Mayor Bradley’s infrastructural accomplishments in Belize City demonstrate that political leaders can achieve remarkable things for the people they serve. Despite what remains to be done, city residents are grateful and for the first time in decades are expressing some level of optimism for the city’s future. Bradley’s approach deserves to be studied and the results shared with the “body politic”, if only for good measure.
However, lips are whispering that Bradley is thinking of ascending to higher heights. If true, he probably believes that he has proven his worth in Belize City and is now ready to make a more profound impact as a member of the Cabinet. Unsuspectingly, this will prove too much a challenge because the stakes are higher and the dynamics of political power and control are harsh at that level. Check out Godwin H. Once there, Bradley will eventually find himself “falling into line”, isolated or at worst prematurely exiting the political arena in frustration. But that is a topic for another time.
I think there is a better way. Serve another term as Mayor of Belize City and leave on a much stronger note. With the work on the streets and main parks of Belize City winding down, the focus should shift to building the economy of Belize City. This can be done by developing the infrastructure for at least four economic/commercial zones in Belize City. Two should be located on the “Southside” of Belize City to attract industry and thereby generate hundreds of jobs for the masses of the unemployed. Two more can be located on the “Northside” to create merchandizing and commercial business opportunities. Or create a mix of some sort. People want work and those with money to spend are tired of going to Chetumal and elsewhere. Swing it around, Mayor! Get the Mexicans here to spend their money!
To design and develop that infrastructure, Bradley should work with like-thinking, open minds and people who can plan and implement, not talk! And with people who give equal attention to functionality as well as aesthetics. Beautification in and of itself is uplifting to the citizenry and the city, even where zones are designated for industrial activity. City residents and businesses at home and abroad would welcome a constructive initiative of this nature, with open arms. The spinoff would be felt in culture, sports, education, crime, etc. and possibly spawn a renaissance of sorts in the city (a delightful notion for the nostalgic at heart).
To top it off, he should seek to be inclusive, as Belize is for all Belizeans, thereby elevating national interests over party interests. After solving this riddle called Belize City, he can contemplate solving the bigger riddle called Belize.
(Please use just my initials)