The Belize City Council held a press conference this morning in full force of all councilors standing firmly in solidarity with Mayor Bernard Wagner’s decision to remove all responsibilities from elected councilor Micah Goodin. The mayor says that Goodin requested funds for initiatives and though those items were not budged for the current fiscal period, they were still given the greenlight. But Goodin, according to the Mayor disrespected the City Administrator. There are allegations of an assault but the mayor said that it was just the disrespect that led to the removal and redistribution of his portfolios to other councilors. Goodin was not present at the session in city hall but Mayor Wagner made it clear Goodin was no longer responsible for Management Information Systems, Youth and Sports and Training and Staff Development.
Mayor Bernard Wagner Belize City Council: “ A budget is only realized when you have the cash flow. As such the Council must prioritize its spending. This is what was explained to staff within the Counselor portfolio however this was interpreted as an unwillingness to disperse the funds which led to Counselor Goodin’s outburst with our city administrator. We consider such actions by our elected officials to be unprofessional and unacceptable. We must respect the protocols established through the legislation and as such it cannot be business as usual where politicians can intimidate senior administrative personnel and staff. We cannot be about the people while on the other hand treat our own staff with disrespect and disdain. As the person with responsibility for HR and administration I will always be the gatekeeper and the voice for all the employees. Therefore after gathering the pertinent information I have taken the following decision with full support of my Deputy and all Counselors. We will be distributing the portfolios assigned to Counselor Goodin as follows: Management information systems will now be assigned to Deputy Arnold, Youth and Sports will now be assigned to Council Ryan Elijio and Training and Staff development will now be reassigned to Councillor Pitts.”
Mayor Wagner says that this is not the first time an incident has happened with Goodin. He has tried before to mentor him but unfortunately he can’t fire the elected councilor.
Mayor Bernard Wagner Belize City Council: “Unfortunately I can’t fire him. He is an elected official. He remains as a Counselor but portfolios again serves under my pleasure and so we are just taking away the portfolio.”
Jose Sanchez:” How much funds was requested or should have gone to his portfolios or is that obtainable in the mandate?”
Mayor Bernard Wagner Belize City Council: “I don’t want to get into the figures but it is I believe… we don’t want to get into the figures Jose, I want to leave it at that.”
Jose Sanchez: “The gravity as well as the incident… how sevre had it been severe for you to have reached this decision as well?”
Mayor Bernard Wagner Belize City Council: “Whenever it has to do with disrespect to our employees and like I said in the statement I am the gatekeeper for our employees. I will not sit here… this has happened before. It happened earlier as we got elected. I have tried hard to mentor this young man. He is a bright fellow and I have no hard feelings for him. I wish him well and I am hoping that he will take the opportunity to do some soul searching to reassess. We are not severing the relationship with him.”
Goodin will continue to receive his monthly stipend though he no longer has any portfolios.