On Friday, February 10, 2006 the United Democratic Party unveiled their town council manifesto for the upcoming municipal elections at the Belize Yacht Club.
“Your vote for a UDP Town Council is a vote for greater vision, honesty, integrity, openness, fairness, good government and a team that works to make our beloved town a better place for all,” stated Mayoral candidate Elsa Paz in her opening remarks.
Mayoral candidate Elsa Paz, along with her six other town council candidates, addressed their party supporters and pledged to continue all the good work in progress currently and promised greater transparency and accessibility to all Sanpedranos in their next term. “The UDP Town Council has shown that it is up to the task,” added Elsa.
The UDP’s eight-point pledge manifesto is outlined as follows: Governance & Taxation Pledge *Publish the council’s financials quarterly and audited financial statements at least once a year. *Ensure that all town contracts for goods and services are open to public scrutiny. *Engage Central Government and the community in discussions that should lead to greater control of liquor licensing and housing developments. Tourism & Environment Pledge
*Work with the Belize Tourism Board and the business community to ensure continued promotion of Ambergris Caye locally and internationally. *Continue consultation to make an eco-friendly lagoon park for kayaks and bird watchers in San Pedro. *Ensure equitable distribution of all economic and training benefits derived from tourism, to all street vendors, waiters, resort managers and artisans. Infrastructure Pledge
b *Continue upgrading our streets and roads with a comprehensive maintenance program. *Open roads where they are needed. *Complete the linking of the north and south of the island by the way of the new Boca del Rio Bridge. *Lobby with Central Government to make the commercial marina fully functional *Continue working with all our partners to have a fully-fledged and well-equipped hospital built on the island.
Social Fabric and Quality of Life Pledge *Ensure to continue assisting all schools *Lobby the BTB to continue tourism training and to establish a tourism training institute on the island. *Support all law enforcement initiatives to keep residents and community safe and the tourism industry as crime-free as possible. *Continue the renovation and refurbishment of Central Park Traffic Management Pledge
*Eliminate abuse of authority by the current traffic committee *Consult with all parties in an effort to maintain strict control over vehicle importation on our island. *Regulate and control traffic congestion on the island
Youth, Sports & Culture Pledge *Upgrade the old football field by building a proper fence around the facility.
Sanitation & Waste Management *Pursue the acquisition of compactors and street sweepers for the island to keep our streets clean and healthy. *Expand sanitation and waste services further north once the new bridge is operational. Disaster Management Pledge
*Lobby Central Government to set a ceiling on boat and airline charges during emergencies to alleviate economic hardship on island residents who have to evacuate when disaster threatens.
At the end of their presentation the gathering celebrated with a champagne toast and snacks. The UDP’s plan of action is intended to be carried out with a “Together We Shall” attitude.
PUP ParadeThe slates for municipal elections were finalized many months ago but they were only made official on Tuesday, February 14, on Nomination Day.
Across the country, mass party and independent candidates went to Elections and Boundaries Offices (in San Pedro at the Town Hall) to make it official by allowing someone to nominate them, and then paying a deposit.
UDP ParadeIt is a simple process, but nomination day is much more campaigning that anything else. To avoid political confrontation the Elections and Boundaries Department set up a nomination day system in which the P.U.P. candidates appeared in the morning, the U.D.P. in the afternoon.
The PUP (Blue) and the UDP (Red) parade down the streets to the Town Hall to cast their nominations.