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#424031 - 12/03/11 02:32 PM BELIZE CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR DEBATE
Marty Offline
On Thursday Love News reported that all but one of the Mayoral candidates for Belize City had agreed to take part in a debate organized by and conducted live on Love FM and Love Television. The UDP aspirant, Darrel Bradley, has still not responded to the invitation to take part. We are in the process of providing a copy of the rules, guidelines and names of the moderators of the debate to Bradley’s party secretariat in order to get a response from them on whether he will be a part of the debate. Meanwhile, the PUP candidate, Karen Bodden, gave us a verbal response saying that she agreed to take part. Today Bodden visited our studios to be briefed about and to attach her signature to the Memorandum of Understanding that all the participating candidates have signed. Bodden now joins Independent candidates, Ernesto Torres and Stephen Okeke, and VIP candidate, former Belize City Council Public Relations Manager, Paco Smith. The debate again will be aired live on Love FM and Love TV on Wednesday night stating at seven.

LOVEFM

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#424490 - 12/07/11 03:21 PM Re: BELIZE CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR DEBATE [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

STAGE SET FOR MAYORAL DEBATE

Twenty four hours before the Mayoral candidates in Belize City square off in a nationally televised debate, tonight all systems are go for the historic event. Love FM is organizing the debate, and late this evening the coordinating producer Julia Carrillo confirmed to Love News that all candidates, except the UDP’s Darrel Bradley will take to the stage on Wednesday night to discuss their vision for a Belize City under their stewardship. According to the producer, Bradley has told Love FM that he is unable to take part in the debate because he has a previous commitment. Those who have confirmed their participation are the PUP’s Karen Bodden, the VIP’s Paco Smith and Independent candidates, Ernesto Torres and Stephen Okeke. The debate will be moderated by Egbert Irving from Galen University and Philip Castillo from the University of Belize. Among the topics that are on the agenda for the debate are the financial state of City Hall; municipal development projects; garbage collection and campaign financing. Wednesday night’s Mayoral Debate will begin at seven o’clock in the evening and will be broadcast live, right here on Love FM as well as on our Love TV website.

LOVEFM


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#424720 - 12/09/11 02:57 PM Re: BELIZE CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR DEBATE [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

LOVE FM HOSTS BELIZE CITY MAYORAL DEBATE

The first of its kind debate featuring candidates vying for the post of Mayor of Belize City was held last night. Organized by Love FM, the forum gave the candidates a chance to make their sales pitch to the electorate on various issues including Finances, Corruption, City infrastructure and overall governance. Taking part in the debate were Karen Bodden for the People’s United Party, Paco Smith for the Vision Inspired by the People and Independent Mayoral Candidates Ernesto Torres and Stephen Okeke. One of the issues that all four participants addressed was what they saw as the problem facing Belize City and how they plan to address it if they get elected as Mayor. Karen Bodden says she will restore good leadership to City Hall.

Karen Bodden – PUP Mayoral Candidate
“Well there are many things affecting us but the one that I would consider as being the greatest affecting us in Belize City is the total lack of leadership, incompetence and mismanagement. I believe that after reviewing several documents that it has become glaringly clear to me that it’s not that Belize City cannot afford to offer the services that the City Council has been mandated to offer but rather that the mismanagement of the resources has caused us not to do so. One look at the Auditor General’s report, the most recent copy highlights that fact in a way that many times some of us may not even be aware of some of the things that happens at City Hall and that hampers the progress of the City. A city that is claiming to be strapped for cash can afford to write off $25,000.00 in revenues from one company whereby the City has benefited nothing from such a write off and there are several other instances similar to that that highlights the need for better management for efficiency in City Hall and so the first thing that I would do after calling for an audit of all the departments would be to implement a structure that will lend itself to transparency in terms of how we manage the finances of the city and involve all those who are interested of being a part of the finance committee for City Hall.”

The VIP candidate cited corruption as a major problem that needs addressing and he shared his vision for tackling it head on if the people of Belize City vote him in as Mayor.

Paco Smith – VIP Mayoral Candidate
“I would have to cite corruption and I say that because corruption is not a single act, it is part and parcel of a process. The corruption that we see at City Hall and throughout the City it just did not start yesterday, it didn’t start the day before, it’s been an ongoing process for at least the last 30 years. With regards to corruption I would like to express that it goes in part and parcel with stages, there are six major stages to the corruption that we see, it begins with pride, it goes into arrogance, greed then insensitivity, domination and then finally tyranny. With regards to these issues, one of the things that I will say is that when I become Mayor of Belize City I will do the following; I will ensure that the Council has a transparent accounting system; I will also lead the Council to develop a transparent procurement process. In addition I will lead the Council to seek funding for projects, infrastructural projects within the City besides all of the other things that the Council is mandated to do. The key to it all is to adhere to the principles of good governance, to lead by example, to call a spade a spade and when corruption rears its ugly head that you address it effectively, efficiently and definitively, Therefore I would lead by example by implementing these changes.”

