The number one issue in a country with a horrific murder rate is, of course, murder, and in our case the demographic most in danger of being killed is the young male. This horrific murder rate weighs on the psyche of our entire population, but young males, naturally, are the ones whose minds are most affected.
Speaking recently on a job training session facilitated by the Love Foundation, Caribbean Shores area representative, Hon. Kareem Musa, spoke of the importance of the program, and said it was disappointing that of the twenty-one participants at the training only one was male.
Primary and secondary education are largely mandatory, so the ratio of males to females would be about even there, but at tertiary institutions, where participation isn’t compulsory, the number of females is much greater than the number of males. The University of Belize’s website says that of the total number of graduates in their graduating class of June, 2018, ”743 (64%) were females and 404 (35 %) were males.”
It is possible that a goodly number of young males don’t know that in this modern world their best hope for a bright future lies in a good education, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the crime situation has our young males thinking short-term. There are probably other reasons why female students hugely outnumber male students at our junior colleges and universities. Male skepticism, however, about the promised 3 score and 10 has to be high on the list.
Miller contract will cost Darrell down the road
Good leaders are not easy to come by, and in that vein, who knows what potential exists in former Belize City mayor, Darrell Bradley? He has expressed that he has it in mind to return to active political life some time down the road. If he does, this contract he gave to his former City Administrator, Candice Miller, will haunt him.
The latest news, that Ms. Miller has gotten court marshals to crowfoot Belize City Council property, heaps more garbage at Darrell’s door. The Belize City Council has to defend the people’s money, and the longer this story stays alive the more people will come to see how wrong the former mayor was about this contract.
The United Democratic Party (UDP), the present government, was certain of retaining Belize City in the March 2018 Belize City Council election, partly because the party had invested heavily in upgrading city streets. On top of that, the election was held two years and eight months before the UDP mandate had to come to an end. The people of Belize City had to know that if they voted for a People’s United Party (PUP) council, it would be squeezed. Indeed, it will take a lot for the present Belize City Council (BCC) to survive a very hostile Central Government.
The PUP has put forward that Bradley wanted his City Administrator to remain at that post because there were activities that had taken place at the BCC that he wanted to veil from the light. There has been no evidence put forward to substantiate that charge. It could be that the former mayor was as certain of victory as his entire party was, and his sole ambition was to ensure that the incoming mayor, a UDP, and councilors, UDP, would conduct business at the BCC the same way he had.
We are not aware that anyone forced Mr. Bradley to not run for mayor again. The newspaper of the party Mr. Bradley belongs to, the Guardian, reported him saying on August 3, 2017, (on his decision to not run again), that “when someone signs up for positions like being mayor it must be with a hundred percent focus.” Bradley said there were “personal reasons” for his decision, and that while sitting as mayor he recognized that he was not “a managerial type of person.”
The former mayor spoke truthfully. He did not confine himself to doing the mayor’s job while he held the post (he also worked as a private attorney), and he made a managerial boner when he extended his City Administrator’s contract well past the term of the BCC, a contract he signed not long before his term was over.
The City Administrator’s post is for a politically appointed person. In the Belize City Council Act the City Administrator is described as the “chief executive officer of the Council.” In the Government of Belize, a chief executive officer is not hired beyond the life of the government. There is no law in the Act that stops a devious or too ambitious mayor from giving the appointee a contract past the life of the BCC, but some things don’t have to be written, or so we thought.
Ms. Miller must have known that the honorable thing to do was to hand in her resignation when the UDP lost Belize City, but it’s a lot of money to walk away from. She might not have known or cared at the time she decided to get hers that the political future of her former boss would be scuttled if she persevered in holding on like a bulldog to a bone.
We are not aware that Mr. Bradley told, asked, begged Ms. Miller to walk away from the contract when the UDP lost. Whatever the truth is, Ms. Miller insists that she will collect, and she might well end up with the money. It might also be the end of her former boss’s hope for a successful future in politics.
Happy Garifuna Settlement Day
The story of the Garinagu in Belize is one of triumph. The Garinagu survived kidnapping, from the African continent; exile, from their adopted home on St. Vincent (Yurumein); starvation, on Balliceaux Island; and serious discrimination when they came to Belize in the 1800s. They survived all the forces that were against them, and in Belize, through their hard work, dedication, and excellence they earned their place alongside all the other tribes in our nation.
On November 19, the day commemorating the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize, almost the entire nation joins the celebration, and reflects on the tremendous contributions our wonderful Garifuna brothers and sisters have made to this country. Happy Garifuna Settlement Day to the Garinagu and all of Belize.