Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner Hopes for Third Term, Faces Competition from Other PUPs
Mayor Bernard Wagner – he is the current Belize City Mayor and is in his second consecutive term. Come March 2024, Wagner is hoping to get a third term in office to see the completion of some of the projects currently underway. The problem, however, is that there are other PUPs hoping to be the next mayor. Love News spoke with MayorWagner who insists that he would rather not go into a convention.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Everyone has the right to aspire. People aspire for different things. People aspire for councilors. In my case I had at one time in 2018 aspired for a councilor. It happened that I was put into the situation of mayor. It’s about service to the people at the end of the day. If you want to serve the people, there are many other ways to serve the people and so even if I look at my situation as a mayor I’ve always been in the business of serving people throughout all my entire life, through sports, through community activities and so at the end of the day I’ve already made my decision in respect to the upcoming elections. I have indicated to the party that I do have some projects that are still outstanding that I want to shepherd, that I want to see through. The party might say, well, we have other people who could do it. Fine. But I’m saying that my position remains that I have those projects, but I will not go through any sort of convention. I want to see those projects through. I think we have done tremendous work for the city and you could see it happening right now. This city council and the previous city council really faced COVID. That’s the biggest test and we faced Lisa, another huge test.”
Mayor Wagner further told Love News that running in the city is not for the faint-hearted, and he takes pride in being able to maneuver financially, amid the challenges.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “We have faced financial constraints like all other councils, but we have never been a council who you see out here where our workers aren’t being paid, where garbage is being thrown on the streets for non-payment, where you see we can’t meet our day-to-day operational expenses. We have been doing the necessary planning, the necessary forecasting. All councils go through peaks and valleys in their financial cycles. We have learned how essentially not to rely on the on the subvention that was taken away from us from the outset. And it’s a good thing because now we have learned to live without it. We have learned to live without the head tax. That head tax doesn’t come to us it goes to the sinking fund. We have been able to build up significant reserves at the central bank, millions and millions upon dollars to back our municipal securities and municipal paper. So our council remains in a very, very strong position and that is why there are so many people agitating to want to lead the council. But if it’s something good going on then you have people attracted to it. In 2018, nothing good was happening, so there was not this agitation. So again, everybody has the right to aspire.”
Bernard Wagner first won the mayorship in 2018 and then again in 2021.