Bernard Wagner Sworn In for Third Term as Belize City Mayor

Bernard Wagner Sworn In for Third Term as Belize City Mayor

Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner was sworn into office for the third consecutive term this morning.  Wagner was joined by his ten city councilors who also took an oath of office administered by the President of the Justice of the Peace Association, Adrian Danny Madrid.  The event started just after ten o’clock this morning.  We join Vejea Alvarez for this story.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: After riding into City Hall with a commanding victory, today the People’s United Party’s Belize City municipal slate was officially sworn in today for the third time in a row. The team led by now three-time mayor Bernard Wagner topped the polls on March 6 and delivered a deafening defeat to the two other slates. However, while it was a moment of great celebration, it was a bittersweet one for the council as it came on the heels of the murder of City Administrator Stephany Lindo. 

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “A lot of mixed feelings because you know you went on a high and you come down on a low but you have to be even keeled in everything and I think that we have to reassure our staff first thing that we are there, we are holding hands together through this disruptive situation that occurred. We have to give them reassurance and make them know that we feel it just like them. All of us are humans and so we feel the same pain. So today was a culmination of all that high that we were on and now we’re coming back down because we know the work starts for the people.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: For the council’s captain, Bernard Wagner it is yet another three-year term to continue working on his vision for Belize City. Prime Minister John Briceno says his ability to attain history is a testament to the work that has gone into improving the lives of city residents. 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “We want to assure you that we are going to continue to work. We’re going to stay pan track, we have to stay pan track and to ensure that we can continue to deliver to the people of this country. Ladies and gentlemen this is a joyous occasion. It’s a happy occasion. So today let us celebrate. For those that take a drink go take a drink but don’t go getting drunk. And we celebrate because all the work has to continue to support and to serve the people of Belize City.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The ten councilors, all newcomers except for four, were sworn in one at a time in front of a sea of blue and white and inked their respective oaths of office. Their victory is one that PUP Chairman Henry Usher says speaks to the council’s motto of being “about the people.”

Henry Charles Usher, Chairman, People’s United Party: “In Belize City the average margin of victory for the PUP in 2021 was 4,425 while this year despite the challenges, despite the false narrative being put out there, despite the propaganda of lies the average margin of victory in Belize City increased to 6,343.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The councilors are yet to receive their respective portfolios but have all been active in their communities in the weeks leading up to the election. Mayor Wagner explained that assigning duties, much like choosing a deputy mayor, will occur as the council officially settles in. 

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “It’s the councilors really appoint  – through vote, through the City Council Act we are empowered by the City Council Act. The first caucus meeting really it’s there the councilors will vote for a deputy. I believe that given we have always been promoting and trying to empower women, women inclusion, sustainable development and being in the month of Women’s Month I think it would be symbolic for this City Council which has always been a bit male heavy from 2018 in respect to Deputy Mayor it would be a good start for us to have a female deputy mayor this time around.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Much like other successive municipal bodies, the council says it will be focused on fixing the city’s infrastructure. Wagner explained that this time around his team will be focused on fixing drains and working to mitigate the city’s flooding problem.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “That has been the call on the streets in Belize City that people want the drains them to be really shaped up, maintained, have them connected to the canals and the canals to the river, the river to sea. If we can get that sort of drainage down we would be in a much better position given that in the next three to four months we face the Hurricane season. So that will be priority number one to really get into drains maintenance, shaping them, digging them out, taking out all the slush that are there and we are really optimistic about being able to deliver the drainage but continue the infrastructure work as well.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Wagner added that the council continues to work toward turning Belize City into a central hub that drives economic inclusion and prioritizes the needs of citizens.

The event was held in the reception hall at Caribbean Motors on the Philip Goldson Highway.

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