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#216765 - 11/01/02 10:43 AM Village Council  

A friend of mine in Caye Caulker recently emailed saying that the last day for the Mayor of Caye Caulker was today (Friday!). Is this true? Is he resigning for reasons of Political Pressure or on his own will? Who will be his successor? Can anybody answer my questions?
BTW, its raining in Miami write now!

#216766 - 11/02/02 04:40 PM Re: Village Council  

Publish your E mail and you might get more answers. Some folks steer away fron questions like this.

#216767 - 11/08/02 11:11 AM Re: Village Council  
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 95
Ragga Gal Offline
Junior Member
Ragga Gal  Offline
Who is the next Chairman? What happens in situations like this?

#216768 - 11/08/02 01:42 PM Re: Village Council  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Noh True! Offline
Junior Member
Noh True!  Offline
The vice-chairperson takes over on a pro-temp basis until an election can be called for the election of a chairperson since the law says that he has to be directly elected by the people. It should be no less than 20 days from the resignation but no more than 60 days.

#216769 - 11/09/02 12:51 PM Re: Village Council  

Anyone stepping to take this largely thankless job? They will need to work 50+ hours a week for less than US$50 a week, except during emergencies when it is more like 100 hrs a week.
For those not on CC: Fermin made a living at it. Since this doesn't seem possible most villagers figure he must have worked some angles.
How about you Ilna? You were one of the best chairpersons we had and are still out there defending the village in other venues.

#216770 - 11/11/02 10:25 AM Re: Village Council  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Noh True! Offline
Junior Member
Noh True!  Offline
Keycocker, Fermin made it seem that way. I have a friend that runs the next island, San Pedro,just a notch below the Mayor. Actually he is the legal representative for the San Pedro Town Council since the Mayor is the political representative. He delegates and things get done. Fermin kept all the committees to himself and half the time his COuncilors did not know what was happening on Caye Caulker. To compound matters he got involved at the national level with the Area Representative, his job was not to do her job.
In his resignation he stated that he would be working with her and laise with the Village Council. In other words he would be in charge of her projects on Caye Caulker. The Villagers do not have a problem with that concept provided that some accountability and transparency is given; something that Fermin was never able to give to his people. This makes me believe the saying that "Politicians do not have careers, they have terms of office."

#216771 - 11/11/02 11:56 AM Re: Village Council  

The thoughtful post above is absolutely correct. Note for non-Belizians: The word "Area Representive" is about the same as "Congresswoman" in the US.
Bringing accountability and transparency to the Village Council will be a new thing on Caye Caulker. There has hardly been enough money to account for in the past.
Most businesses still use the fisherman method of accounting. (You check your balance by pulling out the money and counting what is left while leaving the bar.)
Keeping good books is extra work and the Village Council is a volunteer group taking time off from their jobs.
Most Village Councils in the past consisted of a core of 1 to 3 folks who did everything while the rest stayed blissfully in the dark.
The present Council is different. They really wished to participate but Fermin found it easier to keep to the old ways.The emergency help during Mitch and Keith and the close relations between Fermin and the Area Rep has brought unprecedented funding to the island government.
Paid Gov't employees like San Pedro has would help a lot. Beto comes to mind right away.

#216772 - 11/11/02 03:38 PM Re: Village Council  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
Noh True! Offline
Junior Member
Noh True!  Offline
I do agree with your above point but the fact remains that Caye Caulker is not the sleepy little village it once was. If you do know, only in property taxes the island generates a substantial amount of money which merit that books must be kept. This does not include liqour licenses (another amount), trade licenses, and a host of other fees the council is entitled to collect. This is the first item that the Ministry of Local Goverment looks at to determine if a place like Caye Caulker deserves municipal status, i.e., township. Caye Caulker has the potential for this status but no Council has ever bothered to look at this. We have enough to have a small fulltime work force that can keep our streets, beaches, etc. clean as well as some monies left over for capital projects. Only if self sufficiency is attained can we start investing in other capital (infrastructure) projects.
The Area Representative did increase the level of funding for Caye Caulker and she should get credit where it is due. She has, however, not provided what her constituents were asking for, i.e. accountability and may have even jeoprodized her career. If Fermin is to work with her to oversee her projects then why have a village council? This will only cause the new chairperson elect to lock horns with them. She was the one that activily campaigned for Fermin - A race he narrowly won. Now he has resigned and have left the electorate up in arms.Maybe she should have stayed out of the race and endorsed whoever won. But again it comes down to that Patty & Fermin must get what Patty & Fermin wants.

#216773 - 11/11/02 09:22 PM Re: Village Council  

Your point is well taken. She did hire someone who supports her projects to.. uh her projects. She is using an innovative blend of public and private funding for these. A past civil servant with political connections would seem ideal for managing the private part of it.
The election was the most interesting ever. The two sides were picking people up to drive them to the polls. We elected a great roster and then Fermin ignored them. Many of the opposition were disgruntled members of his own previous Council,annoyed because he had ignored them and wasted their talents. He promised to do better and then ignored the new Council as well.
There is a group of people who mainly wish for accountability but they hardly seem to be her supporters. This is as it should be. They are the honorable opposition. Most folks I have spoken with have big wish lists but care little for accountability because they aren't used to having it. They want tangible on-the-ground results. This was the secret of Fermin's success with the voters.
Getting the status of a town is the most important thing right now -as noted by NOH True.I first learned this from Fermin, in fact.We don't qualify for this because of our population numbers. We will likely never have enough people here so our only hope is for Government to grant a special dispensation for this status. This is something they never have done in Belize.

#216774 - 11/11/02 09:54 PM Re: Village Council  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2
The Original Sunset Offline
Junior Member
The Original Sunset  Offline
Survival and sustainability must be our focus now. Let’s learn from our mistakes. They cannot be taken back but our community can learn from them. This is a prime time to make accountability and transparency a reality in Caye Caulker. Let’s get an audit – see where we are – determine what we must do now – and follow accordingly.

All the fussing and fighting might bring the wrongdoing to a head – might even make some folks be accountable for their “own agendas” – as should be. But we must also remember that Caye Caulker has to survive and truly come into its own. This island has so much to offer to both locals and tourists. All the backbiting and inter-fighting is non-productive, detrimental and damaging to all of us. We should be directing our energy to promoting the island – tourism, fishing, diving, snorkeling, and hanging out in a stress-free paradise. This is Caye Caulker -- a wonderful place for locals and tourists to come and have fun.

The local politics is spreading a nasty environment that is detrimental to all of us.

We must find a leader that can bring the community of Caye Caulker together and help heal us. Someone strong enough to stand up to political and peer pressure. Someone who loves this island for what it is – not just what can be raped from it. Does that person exist? Time will tell.

If not, we are lost and so is Caye Caulker.

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