Municipal Election Race Heats Up in Belmopan
The race for City Hall in Belmopan is heating up, as both mainstream political parties have put together their slates for the upcoming municipal elections. The People’s United Party recently elected Pablo Cawich as their mayoral candidate. Cawich will be facing off against the United Democratic Party’s slate, which is being led by Jacqueline Burns. Burns, a former educator, has been campaigning for months and says she believes she’s done the work to gain the trust of the voters in Belmopan.
Jacqueline Burns, Former Educator, Leader United Democratic Party’s Slate, Belmopan: “I care a lot about Belmopan and that’s not to say that others don’t care about Belmopan but I have my community at heart and I didn’t say that people should vote for me just because I care for Belmopan but because I’m willing to put in the work title or not for our community. I have done my share as a city councilor and I want to extend my services, my willingness, my community advocacy to the entire city so that our city can continue to bloom and benefit from this. I have a lot of interest in Belmopan. I’ve been here ever since I was a little girl actively involved in the arts, in education, in young people many don’t know but age 15 I was the Vice President of Belmopan Youth Commission. I’ve been a part of September Celebrations Committee. I’ve been a part of cleanup campaigns for Belmopan and so it is I guess a job at heart and I tell people I never aspired to be the Mayor but the responsibility, the opportunity came to me and so I’m hoping that the residents decide that it’s time that we put Jackie there but if not I continue to do what I do for my community. “
Reporter: So thoughts on your opponent who just won, Pablo Cawich.
Jacqueline Burns, Former Educator, Leader United Democratic Party’s Slate, Belmopan: “I guess when it comes to my opponent it’s a competition that Mr. Cawich has equal opportunity to win and it’s the choice of the electorate to decide who of the two candidates they will put there and so may the best person win.”
Burns also weighed in on the current council and the infighting between the councilors and Mayor Sharon Palacio.
Jacqueline Burns, Former Educator, Leader United Democratic Party’s Slate, Belmopan: “I think when we look at what the City Council is tasked to do to deliver the basic services to our city, to pick up the garbage, to enhance the infrastructure, to clean the debris, to keep the drains flowing I think that’s where we need to start when it comes to City Council responsibility. I know that there are many other projects that can be implemented through the City Council but we do have to look at the basics and that’s one of the things that me and my team have discussed. We have also discussed security. Even prior to the incidents in J&W there has been a rising concern about people not feeling safe anymore in Belmopan and so it became one of the dominant topics as we were preparing our points for manifesto and so those are areas that we look at and we want to work towards. I’ve been walking this city for a little over seven months now house to house, street to street and my observation has been debris that has been left for months. I have met with people who have concerns regarding small businesses not having the kind of access that they would like. I have heard people have concerns that can easily be addressed through the City Council. No two persons are alike and so perhaps if you and I were put to work on a project we would disagree on some points right ? And that’s okay because we’re all unique but I think what is the bottom line is when you disagree you discuss, you get rid of the details, you maybe meet a compromise and you decide a way forward for the team. I think that little aspect is what we didn’t get out of this last council. Rather unfortunate not only for them but for us in Belmopan who suffered the consequences I believe.”
Burns added that her campaigning continues.