Features — 18 April 2018
BELIZEAN STANISLAUS

April 13, 2018– If I may, a quiet word to Mayor Wagner.

The ways of public behavior are paved with bright-eyed good intentions. And it is so re-assuring to live in a city where the first citizen wants to demonstrate personal commitment to those who can do with some personal help. Is it possible to do this effectively while at the same time preserving the best norms of good financial management of public funds? Can’t scrupulous transparency be upheld while treating our fellow citizens with the greatest touch of respect? Most honest businessmen would assert: good conscience is laudable, but there is no greater proof of it than black and white. Perhaps, a voucher system would be far more transparent than a cheque signed by you payable to yourself. Vouchers cashed by one of your cashiers made out to the recipient would be a significant enchancement of TRANSPARENCY.

Politicians who wish to recover the respect of their fellow citizens must return to the observance of common sense rules regarding the spending of public funds. A TACOS and BEER beach party was very low taste, but, as far as we know, at least it was not done with public funds.  But a spree of drinks and food at public expense, a day before elections is definitely abusive of the proper management of taxpayers’ money.

Twenty years ago I vociferously denounced the appointment of the Chief Justice one day before elections. Did the City Administrator know this? It would have demonstrated exemplary integrity if she had refused that 4-year contract. God give us men – and WOMEN too!

Persons of high moral character sometimes put themselves in positions where their virtue becomes subverted. They think and sincerely believe that the power of their example will shine upon others and they will become followers. I believe our present national administration is replete with this kind of Belizean. No, no individuals will be singled out, for we wish to contribute to a much higher forum of public debate in which ideas and issues are the focus – not corruption and weakness and their villains.

I firmly believe that we as a nation are embarking on an historic journey that will take us to a level of cultural development that will be an awakening to our neighbours.

We shall start by ensuring that the new voters’ lists will truly represent the will of the people in each constituency. This must be verified by the Supreme Court, which shall verify that each name on the lists belong to real, true residents, not ghosts that live in vacant lots by the tens. Of course, the pertinent law must be amended to define that residency does not mean a desire to vote for a specific person but the actual real dwelling of a person in that particular house.

It is my constant, fervent prayer that every single Belizean would deeply and truly grasp the profound significance of living in a country where every single human being fully realizes what his or her vote means. For one thing, a conscientious effort to vote for the best person demonstrates a conscience duly tuned to the demands of social justice like taking proper care for every single citizen.

Do we satisfy the requirements of social justice, if we distribute a loaf of bread to every needy person?

George Price, the best mayor, Belize city ever had, among the many things he did, taught us what poor people need more than anything else. It is amazing how many persons he knew by name. Every day he would walk the streets of Belize City and meet countless persons, whom he came to know by name. Do our politicians of today realise how important it is to a humble person to be called by name?

It is laudable that Mayor Wagner wants to help the needy, but the clinic on Wednesday is a small part. Make your leather wear itself out on the pavements and you will truly start a new revolution of truly, caring public servants.  Dedicated to Belize – not to hustle!!!!

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Deshawn Swasey

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