Meet San Pedro’s Mayoral Candidates!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 3            January 19, 2006

Features: Search Issues | Read Back Issues | Subscriptions | Merchandise Ordering Information

Elsa Paz

Elsa Paz:

How old is your track record?

I can’t remember the exact date but it would be like 12 years before I was elected in 2003, when I first ran for an electoral post.

What positions have you held in the past?

No, I ran as a candidate but we lost the election.

What are your plans for the community should you win?

I have a lot of plans because we have a lot of projects still pending and that is one of the reasons why I decided to run for three more years because we have a lot of projects that need to be completed. We need to accomplish a lot of other projects like the park at San Pedrito and Central Park which is not finished yet, it is in process and we have the whole town core, our plan is to finish the whole town core in cobble stoning, we want to do the whole town core. We believe that in three years we can do all of that.

This term I want to dedicate some effort on the youth like doing things for sports, because I have noticed that our youths spend so much time on the street with drugs and we need to do more things for them. We want to get them more involved in tournaments and sports.

What are your feelings about the bridge, and what would you say to calm the nerves of people that say that it is not a good idea or do you agree with them?

I think that it is a good idea because there is a big demand for a bridge. I do believe that it should stay for the same purpose that it is being used, our plans are to leave the same way it is being operated; just golf carts and bicycles, because of the roads. The only difference will be the better service that it will provide and it will be a toll bridge, but the fees will stay the same.

The meeting was not held before but people are talking about it. Mayor, tell me what are your feelings about re-districting? Have you thought about the pros and cons?

We are still trying to get the officials from the city to come here and inform us about the pros and cons that it will have. We know that if we become a district we will have more autonomy.

But, what are your feelings?

My feelings is that we should. We are under the Belize District which encompasses a lot of other islands and villages. Grants are awarded to other places that may need it more. I believe that if we have our own district, the money will come directly to the seventh district. As far as the cons, we are not sure of all of them but I believe that the pros outweigh the cons.

Tourism being our strongest suit, how would you increase our tourism influx?

Well, by promoting our island more. I believe that promotions help. Belize promotes the entire country of Belize but we need promotions that are about the island, about San Pedro.

What about the vehicle situation in our community, would you do anything differently?

The traffic committee is appointed by the government so it is a little difficult to control the situation, but I would lobby government to amend more laws for the traffic. Once they have become laws, it will be easier because we can give tickets and work better. Within some of the amendments is that big trucks can not traffic on Barrier Reef Drive, but in order to do that we have to fix some of the streets, especially to find a solution on how to alleviate the traffic in front of Tropic Air. We do believe that we have solutions it is just a matter of sitting down with the parties involved and as a group find something that works for everyone.

How about our basic infrastructure, like streets, parks, and the marina what would you do differently for this upcoming term?

The marina, the only thing that we can do is to keep lobbying with central government, because it would cost $250,000 to dredge the marina, which is highly needed. We can move the barges from the park area but where are they going to go when there is no other place for them to go.

If elected, how do you plan to work with Central Government?

The only thing I can tell you is that I will keep lobbying. It is the only thing that I can do along with the help of the Area Representative. We believe that if we have the support of the business community, which we do, we can accomplish a lot more. Because Central Government, it does not matter if it is PUP or UDP it seems to me that they believe that San Pedro does not need assistance because we produce a lot of money, they have that mentality, that we do not need any assistance. I believe that with the help of the community because all of our accomplishments are community projects. I call them community projects because they are all done with the help of the community; the taxes that we collected all went back into the community and the projects that we did.

How do you manage the growth of our community in regards to structures, do you have a say in 4-story buildings?

That is another committee that is appointed by government.

But, do you have a say on it, I mean you do sit on the board, right?

Yes, I do sit on it as an Ex-officio member, at the moment.

What is your belief on 4-story buildings? Do you agree with it?

We had a meeting with people of the government and business along with contractors discussing that same issue. And out of the entire group only three people were against the idea of four-story buildings. I don’t agree with it because I believe that we have to address infrastructure first before we can entertain a four-story building, especially because of the sewer problem. We need to extend the sewer first. On the north side of the island we need infrastructure first, even there.

You have the opportunity to set the record straight on one criticism, what is it?

The one criticism I believe that is very wrong is the town council budget, which is 9 million dollars. If we get to collect all the taxes we collect 2.2 million or 6.6 million in all the three years. I will be doing my public report because every year we do it but people don’t show up. It always happens and every year no one shows up to find out how we spend the money. A lot of people are asking, “Where is the money, where is the money?” That is why we have a public meeting.

Alberto “Don Beto” Nuñez
Alberto “Don Beto” Nuñez:

How old is your track record?

Nine years, three years as councilor and six years as mayor.

What did you accomplish in those positions?

Like a councilor not much, but as mayor we cobble stoned the street from Tropic Air all the way to the super market. And the other two side streets. We also did the sea walls that are visible in the back areas of town, like the one next to Compadres Bar, all in the lagoon side

What are your plans for the community should you win?

If I do win, one of my plans to finish the cobblestone project, crime, poverty and the garbage issue. As the problems come, to attack them. Sometimes you do not see the problems but as they come, work hard to combat them.

What are your feelings about the bridge, and what would you say to calm the nerves of people that say that it is not a good idea or do you agree with them?

If the bridge’s traffic is controlled and the size of the vehicles are controlled then I have no problem with it.

What are your feelings about re-districting? Have you thought about the pros and cons?

At this time we need to measure the pros and the cons and then decide from there. I do believe that there could be positive things to it.

Tourism being our strongest suit, how would you increase our tourism influx?

I believe that if we can keep the community clean and make it more attractive the tourists will come. But, if we cannot control the garbage, tourists will not come.

What about the vehicle situation in our community, would you do anything differently?

I would work together with the transport department to control the situation. Everyone wants a vehicle so it is hard to say “no” to someone that does need it. It is not just a town council job, it requires the assistance of many organizations in order to get tackled properly.

How about our basic infrastructure, like streets, parks, and the marina what would you do differently for this upcoming term?

We need to pressure government to finish the project like they promised. Once finished the barges will not have an excuse to say that they would not use the marina.

If elected, how do you plan to work with Central Government?

At this moment I believe that the party to which I belong has an advantage because Central Government is PUP. And, everyone understands that if you work with a government that belongs to your own party it is easier. I have worked with an opposition government and it was not easy, and I have worked with a PUP government and communication was easier and we achieved quite a few things. I know all the ministers personally, so it will be of a great benefit.

How do you manage the growth of our community in regards to structures, do you have a say in 4-story buildings?

I do not agree with four stories, not on the town core. Maybe in the outskirts of town but not in the town core.

You have the opportunity to set the record straight on one criticism, what is it?

Honestly my position has never been to criticize anyone; I don’t like to do that. A criticism that I saw was a board with me on a boat heading to Cuba, well I have never been to Cuba, I would like to go but I have not had the opportunity to visit yet. Criticisms have not hurt me and that is why I do not like to criticize.




weather.com
Search SanPedroSun.net go!
| AmbergrisCaye.com | Island Info | Community | History | Visitor Center |
|
Belize News | BelizeSearch.com | Messages |

Copyright © San Pedro Sun. Design by Casado Internet Group

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize News