Mayor Darrell Bradley justified the contract, even though it will last beyond the next administration’s term for Belize City Council Administrator, Candice Miller
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 8, 2018– At the cusp of the impending March 7 municipal elections, the outgoing Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, has signed a four-year contract for Belize City Council Administrator, Candice Miller. She will now serve in the capacity of city administrator until 2022, and will thereby outlast whoever succeeds Mayor Bradley.
While the move has been criticized by the Opposition, Mayor Bradley had no apologies. According to him, it is a part of his efforts at reforming municipal staff throughout the country.
Bradley said, “This is part of our reforming of the municipal staff, so that this is not something that only the Belize City Council did. All our city councils and town councils throughout our nine municipalities, one of the things that our staff have been campaigning on, is the idea that they should be given the right of tenure.”
He added that this reformation had been widely discussed and formally agreed to by other mayors.
“One of the things when we did the Municipal Services Regulations is, we formed a committee that comprised the mayor of Belize City, the mayor of Belmopan, and the mayor of Orange Walk. We had intense discussions about this, including with legal persons and our technical staff; we raised it quite extensively and put together a document which all of us signed off on, which gave the right of tenure to all our staff members. The only thing we could not agree with at that time is what would be the status of the city administrator and directors and managers,” he explained.
Bradley added, “It would have been my view at that time that the Municipal Services Regulations should have included every staff member, including the city administrator. One of the things that I am very pleased with is that I came to the City Council and inherited a city administrator, and I will leave that same person there, and I think that is the way it should be.”
He opined that the municipalities should be immune from politics. “I believe that the public service, including the public service of the municipality, should be one hundred percent immune from politics. And that person, the staff, including the head of the staff, should be somebody who receives incoming Mayors, who provides technical assistance, who provides guidance, and who runs the operational structure of the City Council, including hiring, firing, discipline, policy implementation and so forth,” he said.
In a comment today, People’s United Party (PUP) Chairman, Henry Usher, remarked that he found it “comical” that Mayor Bradley would claim to renew Burke’s contract on a legal basis.
Usher pointed out that it was Mayor Bradley’s party, the United Democratic Party (UDP), which removed tenure for judges, but because his (Bradley’s) father is a senior manager, he wants to ensure that he (Bradley) keeps his job.
“He is trying to reach from the political grave. Everybody knows that Darrell Bradley is finished. Everybody knows that in terms of politics, as you said, he is a lame duck, but beyond that, he is dead politically, and so he is trying to reach from the grave and try to control things after he is already gone from City Hall,” said Usher.