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Town Council Sworn In

They topped the polls in the recent Municipal Elections for their respective parties and as leaders of the UDP and PUP in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Today decided to conduct a small interview with Mayoress Elsa Paz and the newly-appointed San Pedro PUP Chairman, Alex Nuñez, to get their thoughts about their plans and goals for the island.

Mayoress Elsa Paz made history in San Pedro three years ago when she was elected as the island’s first female Mayor. Last week, voters once more elected her for her second term in office, but this time around by a higher margin of votes against her opponent. These are her post-election thoughts:

Ambergris Today: What is your overall take on the results of the recent Belize Municipal Elections?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: First of all, I was very confident that our Party would emerge victorious, but I did not expect to win by this high a margin of votes against the PUP candidates. The last time around, I only won by a margin of 50 votes against my opponent, and even though I expected a better result for this election, I still did not expect this big of a difference. I’m very happy with the results, and it gives me more strength to move forward and continue to accomplish our goals for this beautiful island.

Ambergris Today: What immediate plans and goals will you set to accomplish for San Pedro?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: I think we have to follow our Manifesto and work hard and try our best to keep our promises for the benefit of the people of San Pedro. We have to continue moving forward with our promises of better streets, sports for the youth, good waste management and sanitation, fair taxation, and overall good governance.

Ambergris Today: What were the issues that people in San Pedro were most concerned about during the campaign?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: The main issues brought forward by the people of San Pedro were the improvement of the streets and the creation of more sporting activities for our youth. Apart from these, people mentioned the need to improve the waste management and services. I believe the people of Belize voted red countrywide because they were tired of bad governance from the PUP, corruption, increase of taxes, and broken promises to the people. For San Pedro, it was different in the way that people voted for the UDP because we accomplished a lot in 3 years. Everyone can see our works. I felt relaxed this time around because I believe our Town Council accomplished many works and did not provide only false promises.

Ambergris Today: What do you expect the relationship between Central Government and the San Pedro Town Council to be like now? And how will you pursue your goals and lobby Central Government for assistance?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: During the past 3 years, I have had a good working relationship with all the government ministries and ministers, but we did not get the support that San Pedro deserves. I believe that we cannot depend on government; we can lobby, but cannot depend on the government. Instead, we need to get all the support and assistance that we can from other areas, such as the local businesses, community, and friends from other countries. I’m not a Mayor that will sit down and depend on government to give us what we need. I will look elsewhere for support and assistance for the benefit of our island.

Ambergris Today: What’s the Council’s schedule in regards to Central Park?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: Right now, Phase III of the Park renovation project is taking place, but there’s no timeframe for works to be completed, as it is being entirely funded by Atlantic Bank and sponsored by efforts of the Town Council. As soon as Phase III is completed, we will proceed with Phase IV, for which we already have sponsors willing to assist us.

Ambergris Today: What message do you want to convey to the people of San Pedro, at this time, after the election?

Mayoress Elsa Paz: First of all, I want to thank the people for giving me a second opportunity to serve them. I ask everyone to unite because as a Town Council we cannot accomplish everything, but as a united town we can overcome all obstacles. We are a Council that has been strongly united; there’s great strength in our friendship and unity and we consult always with the Area Representative on the decisions affecting our island. This is what makes us strong, and this is the reason we won. I believe that we can truly accomplish many goals for San Pedro if we work hard together and in unity. I’m here to serve everyone, with honesty and promises that are backed up, not falsely given. For the past 3 years, we’ve had tremendous support from the business community and the majority of people from San Pedro and this is what I want to continue to pursue as Mayor of San Pedro. A united town is a blessing and a formidable example for Central Government and the rest of Belize.

PUP Candidate Alex Nuñez topped his party’s polls in San Pedro, garnering a total of 1,274 votes last Wednesday. He has recently been nominated for the San Pedro PUP Chairmanship, a post that he humbly accepted.

Ambergris Today: What is your overall take on the results of the recent Belize Municipal Elections?

Alex Nuñez: I believe that, overwhelmingly, the people’s voice in Belize has been heard, in the sense that people have seen national issues and are deeply concerned about how the present government has been going about in dealing with them. In other words, the people are not satisfied, and as a result, the Municipal Elections 2006 clearly demonstrated that point.

Ambergris Today: Where does the party go from here?

Alex Nuñez: In San Pedro, particularly, we need to (1) remain loyal and united to the Party; (2) Ensure that we get new, young and vibrant people, into our committees; and (3) Ensure that we work hard and closely together with our Central Government to see how best we can still assist San Pedro.

Ambergris Today: Will you continue to pursue the goals outlined by the PUP in their Manifesto?

Alex Nuñez: Definitely the Party will look closely at ongoing concerns, one of that being the need for a new school…we will ensure that the school is built, and we will definitely look at other possible projects.

Ambergris Today: What message do you want to convey to the people of San Pedro, at this time, after the election?

Alex Nuñez: First of all, I want to express my sincere thanks to all our supporters and to extend a heartfelt congratulation to Mayoress Elsa Paz and her councilors. Let me express my sentiment to our Party supporters…that we will continue the struggle to keep the PUP alive and watchful in the community of San Pedro!

Photo Caption:
1. Town Councilors.
2. Mayor Elsa Paz sworn in.

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