The money was spent on a pre-election concert at BTL Park
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 19, 2018– The Belize City Council, under former UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley, apparently was used as a cash cow for all kinds of questionable things having nothing to do with the improvement of the lives of city residents.
Just before the March 7 municipal elections that the incumbent United Democratic Party was so cock-sure that they would win, the City Council spent a sizeable chunk of funds to finance a concert at the BTL Park, which featured two foreign artists, Cecile and Baby Cham, along with a few local artists.
The cost was a whopping $133,000 from the public purse.
Since Belize City residents voted the UDP out of City Hall and the finances and books of the City Council are being looked at by the PUP’s Mayor Bernard Wagner and his team, an ugly picture has begun to emerge — showing that the fiduciary responsibility that was supposed to be the rule for managing the affairs of Belize City appeared to have been cast to the wind.
There are contracts that are in need of judicial review. There are payments that were made to satisfy the whim and fancy of the people at the top at City Hall — expenditures that had nothing to do with the work of the council.
Resources that were, and are, so critical to meeting payroll and other expenses were squandered on non-essentials like free concerts at BTL Park.
At least seven City Council employees were paid an honorarium of $750 each for assisting in the organizing of the concert. The payment for booking Baby Cham and Cecile amounted to over $30,000, and this does not include food, drinks and transportation.
City Administrator Candice Miller received almost $3,500 for “per diem for artists and group for BCC/BTL park concert”.
Compare that to the miserly average of the $500 and $600 that were paid to about a dozen local artists who performed at the concert.
From the financial mismanagement that occurred under Mayor Bradley’s watch, it is clear that the workers of the City Council were the least priority of the Bradley administration.
In one instance, in October of last year, the then Deputy Mayor, Dion Leslie, said that the salaries for some of the Council’s employees, whose money went to the Holy Redeemer Credit Union, had been deposited, and that was later found not to be so.
Above is a breakdown of some of the $133,000 that Mayor Bradley spent on the concert.