Businessman Stephen Okeke says he will work to restore the residents’ faith in City Hall first and foremost.

Stephen Okeke – Independent Mayoral Candidate
“Streets and drains has been a problem in Belize City for over 12 years, I don’t think it is an issue that just began six years ago. One of the most important problem in Belize City is that folks have lost faith in Belize City so the most concern for me will be how to restore faith and confidence in Belize City, how do we restore a sense of ownership in the residents of Belize City, how do we make them to understand that their suggestions, their opinions matter in the process of governance. One of those measures I would take is to open council caucus meeting to the public, just like we have in the House, the public should be present, it is your money you should know who votes for what and who votes against what. The council meeting should be open to the public should that we increase the sense of participation and we also involve the city residents who are capable of participating in the process and contributing to be part of it. Another thing that should be done is to increase the revenue base; right now all the concern is how to manage the money and how to be honest about the resource that is not even there. We have to find a way to increase the revenue base and we have plans on how to increase the revenue base. I am very confident that once you give residents a sense of ownership, a sense of participation, a sense of belonging and a sense of relevance, the issue of crime, the issue of insecurities will all take care of themselves.”

For his part, Ernesto Torres says a City Council under his Mayorship will work to improve the City’s infrastructure and address the situation of corruption at City Hall.

Ernesto Torress – Independent Mayoral Candidate
“My friends everybody knows the many problems in our City. As I said before the City Council is responsible for wholly and solely for the infrastructure and nothing else, point blank. Streets are in a mess; we said that already, drainage is in a mess, garbage collection is in a mess. We see how they drag up the drains and leave the mess at the side of the road, all these things are affecting us. If we could keep our city clean and improve the road condition of course we would improve the quality of life for people, the infrastructure is the problem. We know corruption exist; people don’t want to hear anymore about corruption, it is normal now apparently. What I will do as Belize City first independent Mayor, I will do my endeavour to reduce corruption, you can’t stop corruption but you can reduce it; you set the example. If upstairs does not take money, downstairs will not take because if downstairs sees that upstairs is putting money in their front pocket, downstairs will put money in their back pocket. What we need to do is to monitor, it is about control; some call it good governance, some call it transparency, it’s about control, we have to make certain that when we get in office me and my council that we work in harmony with government, any government of the day because we cannot legally survive without the blessings of Government so we have to work in harmony, in good spirit for the common good of Belize City residents.”

The two-hour long debate was moderated by Philip Castillo of University of Belize and Egbert Irving Jr. of Galen University. Our sister station Love Television is conducting an online poll right now on its website, asking viewers share their opinion of how the candidates performed. The majority of those who votes so far have given Karen Bodden top marks for her performance last night’s debate; followed by Stephen Okeke, then Paco Smith and then Ernesto Torres. If you would like to take part in the post-debate opinion poll, you can visit the Love Television website at: www.lovetv.com.bz.


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#424723 - 12/09/11 03:10 PM Re: BELIZE CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR DEBATE [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Mayoral debate a huge success

The first of its kind debate featuring candidates vying for the post of Mayor of Belize City was held last night. Organized by our sister network Love FM, the forum gave the candidates a chance to make their sales pitch to the electorate on various issues including Finances, Corruption, City infrastructure and overall governance. Taking part in the debate were Karren Bodden for the People’s United Party, Paco Smith for the Vision Inspired by the People and Independent Mayoral Candidates Ernesto Torres and Stephen Okeke. One of the issues that all four participants addressed was what they saw as the problem facing Belize City and how they plan to address it if they get elected as Mayor.

KAREN BODDEN
Says she will restore good leadership to City Hall.


PACO SMITH
The VIP candidate cited corruption as a major problem that needs addressing and he shared his vision for tackling it head on if the people of Belize City vote him in as Mayor.


STEPHEN OKEKE
Businessman Stephen Okeke says he will work to restore the residents faith in City Hall first and foremost.


ERNESTO TORRES
For his part, Ernesto Torres says a City Council under his Mayorship will work to improve the City’s infrastructure and address the situation of corruption at City Hall.


The two-hour long debate was moderated by Philip Castillo of University of Belize and Egbert Irving Jr. of Galen University. Love Television is conducting an online poll right now on its website, asking viewers share their opinion of how the candidates performed. The majority of those who votes so far have given Karren Bodden top marks for her performance last night’s debate; followed by Stephen Okeke, then Paco Smith and then Ernesto Torres.

PlusTV


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