Elsa Paz elected President of the Belize Mayors’ Association!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 14            April 6, 2006

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The newly appointed Board of Directors of the Belize Mayors’ Association. From left to right, Hilberto Campos, Secretary, Zenaida Moya, Treasurer, Elsa Paz, President, and Sibun Lopez, Vice President.

At the forum, the Mayors from across the country met to discuss issues, ideas & challenges for their new term.

The Mayor’s Association is an organization comprised of the different Mayors from all the municipalities around the country. The Mayors attend weekly meetings and offer support and advice to one another.

   On Thursday, March 30th, the Mayor’s Association held a round table forum with the newly appointed Mayors of their respective districts at the City Hall in Belize City to elect its new Board of Directors. Mayors present at the meeting were Zenaida Moya (Belize City), Elsa Paz (San Pedro), Marconi Sosa (Benque Viejo), Carlos Galvez (Punta Gorda), John August (San Ignacio), Hilberto Campos (Corozal), and Sibun Lopez (Belmopan). Also present were Eugene Palacio, Director of Local Government, and Deonidez Cuellar, Executive Secretary.

   During the meeting, several issues were discussed including the Mayors’ Association activities, the financial report and the constitution. Amongst others and the highlight of the day was the election of the new Board of Directors. Mayor Elsa Paz took the top seat and was appointed President, Mayor Sibun Lopez was voted Vice President, Mayor Hilberto Campos is the board’s new Secretary, while Mayor Zenaida Moya was appointed Treasurer.

   Now with the Board of Directors elected, the Association will continue to carry on their vision; “to enhance the quality of life of people in our municipalities.” As President, Mayor Paz will now be responsible for chairing all meetings; issuing the call for regular and special meetings; ensuring the execution of decisions made by the Association; ensuring that annual election are duly called, noticed and held. In her acceptance speech, Paz stated “I gladly accept this post with one condition, that we work together for one common goal; to enhance the quality of living. Our role is to lobby government for financial assistance for projects necessary in our communities and this we can achieve if we work together as one body – a body that will not fall for injustice and bad governance. But we all know the issues that our country is presently facing so we need to be realistic and fight for more autonomy. As a group we can certainly achieve more. We are starting a new term to serve the people of Belize and that is key to our decisions. We have been trusted to take the reigns of this country and we must steer it forward without failure or remorse. I urge all of us to put our minds, hearts and ideas together so that we may attain our just objectives.

   The Mayors’ Association mission, in a spirit of solidarity, is to network with all stakeholders at Local, Regional and International levels, to pursue a process that will enhance good governance, encourage greater community participation and involvement, invest in general public education matters of Municipal Affairs, and promote foreign and local investments in the various municipalities. Absent for the meeting, was Mayor of Orange Walk, Ravell Gonzalez and Mayor Frank “Papa” Mena of Dangriga. The first official meeting with the new Board of Directors is slated for April 27th, 2006 at the Corozal Town Council.

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