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What about the City Adminsitrator? Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 April 2018 00:00

The PUP APOLOGISTS have been trying to explain away, that what is presently being done to the City Administrator has nothing to do with politics. However, Mayor Wagner rubbished their argument with one response to the following question that was asked of him by Jules Vasquez.

“Can you move forward with her?”

The Mayor’s response was, and we are quoting him verbatim:

“The reality of it- we’ve got to be real in this business; people might say it is political victimization. The fact of the matter is that the past mayor when he undertook to give the contract to the city administrator with a term passing the life of this administration he clearly put her under significant scrutiny. It is sad, it is a sad situation; I definitely won’t put any of my city administrators in that position. Listen, man, WE HAVE TO BE REAL; THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR WAS OUT THERE CAMPAIGNING FOR THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY COUNCIL. And it doesn’t matter how you swing it or how you twist it that professionalism this and that, Jules, at the end of the day we’ve got to be real and come what may we have to be real. We can’t play like this is something that isn’t eating us inside, it is eating everybody inside but the mayor was the main cause of this, right; he put a lot of scrutiny. My administrator needs to either look at her past mayor and say listen, man, you put me in a bad position. That is how I look at it.”

Another thing is that the Mayor has suggested that he has the authority to dismiss any employee of the City Council. The following is what he told Jules Vasquez. “No, the Belize City council rules and regulations states- in rule #32- that the mayor can essentially dismiss the administrator to some extent and after he can bring it forward to the council for their approval.”

To us that sounded irregular for one man to have that sort of unbridled power, so we checked rule #32 and as expected we found out that the Mayor had misquoted rule #32. The following is what the rule states. “The Mayor may at any time suspend from office any officer who in his opinion is guilty of misconduct or neglect and may temporarily appoint another person in his place. The Mayor shall report the matter at the next meeting of the Council.” Basically the rule only gives the Mayor the power to suspend an officer temporarily, until the matter is brought before the entire council. It is at that juncture that the council will put its disciplinary procedure in train. Part of that procedure is to write the officer and inform the officer of the nature of the complaint so that the process of NATURAL JUSTICE can take place.

Rule #32 also cannot be used independent of rule #31 “ The Mayor shall, subject to any decision of the Council, have control of all the officers and employees of the Council and forthwith upon the passing of any resolution or the adoption of any minute or report, he shall have authority to give effect thereto unless the Council otherwise determine.” As further proof that the Mayor alone cannot be the final arbitrator when it comes to the disciplining of an employee, we have relied on rule #13(3) which states “ The power to remove, promote, or take disciplinary action against officers and servants of the council, including the City Administrator, shall be and is hereby vested in the Council. Our position is further strengthened by the said rule #13(3), not only because it is in the City Council act, but we are doing so because it has been tested in a court of law. During the SUPREME COURT OF BELIZE, CLAIM NO. 459, of 2007. That matter involved SHAROLE  SALDIVAR Claimant AND THE BELIZE CITY COUNCIL Defendant and matter went before the Honorable Abdulai Conteh, Chief Justice.