SPTC unveils vision for La Isla Bonita

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 20, No. 21            May 27, 2010

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    To achieve autonomy and provide improvement in the quality of life of all the residents of San Pedro Town by promoting sustainable growth and development and protecting our Tourism Industry.

    The San Pedro Town Council will work under the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness and honesty in order to obtain the necessary infrastructure, establish systems, to promote the growth of the Tourism Industry in Belize and the San Pedro Community. All services provided, will aim to improve the quality of life of the residents of San Pedro Town, without prejudice to Gender, Ethnicity, Religious, or Political Party affiliation.

    Designed and developed the Mayor and her team during training sessions in February of 2010, the Vision and Mission were officially unveiled and mounted on the wall of the San Pedro Town Council office on Thursday, May 20, 2010. It was indeed a historic moment, as it acknowledges the fact that San Pedro is a municipality that continues to grow and evolve, and it is their promise to the island to work for the residents’ betterment.

    With the completion and unveiling of the Vision and Mission, the SPTC acknowledges the need to provide its municipality with a clear plan of progress. Initiated by the World Bank and the Government of Belize, this move is being made throughout all nine municipalities of Belize. With the World Bank’s foremost goal of alleviating poverty, it has undertaken the funding of the institutional capacity building of all nine Town and City Councils. The Mayor of San Pedro, along with other mayors throughout the country have taken the time to reflect on what community development programs and projects are needed in order to progress. Also unveiled was the official chain of command at the SPTC, with the Mayor as the leader. The chain clearly indicates the responsibilities of each member of the Town Council, from clerks to the various boards and committees, through to the Town Administrator, Councilors and lastly, the Mayor. All nine councils have adopted a 16-point Code of Ethics which is based on a Fair, Ethical, Transparent and Accountable local government.

    Moderator Elizabeth Garcia-Pascasio is a consultantant with 30 years of experience, having been a CEO for the Government of Belize, served in public office, traveled worldwide, and now works hand in hand with the World Bank, the Social Investment Fund (SIF) and NEMO, and now trains executive secretaries and clerks. She explained that outlining the Vision and Mission for La Isla Bonita is just the first step in improving the performance of the SPTC. According to Town Administrator Patricia Tillett, this is only the first phase in the municipal development plan.

    Mrs. Pascasio, who moderated the training involved in outlining the Vision and Mission, also stated the importance of community involvement when undertaking the projects meant to improve their lives. Hence, she made sure that those in attendance heard the 16-point code of ethics read out loud (by Mrs. Tillett). Residents should expect that the Town Council will work fairly, ethically, transparently, and will be held accountable for matters concerning San Pedro.

    Next up is the outlining of job descriptions of all those in the SPTC, from clerk to Mayor. The responsibilities of each team member must be clarified, and training will be provided where necessary. While the SPTC and Belize City Council won’t be recipients of grants provided by the World Bank, the other seven municipalities throughout the country will be receiving monetary aid to push through with various projects of importance. Mrs. Pascasio asks the community to attend public meetings, to become knowledgeable of the projects planned, and to hold their Town Councils accountable for their actions and progress.

    Congratulations to the Mayor and her team for taking this step in what is expected to be a new era of governance for La Isla Bonita.

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