Meet your Political Candidates!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 6            February 8, 2006

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Javier Williams, PUP

Ricardo Molina, PUP

Javier Williams, and Ricardo Molina, People's United Party (PUP)

Political career: JW: Actually in politics this is the first time that I am presenting myself as a candidate. But, I have been involved with the PUP for the past six years and more, campaigning and supporting the party.

RM: It is my first time in politics, but I have worked with the party in the past along with Don Beto.

Why get into a career such as politics?

JW: I feel that here in San Pedro we need change, a new vision and new ideas, and I think my colleagues and I have a new vision.

RM: Because I hope to work arduously for the municipality, I see many factors which I would like to get involved in, especially in sports. I see drugs, delinquency and there are no sporting activities on the island.

With so much work needed to be done on the island, what is the thing that you give first priority to?

JW: Let me say that all of them are first priority but definitely we see the condition of the streets, the youth, more sporting events, garbage disposal, and the crime situation has escalated. They are all priorities; itís just a matter that we all have to work together as one. The street is definitely a tangible one, because you see it, feel it, drive it and know it, but they are all priorities I feel.

RM: Basically, the streets. Everyone complains of the condition that they are in. But, aside from that there are other things that command attention, like the parks, beaches and many things like schools that are filled to capacity. We need more room for our students.

With the slight increase of crime in our community, how do you tackle the problem?

JW: I think everyone needs to work together as a community, work together with the police department, the crime committee, the BTB, the hotel association everyone that has to do with tourism. Remember it does not only affect the tourists, itís the locals but we canít afford crime to go up and we start losing our tourism.

RM: I think with more control in the vigilant areas. More patrols in like San Juan, Boca del Rio and DFC, and other needed places. We need to organize neighborhood watches so that everyone can lend a hand in taking care of their neighborhood.

How do you properly care for the youth in our community?

JW: I feel that we need to show them that they are important on this island as everyone else; that they have a voice that they need to be respected. By showing them that they are important they will feel special, wanted and that comes with all the other activities that we should plan for them. Sports and more fun things to do and also we need to incorporate parents in this project so that we all benefit.

RM: By having more sports, I think that sports in schools and in the neighborhoods is essential. We need to remember healthy body, healthy minds.

What is your point of view in development?

JW: Development is good we just need to monitor it and watch it to make sure that it is done in the right areas. Development is healthy; it will benefit the island in the future, but we just need o keep good control over it.

RM: I think development is important for our island because we need to keep at the margin of competition.

What is the first thing you are going to do when you move into office?

JW: Firstly, we need to thank all of our people for the support, thank God, and get to work. There is nothing else than getting to work right after, there is a lot of work and that is why we are here we are going to give ourselves all we can.

RM: Give thanks to god and all the people who voted for us to work hard for the community.

With so many ideas on your manifesto, where do you get the money to accomplish them all?

JW: Definitely we will need to form an economic committee a team which will then assist us in guiding us in the right way on how to get more money obviously there will be a little bit of money that might be left and so we need to go into a soft loan somewhere, a lending institution so we can attack the serious and bigger problems to get it solved.

RM: I think that we will be solving these problem step-by-step working at the council daily. And the money can be gotten from the council and from there we will be able to do a great job.

Severo Guerrero Sr., UDP

Joseph Elijio, UDP
Severo Guerrero Sr. and Joseph Elijio, United Democratic Party (UDP)

Political career:

SG: I have been involved in politics since 1994.

JE: This will be my second term.

Why get into a career such as politics?

SG: Because I thought I could do better for my community, as a father you want to look out for the best interest of your kids as well as the best interests for your neighbors. What better way to find great solutions for our island than being a part of the town council where you can make a difference.

JE: Because I wanted to help the community that has given me so much. I have never understood the mechanics of politics, but by being on the inside and understanding how it works, itís so much different than being on the outside looking in. Believe me it is not as easy as it seems.

