We are fifty-four days away from the March 7 municipal elections. As both major political parties are campaigning, Belize City Darrell Bradley is preparing to vacate his post. On March 4, 2015, Bradley was elected to a second consecutive term as Belize City’s mayor. Bradley recounted the success of the council under his leadership.
DARRELL BRADLEY, MAYOR, BELIZE CITY
“I think on a whole people are satisfied with the work, and I personally am satisfied with the work that I have done over the last six years. I think that in hindsight there are things we could have done differently, there are things that I would have improved upon and if I were to give an assessment, I’d grade it as a B. I mean I do still maintain relationships in the teaching profession and I do grade papers so that if I were to grade our performance I would say that it would be a B. We did, which I am pleased about, is that we actually gave three salary increases during the period when I was mayor and that is unprecedented because for about ten years staff didn’t get a raise at all and we gave three in six years including that we gave a raise of six and four percent to all staff members below the rank of director as of the 1st of December of 2017- and that was the third salary increase. So 6% and 4% those things are major improvements and we are very close, we estimate that we will be able to do it this coming week to be giving title documents to approximately 220 staff members who have worked with the City Council for over three years. The idea with this is that you want to create a merit-based service so that people in the municipality will deliver a quality and efficient services to residents and members of our community and visitors and I think that this is part of overall improvements in governance.”
While Bradley highlighted the City Council’s accomplished, he also expressed disappointment on the council’s shortcomings.
“One of the things that I think could have been improved is I think I needed a more strategic relationship with the Central Government in relation to legislation and this is something that I think could have benefitted the City Council. One of the major things I made as a priority was trade license reform and I am somewhat disappointed in my own self that I would leave office after six years and we still have not had enacted legislation for that. That’s a thing that we made a significant amount of hoopla over; we had a lot of consultations we brought in people to look at the system we partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, we worked with the Office of the Prime Minister on this and it’s something that I would have said that I really would have wanted and there are other pieces of legislation that I think this City Council had in the pipeline that we wanted to push; for example the Municipal Authorities Bill, we had certain reforms in relation to traffic, raising of fees because we are talking about improvement in roads we are talking about new buildings and so forth but the City Council actually needs new revenue streams. Another thing that I think we needed to focus on is strategic economic development. It used to be that when you talk about cities you talk about location location location now its jobs jobs jobs and I think that government both at the Central level and at the local level has to have a clear economic development strategy. How would you create sustainable jobs within your community to reduce poverty and to improve the quality of life of residents and even to keep residents within Belize City.”
As of November 2017, 112,781 persons have registered to vote in the upcoming municipal elections.