Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner Confident as Municipal Elections Approach: Highlights Financial Success

Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner Confident as Municipal Elections Approach: Highlights Financial Success

Municipal Elections are only a few months away and political parties are already in campaign mode. Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner says he and his team are headed into the election with confidence as their track record is proof of their ability to deliver for the city. One of the major areas Wagner feels his council has excelled in finances. He told us this week that under his leadership, the Belize City council is in the best financial shape it has ever been in.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “It’s in a very, very better position than we found it. We have been able to reduce a substantial portion of our payables, right? Those are creditors that we owe. We have been able to reduce that from the last check from 13 million to roughly about 5 to 4 million remaining.

Wagner, who comes from the banking sector, said that the council has been successful in advancing the council’s finances through the municipal bond. He explained how the bond has helped to solidify the council’s financial position and said that responsible use of bonds will continue to drive investments in Belize City.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “We’ve been able to reduce the previous bond that we met here which was at 20 million we were able to reduce that to 11 million and then roll over those 11 million pending back into our municipal securities. At the same time we were able to float municipal paper both short term and long term and converted those those short term obligations into more longer term. What that does is if you are able to convert the one year municipal securities, which means that you don’t have to meet those obligations one year from now but rather three years from now that gives you the opportunity now to really build back up your sinking fund, which is held at the Central Bank. If we are able now, we have the legislation in place. Thankfully, we were able to get that legislation in place where cities not only Belize City but all municipalities all across the country are now able to engage in the floating of municipal securities accessing funding through that type of machinery. What that does know when you buy yourself time, you have the ability at the Central Bank to now have your sinking fund grow and grow to a point where it gives enough backative to the investor that my investment with the city has a secure backative cash security at the Central Bank. And so we are now looking at how can we really turn those three year bonds now into five year, ten year. Municipalities are financed globally you could go and check the big city of New York is run by floating of bonds ten years, twenty years, thirty years and that is how they drive development in their city.”

He added that using bonds for municipal development is a practice utilized around the world.

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