With so much work needed to be done on the island, what is the thing that you give first priority to?

SG: The streets right now, we all know what a little bit of rain can do. The streets get into such a mess and we definitely need to focus more on the streets; then we work on the garbage system, and improve that itself.

JE: First priority, I had always looked back at this political slogan that had been used years back, ďBelizeans first, Belize is for Belizeans and the youth are the future of tomorrow.Ē But, what I have seen lacking is the proper preparation for our youth. How could they be leaders if they are not properly prepared to enhance their leadership skills? I would like to ask all political parties and the general public, let us all support the youth, so we could have a better future for our grandchildren in the days to come.

With the slight increase of crime in our community, how do you tackle the problem?

SG: In that case we (San Pedro Town Council) have to work closely with the police, and vice versa. The community needs to get involved, as well. Look at what goes on around your neighborhood, keep a close eye on each other and report crimes. That way, with everyone as one it can get better under control.

JE: To tackle that problem, is another hard task but I think that by having more sporting facilities more youth orientating programs, we might have less crime or not have the severe ones we have like drugs and fighting with weapons and so forth. I think that is the best way to alleviate that sort of problem.

How do you properly care for the youth in our community?

SG: We need to care for them in a more special way, involve them more in sports, get them involved in the community rather than let them get side tracked in bad activities and being on the streets. We need to form organizations aimed at things the youth enjoy to keep them entertained. Get them involved in community events and project this way they will be more inclined into taking pride in their community.

JE: Like I said, enhancing the sporting events for them.

What is your point of view in development?

SG: I think that the town right now is growing so rapidly, that the mistakes made in development will not be immediate. A pressing concern is the tall buildings, we donít need skyscrapers. Locals and tourist do not need or want to see them in our area. Three floor story buildings have worked fine and they are best rather than skyscrapers.

JE: If you recall, years back, I donít have anything against development but what I donít like, is like preparing for the youth, if you donít prepare for it, it haunts you down the line. For example, San Pedro the town core itself there was a master plan, but it does not seem like the looked beyond that period as such. I think its time to start looking behind 20 year period for the sole reason that developers are coming in and everyone wants a piece of the pie. What I would suggest that any new areas that will be developed to please leave space or give enough thought for the correct infrastructure, utilities, and sporting/playgrounds for the youths. It will be for the benefit of the locals as well as the visitors.

What is the first thing you are going to do when you move into office?

SG: If elected again, we plan to work first with the streets, try to work on Barrier Reef Drive, maybe cobblestoning it or finding alternate remedies to it. Maybe alleviating the traffic that flows through it would be a solution. As far as the main roads, the possibilities are limited but we could look into white tar and installing proper drainage, its looks better and it would work rather than keeping it the way it is now.

JE: First of all, my first term of office was a learning experience to me, learning in the sense that I learned a lot of new things and I found out how to go about doing things. If elected for another term, I want to enforce the demands of the people. A lot of the demands of the people were not properly addressed and now I assure them that they will be enforced by me if need to.

With so many ideas on your manifesto, where do you get the money to accomplish them all?

SG: In that case, Central Government does not help much, the community helps a lot they have faith in us and we have shown them that we can do a lot better. If we are re-elected, I know we have the communityís support because they believe in us and they are always willing to help. But, Central Government needs to help us as well, so we have to fight to get more, only this way can we better our infrastructure on our island.

JE: Okay money that has been the biggest issue countrywide and world wide, but in San Pedro, we mostly depend on the private sector on the business community to assist us for the sole reason that the government seems to have this biasness towards San Pedro in the sense that they are afraid of the accomplishments we can achieve. Now the question that you asked reflects on that because if they are doing this in order to hurt a UDP town council then it is unfair to our community and our visitors. I believe that everyone living here or visiting here should be very, very comfortable because this is one of the most expensive places in the country and itís also the goldmine of the country, now by killing this, they are killing our country.
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