Belmopan Mayor discusses residents’ concerns

Mayor Simeon Lopez, Mayor of the Capital City of Belmopan, appeared on Rise and Shine morning show Wednesday morning, to address various issues of concern to residents of Belmopan.

Topics ranged from street works happening in the city, renovations of the Civic Center and the relocation of the market vendors, to other infrastructural works.

The Mayor also talked about his legacy as a three term Mayor, and the fact that there is much more that could have been done, had it not been for resistance within his own party hierarchy.

vlcsnap-2014-09-18-08h19m39s79Simeon Lopez – Mayor of Belmopan

“I believe that with cooperation we could have done so much for Belmopan. I believe that the party, or the so-called higher-ups in the party, believe that they are punishing me, but they’re not punishing me.  They’re punishing the people of Belmopan. That is one of the reasons why I decided ‘Let me step back.  Let me come out of this thing completely, and see what will happen.’  Maybe if the UDP win again the next City Council, Belmopan might prosper more.”   

In fact, the Mayor says that now that he is leaving the Mayoral office, millions of dollars are being spent in the Capital, works that he has no control over.

Mayor Simeon Lopez

“They know that I was not going to seek reelection more than a year and a half ago.  So, all of a sudden you see infrastructure works.

The Council did its part. The only completing we did was at the Shell junction out there, which was a small piece of work, but we had to do it because of the terrible situation. We can’t do completing like what is happening.

I don’t feel like I am a politician.  I think they knew that. I’ve stood up against a number of them, even though I might not show it.” 

The Mayor  addressed the comparison of the Belmopan infrastructural projects with those in Belize City, where the Belize City Mayor is obviously intricately involved in those projects, a stark contrast to the Belmopan projects.

Louis Wade – Rise and Shine Host

“Do you look at Belize City and see it’s just two totally different things with the two cities?”

Mayor Simeon Lopez

“I guess you will realize that the Mayor of Belize City has complete and full support of ten Area Representatives, which includes the Prime Minister.  His constituency is in Belize City.  According to them, Belize City is still the number one municipality in the country.  I have no hard feeling about that.  Belmopan is the capital.

You’ll  recall also that I tried to float a bond here in Belmopan, and it was shot down.  [It was] shot down by the Area Rep and the Prime Minister.”

The Mayor also spoke candidly about the tensions between the City Council and the Area Representative, Hon. John Saldivar, and when asked if he would support the Honorable Minister’s pick for the new UDP Mayoral candidate, Khalid Belisle, the Mayor said he had some concerns.

Mayor Simeon Lopez

“I’ve known Mr Belisle for many many years.  As a matter of fact, he was a student of mine at Belmopan Comprehensive School.  [He’s a] very brilliant guy, but what I am more than a little bit worried about is, if they should come into office, and the manipulation is part of it.

But he has a strong slate behind him.

Louis Wade

‘The question really is, are you endorsing Khalid Belisle for Mayor of Belmopan?  That is the question.”

Mayor Simeon Lopez

“I am reserving that, because he is being endorsed.  There was not a convention or anything like that.  I think that is what the Area Rep wanted. 

I keep out of it. I am going to work to the last day of my term, which is the end of February, and then after that whatever happens happens.  I won’t predict, and I can’t predict, who will win the next Municipal Election.  I can only say it will be a close call, but I won’t predict who will win.”

Municipal elections are roughly 6 months away.

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