Belize City Council Faces Quandary in Selecting New City Administrator

Belize City Council Faces Quandary in Selecting New City Administrator

Three persons were interviewed today at City Hall as the council seeks to hire a new City Administrator.  It is a major position that was held by the late Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt, and that the council received three applications of interest for.  Among the three are stalwart PUPs, namely, the party’s Secretary General, Linsford Castillo, and former PUP City Councillor, Albert Vaughan.  Love News understands that a line has been drawn within the PUP as Castillo is a recently returned supporter while Vaughan has been embedded in the Freetown camp with Francis Fonseca for decades, even during opposition.  Be that as it may, however, the selection process has placed Mayor Bernard Wagner in quite the quagmire.  AS if the selection was not difficult enough, Mayor Wagner was also forced to deal with a joint letter from six of his ten councillors asking that they have a seat at the table when selecting a new City Administrator.  The letter dated, April 9, notes, in part, quote, “It has come to our attention that the selection committee for the post of City Administrator includes only one council member. The City Council Act, Part 3, Section 13, Subsection 1, clearly states that the Council shall appoint a suitable qualified person as a City Administrator, who shall be responsible for the day to day affairs of the Council. As per the norm, we are therefore requesting that all Council Members who wish to be a part of the selection committee be appointed.”  End of quote.  Well, that request to the mayor was dead on arrival, as the Mayor responded, reminding and informing the councillors that the City Council Act refers to a clear separation of administrative and executive duties.  He made it clear that the councillors’ role is that of executive, while he (the Mayor) is the administrator.  As it relates to the interview process, Wagner wrote in his response, quote, “The interviewing committee serves at the purview of the Mayor, and encompasses Senior Administrative personnel from our Human Resources Department, Finance and from the Office of the Mayor.  May I remind you that I am the only personnel that serves in both capacities and HR functions fall under my purview … The Executive arm (Caucus) will then debate the recommendations of the Committee, and thereafter the Chair will then put the question. It is there that you debate the merits of the recommendation. That is the role of the Executive arm of the Council.  I am disappointed in you (referring to Javier Castellanos) as a Senior Councillor, as well as the Deputy Mayor and all those who are serving their second term. I will excuse the new councillors on the basis of ignorance and misguidance.  Please be guided accordingly.  The committee remains as is.”  End of quote.  It is to be noted that the letter sent to the Mayor had the signatures of six of the ten councillors, namely, Allan Pollard, Stephane Hamilton, Dorian Usher, Javier Castellanos, Sherwin Garcia, and Evan Thompson.

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