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Former Belize City Deputy Mayor to pursue higher learning; requests paid leave from CITCO

The former Belize City Deputy Mayor Micah Goodin is expected to put his political career on hold soon. Goodin, who found himself at the center of a shooting incident in May, is getting ready to go to study abroad. Elected in March 2021, Goodin now has roughly half of the current term left and now it is reported that he’s drumming up support from colleagues to allow him a paid study leave from the council’s coffers. Mayor Bernard Wagner was asked about the situation today. 

Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City: “We wish the Councillor well as he tries to pursue education. We support anyone who wants to pursue education in respect to the request for leave. There are several different leaves you could ask for. You could ask for leave without pay. You could ask for leave with pay. But the process is that you would write in to the Mayor, obviously. The Councillor chose to write to the Secretary of the Caucus and so the secretary did put together his motion and we sent it via the Whatsapp group and, therefore, he requires by law, that he, the Mayor, I can only give him leave based on the law, if I get the concurrence of four Councillors. To date, I don’t think he has been able to achieve that objective.”

While the situation is not an unusual one, it is something that the council has to ultimately decide. However, Wagner feels that the electorate will judge Goodin in the end for this decision, whether the paid leave is granted or not. 

Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City: “All I know that the people are our bosses. The residents are our bosses and any decision you make, the citizenry or the residents will, when you go to the polls will make that determination based on your actions during the past year. I believe we have about 18 months remaining on our term. By law, if we would grant leave, it would be a 6 months segment and so you’d be looking at three consecutive rolling out of that six months window for him to exercise that leave so all I would say is that it’s up to the councillors and for me to move, I need to concurrence of four councillors. Again, in respect to leave with pay, leave without pay, we have never addressed that issue as yet. All I am told is that the Councilor is requesting that he be relieved of his portfolios during that time. Again I want to reiterate that we support anyone who wants to further their education. At the end of the day, it will be the people, the residents of the city that will say listen we neva received our objective when we gave you the mandate as a councillor or as a Mayor and so this when we go to the polls, the results would be there. This is not something new. We have had councillors before and in the past administration that have been given leave without the knowledge of the people.This time around he people know about it and at the end of the day, it will be the people who will decide whether down he road, if that decision, if we agree with that decisions or f do not agree with that decision.”