Mayor of San Pedro Town, Her Worship Elsa Paz presented her end of term report on the night of Thursday, January 26th at the Lions’ Den. The presentation took place an hour later than scheduled and lasted a total of 20 minutes. The report, which outlined the last three years of her term, has left the community with even more questions than answers regarding the finances of the San Pedro Town Council. While the report does not say how much capital is available for the future Town Council or what is owed, the report shows that there has been two consecutive years of deficit.
In fiscal year 2010/2011 Mayor Paz reported an increase in revenue which was exceeded by the total expenditure leading to a deficit. In her report Mayor Paz indicated that total revenues totaled $5,002,408.92 of which $1.4 million was obtained through a loan. In her report the Mayor said that, “David Mitchell from Grand Belizean Estates took full responsibility of the loan”. Property Tax accounted for $894,892.49 followed by Trade License revenue which accounted for $650,626.74. The Sir Barry Bowen Bridge brought in the total revenue of $373,377. The report indicates that the largest expense for 2010/2011 was Personal Emoluments which saw an increase of $51,458.53 totaling $1,970,918.44. Payment for Angel Coral Street Rehabilitation project accounted for $1,571,040.87 of which $1.4 was paid through a loan leaving a remaining balance of $171.040.87. Operating and Maintenance Costs, Utilities, Materials and Supplies accounted for $1,222,001.27. Total expenses on the bridge accounted for $145,887.50 (according to the report, it represented final payment for bridge) which is far less than what was collected. With the exception of Personal Emoluments, other increases in combined yearly expenses amounted to $ 45,701.97 making the total increase in expenditures to $97,160.50. Looking at the report, it is unclear how Mayor Paz reached a deficit of $407,708.28.
Mayor Paz gave no report on total assets owned at the end of her term in office, how much working capital is expected to be left behind for the new Council to operate on or even a list of liability should there be one. No monies were allocated by SPTC for Youth and Sports in any of the three years, a portfolio that falls under the Mayor. In regards to the two straight years of reported deficits, Mayor Paz gave no indication in her report how the Council planned to offset those deficits.
When questioned by the media about the content of the report, Mayor Paz went on record to say that she would be available, along with her administrator on Friday January 27th to respond to any questions. Despite countless phone calls to the SPTC, Mayor Paz declined interviews while her Administrator Patricia Tillett has been unavailable since then.
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