BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2017–The days leading up to Remembrance Day have been difficult for the National Office Manager at the Belize Ex-Services League, because, not only has she been busy with the preparations for the big day on Sunday, November 12, but traffic officers from the Belize City Council Traffic Department have been ticketing her vehicle, which she has been parking in front of Canada House, the league headquarters, on Newtown Barracks, for many years.
Valerie Richardson, J.P., the league’s National Office Manager, has resorted to writing to Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, because the new parking regulation for Newtown Barracks that the city is implementing is a major inconvenience to her.
“On behalf of the B. Ex. L, I humbly ask the Belize City Council to issue one (1) parking permit for our working hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday free of cost,” she asked.
Richardson has not yet received an answer from City Hall.
Amandala’s investigation has revealed that the new parking regulation for Newtown Barracks has not yet been published in the Government Gazette. Nonetheless, according to legal experts whom Amandala consulted, there is no mention that new traffic regulations must be announced in the Government Gazette in order for such regulations to become the law, unlike Statutory Instruments which must be published in the Gazette before they acquire the force of law.
Canada House, the name of the league’s building, because it was gifted to the Belize Ex-services League of Belize by the Royal Canadian Region, was constructed in 1964-65. The league is a non-profit organization, but the Belize City Council told Richardson that she can park her vehicle in front of the building for a fee of $100 per month.
The street is already designed with a parking bay in front of the league’s building, and parking there would not affect the free flow of the traffic on Newtown Barracks, where the City Council’s new parking rules are designed to facilitate large buses transporting cruise ship tourists.
To add to the parking congestion of Newtown Barracks, the Pickwick building, which was once named Golden Princess Casino, now houses a calling center, and a few buildings down from the Pickwick, there is another call center.
Amandala attempted to speak to the City Traffic Manager, Kevaughn Jenkins, but when we visited the Traffic Department, we were told that he was not in the office. One staff member promised to have Jenkins call us, but up to press time, we have not received a call from him.
On Tuesday, two traffic officers turned up and ticketed Richardson; one of them threatened to call a tow truck to tow away her vehicle because it was parked in the parking bay in front of the league’s headquarters.
So far, the city has served Richardson three $25 tickets, although one of the tickets mentioned that she was illegally parked “on Barracks Road.”