And while John Saldivar would not comment on his plans or comeback into politics, he did give the media an interview this morning following a meeting of UDP members at the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council office. All things considered the meeting could be perceived as a strategic move indicating that his political career is anything but dead. Reports are that the 53-year-old senior politician and his party colleagues were at the town hall to lend moral support and advice to the embattled Mayor Earl Trapp Junior. Mayor Trapp has reportedly been under immense pressure since the municipal elections after being one of two elected UDP officials countrywide. Saldivar’s visit comes after Minister of Local Government, Oscar Requena flexed his muscles saying that it is within his purview to appoint a Financial Controller to run the affairs of the town council. For context we bring back the interview done with Minister Requena on April 29.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Development: “There’ve been several issues and concerns expressed by the elected councilors as well as many residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in which they are saying there are concerns with regards to the observation of financial regulations of course contracts, expenditures and so on. And that is why I am here to consult with the council and to also bring to their attention the Town Council Act does make a provision and I want to draw particularly your attention to section 23 A 1 where it says where the Minister after considering the financial affairs of the council forms the opinion that it’s financial affairs are not being conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations or that the financial position of the council is such that it requires strengthened fiscal management and financial controls he may after consultation with the council appoint a financial controller to oversee the financial affairs of the council and may direct that all disbursements from the Town Fund such amount as he may prescribe shall be certified such financial controller in order to be valid.” So basically I just wanted to bring to your attention which I did bring to the attention of the town council.”
Photographs posted on social media show several members of the UDP on the roof of the town council. Among those were Gaspar Vega, Dianne Finnegan, Pablo Marin, John August, Ashton McKenzie and Phillip Willoughby. Both Mayor Trapp and Saldivar gave the Pandy Show an interview on the situation in the twin towns.
Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio/Santa Elena: “They had a meeting here last night and decided to give me a surprise visit and to show that support and solidarity in standing behind this municipality and they have been following up on the developments and they have seen where we have a playing ground that is unleveled. So they decided to visit us to lend us that support and to tell the general populace out here that they stand a hundred a fifty percent behind us and whatever they will do they need to do they will rally behind us to ensure that we get justice in this community.”
John Saldivar, Former Area Representative for Belmopan: “From last week Mayor Trapp had indicated to me that he was having some troubles at this town council. I understand that the Minister of Local Government was here uninvited in a meeting but went there and read a certain section of the Town Board Act basically threatening to send in a financial controller to a council that is really one of the best if not the best run councils financially here in San Ignacio / Santa Elena and seems to me like intimidation tactics and we basically said we need to come and show some support and solidarity with our mayor the only UDP mayor that is left standing and so that is all this is about. We happened to be in the town, we happen to be in San Ignacio since yesterday and today and we just came out to show solidarity. He’s not alone and the UDP is not dead we are gonna be here to support Mayor Trapp and his council.”
Also making a presentation this morning was the former labour commissioner and attorney Ivan Williams who rallied the group to keep the faith. Our newsroom will keep following this story including the appointment of a Financial Controller and the dissident reportedly taking place between UDP Mayor Earl Trapp and the six PUP town councillors.