing incumbent UDP Town Council where $5 million dollars they received for something or other disappeared too? They claim there is no UDP TOWN BOARD accountability and transparency. What I did get from the PUP campaign flyer was the probability that the PUP will raise PROPERTY TAXES.
There is a move afoot by the UDP to install the new Building Permit ACT laws created by the PUP in the previous National Administration and generally speaking I am against that, as it means a monopoly by Belize City architects on the whole darned country, as the rules get expanded, requiring people to shell a couple thousand dollars out for useless plans. It is just a money making gimmick and racket for those in the process to squeeze people for more money in various ways. After seeing this work in the USA, I don’t think our country of Belize is going to be better for this Building Permit system.
I understand there is a method of social welfare used by previous Town Boards and this TOWN BOARD we now have; to help the aged and others who want $20 for food and other reasons. I’m against that system of political patronage and paternalism. If we want something like a social welfare system for citizens, then it should be formalized in an accountable process and put through some INDEPENDENT CHARITY like the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army are professionals and could and should disburse vouchers and stuff for social assistance. They do in Canada and the USA. You need to take the social welfare out of the hands of the Town Council members. What is missing in this social welfare business, of hand outs for the needy, is that if you have an INDEPENDENT NGO doing it, a Charitable Organization, you can by soliciting abroad, get the whole shebang of funds COVERED by FOREIGN AID in the form of GRANTS. What is hurting Town Boards practicing paternalism political hand outs, is that it eats into Council funds longer term and eats up the SUBVENTION money. While the TOWN BOARD could establish a slush fund for social requests administered by say the SALVATION ARMY, this money would eventually be recovered by FOREIGN GRANTS if done right.
When the campaigning started I was pretty much satisfied with the UDP Council we now have, but since then, I’m going to VOTE for YOLA FLORES a Hillview neighbor running for the TOWN BOARD on the PUP ticket. Not interested really in the party affiliation, just that HILLVIEW my community, has a voice on the next TOWN BOARD, if possible. We don’t have one now and get slighted a lot on our side of the river. If Alfonso Cruz Jr., is running as an INDEPENDENT and is going to speak for SANTA CRUZ, then probably I would vote for him? We need some muscle in TOWN BOARD meetings. That leaves two of the UDP candidates that will lose votes from this side of the river. Which ones I don’t know yet?
Far as I understand from UDP party people, the current UDP TOWN BOARD slate are illegal by UDP rules, as they never went through a PARTY picking CONVENTION. Other UDP would be contenders are really angry about this meddling, by the National UDP party and Mr. Barrow. They felt, if you are going to be DEMOCRATIC, then a CONVENTION should have picked the slate of candidates. There should have been some competition. I hope I’m not being misinformed here?
Everybody running, is in it for the money apparently? Think the Mayor gets around $4000 a month, don’t know what councilors get? This is before a stick of work is done on cleaning, or repairing streets. Past councilors on the TWIN TOWN BOARDS claim there is a lot of opportunity for SKIMMING and nepotism. Kind of an interesting campaign though. First time I and my wife are really going to vote in this one, in this geographical location.

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