Last week plus news reported that a senior worker at the Belmopan City Council Javier Novelowas dismissed from office. Reports were that he was told his contract would not be renewed the day his contract expired- March 31st- even though he had expressed interest for his contract to be renewed more than a month before. Sources confirmed that Novelo was replaced as the Head of the Engineering Department at City Hall by Hon. John Salidivar’s brother in law. Since then we have been unable to get a comment from the City Council. But the first Mayor of Belmopan, the man who hired Novelo in the first place, believes the new Mayor should respond to the situation.
“The recent discloser of the termination of our senior officer in the City Hall that we employed and contracted to employ and handed over to Mr. Lopez and enjoyed, I think, nine years of tenour has certainly visited the administrator o of Mayor Belisle. I think he needs to examine that situation. I think he needs to respond to it appropriately and if there is a stigma of corruption or anything assigned to it, then I would advise him to deal with it properly that it doesn’t stain the good will and vitality and all the bright ideas that he brings to this administration.”
As for the perceived stigma that came with hiring the Area rep’s brother in law to fill the vacant post, Chanona suggests that more stringent measures be put in place to quell the perception that corruption can take place.
“I would suggest that if that is a grey area that has visited his administration, then I would invite the Ministry of Works engineering section to assist the council in signing off on these projects rather than it be preserved that he is signing off on something that is less than – the integrity is in question. It is not just the administration of justice that must be done. The perception must also be done. I think that is the first obstacle he is facing in his administration and I would not see him get smothered or stained, because I believe that this young man has a lot to offer to this city.”