Mayor Bernard Wagner was sworn in today for his second consecutive term at the Belize City Council. The ceremony took place on the pool deck at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel with the addresses from Prime Minister John Briceno and the PUP Chairman Henry Charles Usher. Love News spoke with Mayor Bernard Wagner who told us that taking the oath of office is a very humbling experience.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “It’s always emotional when you take the oath of office because the oath of office is symbolic of you signing on to an agreement, signing on to a pact. You’re signing on a pact with the people of this great city saying that you want to serve them and you want to serve them in a transparent and accountable manner and that is why this exercise is always so important for me because it brings me back to the core of my values of serving the people.”
Prime Minister John Briceno in his address to the gathering spoke on the very clear mandate given to the PUP in last week’s elections. He says that while he was confident of a majority win, the clean sweep of 65 seats to two, was certainly a pleasant surprise.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Last week Wednesday the people of Belize City and the rest of the country they were very decisive. They came out and with a loud voice said that they wanted to see Bernard Wagner and the ten councilor candidates of the People’s United Party back to City Hall. But first I think we must thank, I will never forget, we must thank the Belizean voters for this clear mandate. Never did we ever thought that we were going to be sixty five out of sixty seven and we lost a mayorship by a little over fifty votes, another councilor candidate by ten votes; it could have been a complete wipe out. So we have to be grateful to the Belizean people for this but in thanking them we must reaffirm our commitment to work hard every day to improve the lives of the people of Belize City.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Usher noted that much credit must be given to Mayor Wagner as he his performance as the city leader has been remarkable.
Henry Charles Usher, PUP Chairman: “The mantra was always about the people and this was more than a political slogan, it governed the council for the last three years and I have to say congratulations to Mayor Bernard Wagner and the councils for never failing to be guided by the people’s compass. We can look at the infrastructure work done, the businesses rejuvenated, the finances of the council made healthy, these are critically important measuring sticks for a successful administration. But what inspires me more are the less heralded projects like the sports programs, the clean up campaigns, the community outreach where the lives of individual residents were most impacted. These good works are the legacy of the outgoing council. A big thank you to the former councilors who were part of that team Iyeisha, Chips, Deltrude, Candice and Oscar. This legacy of work ladies and gentlemen was achieved despite the onslaught of two plagues; COVID and the even worse UDP Central Government. From the day after the victory in March 2018 the Dean Barrow government punished the council but Bernard and his team stayed the course. Salaries were paid, garbage was picked up, creditors were paid. Darrell Bradley left the council broke and in debt, a bloated contract to a City Administrator who was more interested in high priced wine than the bottom line. But Bernard and his team stayed the course.”
The councilor candidates for the Belize City Council are Javier Castellanos, Albert Vaughan, Micah Goodin, Deannie Requena, Natasha Pipersburgh, Stephanne Hamilton, Edmund Quan, Allan Pollard, Kaya Cattouse and Michael Novelo.