Another municipal leader who probably wishes he could float a bond is Kevin Bernard, the PUP mayor of Orange Walk. Like many municipalities, Bernard's council is strapped for cash. It got so bad last month that they had to lay off 11 employees. Yesterday, we asked the mayor about his money woes - and here's what he said:..

Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk
"We've been trying to hold on to the employees that we have but we have reach that point that we had to make the tough decision and I know it's not always the best decision but sometimes we have to make those tough ones and in this economic hard times that people live in - it was a hard thought out decision that yes we had to relieve 11 individuals from the council to save us some payroll expenses. The council has a very heavy weekly payroll for workers, staff and administrative staff and so we had to cut down where we know we had to cut down. We cut down some from administration and we had to lay off 11 from the other area. Why we have come to this point; we still have some huge debts that we encountered when we came in, we have been paying those. Our Social Security debt that we had to paying and keeping current and trying also to maintain the arrears that were left there."

Jules Vasquez
"I understand that you want to implement a residential garbage fee."

Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk
"The council has been looking at the cost of sanitation; maintaining the sanitation department. It cost us almost $37,000 - $38,000 a week because all we collect in a month on garbage collection is about $4,500 and so when you look at that it's a huge disparity. We are saying to the residents let's see where you can help us to alleviate some of these costs."

Jules Vasquez
"Mayor, your council is starting to sound like one of those UDP administrations PUP always complains about. You are retrenching people, you are taxing people. Man, this doesn't sound like my old PUP."

Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk
"Let me say Jules that this is a new era that we are living in and we need to move away from the political mindset of things and as this council has said that we will do what's in the best interest on the people."

Mayor Bernard started the consultations on the proposed garbage tax last night.

Channel 7