A Time to Build Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:00

Roger EspejoA very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. - Crazy Horse, Oglala Chief, The Great Plains, Turtle Island

Reeling from and grappling with a perceived and often real history of inertia, controversy and mismanagement, a revitalized and re-purposed Belize City Council has emerged. Only 8 months ago, the country was “saved by the city” as one Minister later coined within a House Meeting referring to the people of Belize City and by extension the UDP stronghold of 8 out of 10 Belize City-based seats in the general election; it’s an obviously indispensable component of the marginal overall victory and a stronghold which many would laud as the regional strength that simultaneously gave rise to the critical political ‘steam’ needed for the otherwise, improbable UDP municipal electoral victory in the city. That very council, with the unwavering support of the Prime Minister and central government, is now doing its unprecedented share to ‘save the city’.

Paving the way for the launch of a new vision and leading the charge at City Hall, Mayor Darrell Bradley has made some tough and unpopular, albeit necessary decisions. Decisions to downsize staff, to install a waste-collection tax and to forfeit government subsidies wouldn’t come easy to any local government official but the young mayor, along with his energetic council, have shown that they must and can be done. In exchange for those tough decisions, the city has benefitted from seriously improved infrastructure within a relatively short period of time, development which has been stimulated through a re-purposed leadership will down at City Hall. This is the same will that has informed the decisions to hire experienced professionals in key positions and to commission a first-of-its-kind private audit; the same will that has informed the decisions to challenge the status quo in reexamining sanitation issues and nightclub operational hours; the same will that has driven the re-building of at least 30 streets and the careful planning and launching of a novel and visionary municipal bond.

A simple means to an end, the cementing of streets is the council’s way of concretizing real development but the Council challenges city issues of sanitation, the Council really challenges us to be a cleaner population. The council has launched a municipal bond, and sees it as the launching of a new vision for the hopeful municipality we call home. Tough times lie ahead in terms of managing without traditional Government subventions, which will now be diverted to the municipal bond’s sinking fund but most would agree that the Council has what it takes to persevere. In many ways, it already has clearly shown that it can. It can effectively do so with the support of GOB and that of the people, the prominent stakeholders of the Council and beneficiaries of its great vision.

This Belize City Council has done more in 8 months than most people can remember from any municipal administration but, there is much more to be accomplished and much more to be delivered; much more to be cleaned up and much more to be constructed; much more to be organized and much more to be heralded. Our finest hour is indeed yet to come and that’s why in Belize City, it’s a time for all of us, in our own individual ways, to help develop, maintain and maximize that vision: to get ready, get involved and contribute to the overall mission, to roll up our sleeves and to be leader-like in our own individual ways: large or small.
Right about now in this city: It’s a time to build!