The Municipal Fair was introduced by the Belize City Council under the stewardship of UDP’s Mayor Zenaida Mayor in order to engage city residents in activities for September 10th. Now that a PUP council has been elected, the tradition has now come to an abrupt end. Deputy Mayor, Oscar Arnold, said the Tenth of September parade is still on schedule but due to financial constraints the municipal fair that traditionally followed the parade has been cancelled.
Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “The outlay of the budget was cut by 20% this year from the NICH institute. Each municipality receives a budget every year and this is to cover the activities that it holds throughout the calendar for the beginning of September to the 21st of September all the activities there. It goes towards budget support because obviously all these items cost far more than what they budget for or they provide for so with our budget being cut by 20% the council and the team here and so on had to look at what they could do to try to see how best we could use these monies. There are other things that are planned for the September this is one singular event that we are talking about, there is also the support to the criterium and the other events that will take place in the great municipality of Belize City. Like I said I really hope that this doesn’t become a political football but reality may set in at one point or the other and I want to stress to residents out there that again this was not a unilateral decision that was made, we were told that your budget will be cut for no apparent reason. We were told that over the last five years this is the amount of resources or monies that were given to the municipality of Belize City and nothing has changed and so we are left to question why but we will work with what is given to us.”
A release from the Council says while funding to the largest municipality was reduced by as much as twenty percent, the National Celebrations Committee this year received fifty percent more funding from a single international donor. The council says it recommits itself to its promise of exercising responsible fiscal management.