Belize City’s Deputy Mayor Makes Bold Political Move, Will Run for Mayor
Belize City Deputy Mayor, Allan Pollard Jr. is looking to swim with the sharks in the political arena as he is now offering himself as a Mayoral candidate for the People’s United Party. The 27-year-old submitted his application last week for the upcoming Municipal Elections and says he’s confident in being elected to lead the city. Pollard has served as a councillor for two terms and is the PUP’s Standard Bearer for the Queen Square Division. And his recent venture is seen by many as a jab against his current political boss, Mayor Benard Wagner. However, today, Pollard clarified his position and explained that his decision is not personal but simply political.
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “A lot of the foundation has been set and I have to give credit to Mayor Wagner for what he has done in terms of the foundation of getting Belize City from where it was to where it is now. So I think now it’s the time for me to use my skill set and what I’ve learned over time to take us to that other level. Because I do believe Belize can boom and I believe that we’re right on the verge of that. And I think that once we have the right people engaged. And I think that once we have the support of the residents and the patients, I think that we could accomplish so much more in each area of the city council that we’re mandated to do. Whether it be traffic regulation, whether it be the works and infrastructure of the city, whether it be overall leadership, I think that bringing Belize to that point is something that has to happen now. And I think that with the right support, with the right people in place, I think we can accomplish that easily.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM New: Have you spoken to Mayor Wagner? I know you guys are not only work colleagues, but you’ve you’re also good friends. Have you spoken to him about it And what was his reaction in terms of saying, you know, I’m going to challenge you.
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “Yeah, see that’s the thing I’m not challenging him. The thing is he has made it clear to the news several times that if there is a convention he won’t participate. My position is that convention time, I’m willing to participate in that and I’ve already told him this, we spoke about it briefly. And I think that I do – I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mayor Wagner for long and I do enjoy his support and his confidence and he had vice versa, I’ve always placed my support and my confidence in him as well. So there’s nothing where I don’t want anybody to feel like it’s a personality clash or, I mean, what I’m trying to do here is bigger than individuals right. The cause is much bigger than me and Mayor Wagner combined right so the last thing we would want to make it out to seem as if though I am challenging him per se all right it’s not the case.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Do you believe you’ll be endorsed by the party?
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “I’m not asking for an endorsement. What I’m asking for is the same thing I’ve been asking for from 2018, just the confidence from them and I’ve enjoyed that from my party. You know this party is a democratic one and I’m sure that you all know that, the people know that and I’m sure that they will support this move from me.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Have you calculated the risk factors? You know because if you don’t win it may be that you don’t end up on the slate at all?
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “Of course, of course. In everything it’s risk and if I’m here advising young people and telling them to chase their dreams and chase their goals then they have to understand that there’s risk in everything. But as long as you put your heart into something, as long as you come to terms with the people you love the most, and you know that this is something you wanna give your all to then the risk shouldn’t matter. I know that I might not be on the slate at all and that’s perfectly fine with me, to go out on a limb like this to be that change, to be the difference, to bring the difference to the development of the city. That’s a risk that I personally have already sat down with myself and said, you know what, I willing to take that risk. I’ve taken risks before and this is not unusual or uncommon to my career.”
Pollard also spoke about the motivation behind his venture to lead the city and the work that he has been able to get done during his time as a councilor.
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor of Belize City: “For me it was a bold move like you said and it took a lot of thought, a lot of praying and introspection and a lot of consultation of course with family and friends too. For me, being here from that time, from 2018, serving in the capacity as councilor and making that move from 2018 to offer myself as a young candidate and at that time we didn’t have much young candidates, right? And seeing now the influx of the amount of people wanting to participate as youths. After this, right now I have a lunch with somebody that wants advice and wants a bit of encouragement to submit their name, a young person also. So I’ve had a lot of young people reaching out for advice and wanting to get involved and asking their way forward. So for me it’s like to be that example, right? To be that example and that inspiration for others. I can’t just remain as councillor. I have to show them that, listen, yes, youths can lead. We can lead at any capacity, right? Whether it be councilor, whether it be mayor, whether it be standard bearer, or representative, it doesn’t matter. The point is that we have, as youths, we have to we have to show people that we’re ready. We have to first believe in ourselves and of course support each other in getting to that point where we’re seeing younger leadership in not only this party but in the country. All right, so that was pretty much my motivation and after consulting with my peers and my family, of course, you know, they have that confidence in me and a lot of people who I know, a lot of residents, have that confidence in me as well from even before this. I’m glad that I have that support from them and of course it’s only now for the party to say where they stand and how best we can go about that.”
Pollard was first elected at the age of 24 in the 2018 municipal elections. His entry into the mayoral race will prove interesting as Mayor Bernard Wagner has indicated that he will not go to a convention. He noted that he would rather an endorsement as he seeks a third consecutive term in office.