After two terms in office, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley will no longer seek political office at the municipal level. Bradley made this decision last year. This morning Mayor Bradley hosted his last press briefing as the Mayor of Belize City, 22 days ahead of the March 7 Municipal Elections. Bradley presented his final report as it relates to the council’s accomplishments and failures.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City
“My personality and the leadership style is not somebody to be involved in details, I actually don’t like meetings and I don’t like the day to day grind of municipal government. But I think that there is always a leader for a time and there is always a person for a time and I inherited a City Council that really was enthralled in day to day issues and day to day conflicts. The former mayor, not to take anything from her because she had her own accomplishments, there were a lot of internal problems with the council and there was a significant amount of lack of public confidence; people really did not believe in local government and I think you needed a mayor at that time who would have had a shock effect so to speak. You needed a mayor for that time who would have showed people what local government can do if you really had that right leader and so I think over the six years you needed somebody who can deal with the low lying fruit, who can really bring the council together and who can really ensure that public confidence is restored. I mean I mention it and it’s not critical but we came from a place where the former mayor was actually charged with an offence, that is actually a bad thing for a municipality because there is a stain on municipal government and you had allegations of under deposits and you have all of those things. In six years I’ve led a council and why we have been fraught with difficulties we’ve had no scandals, none whatsoever and I think again you need a person for a certain time and I think that that was my time. It was my opportunity to come into City Hall and really work with the Ministry of Local Government and work with other partners to show that you know what strong leadership can yield results and I think on leaving I have no regrets because I believe now this is somebody else’s time.”
During his two terms, the Belize City Council has carried out several noticeable infrastructural works including the cementing of 165 streets, some of which needed repair.
Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City
“I can say that more than 90% of what we build is perfect and will last a significant period of time. There are as you point out parts of it that have failed and I will accept responsibility for that but this council is the most debt responsible council in modern day and everything that I have borrowed for I can show you where you have benefitted; so that I can tell you the municipal bond – and I will put a plug in here that a quarter of the municipal bond has already been paid back so that we’ve paid back more than $5 million dollars of that municipal bond and a portion of it matures right here in June so we’ve never had a problem in servicing that but as a corridor to that I can show you 165 streets, I could show you Princess Margaret Drive and BTL park and Battlefield park. We want to Heritage Bank to get financing for the commercial center and in 10 months you will have a new City Hall so that we can show you that there are ways where we have borrowed responsibility. I can tell you that one of the areas of significant debt of this council is judgment debts so that we have had to pay back BML and Waste Control and when I became mayor we were saddled with significant litigation and right now for the last three years I have not been in court at all because we have responsibly managed it and we are paying it back so that when the council finishes, I believe we already paid back BML, and that was over $2 million dollars- and you had these judgment debts and you can’t show one thing for it, one street or one building or park you just had these debts that you have to pay for and we have inherited that and we have had to pay that back and we are paying it back and what I’m saying is that the new council will inherit a fiscally responsible council, it will inherit a council that had much less debt than I inherited and it will have a council that can show a record of performance. That the new mayor can sit in a building that he did not build, that we labored to build.”
Bradley succeeded former Mayor Zenaida Moya. While he was defeated by the PUP Kareem Musa in the 2015 General Elections for the Caribbean Shores Constituency, Bradley still aspires to be an elected UDP Area Representative.