THINKING OUT LOUD

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Village Council Elections

By Mayor Kevin Bernard

Thursday, May 30, 2019

In just a few short weeks, four communities of Orange Walk East – Palmar, Santa Martha, Carmelita and Chan Pine Ridge will be holding Village Council elections to select persons who will administrate the affairs of their communities for the next three years. I am asking for your support for the four slates which will be running on as People’s United Party, but it is not so much about the Party, as about the calibre of candidates, and the importance of these elections.

From the moment I first campaigned for office, more than a decade ago, I have always stuck by the values of hard work, commitment, service, integrity and as important as all that, involving the people in the decisions of governance. That is how I run the office of Mayor, along with a team that believes as I do, and we have served the people of Orange Walk well.

I have also, more now that I am seeking election in Orange Walk East, been determined to change the way people look at politics. I will tell you the truth. In these past years, the only people that love politics are the very few that benefit. The people who have made millions in contracts, and who have been able to build fancy homes off the backs of taxpayers. Those who are given the good jobs, and whose children are given scholarships to study abroad are happy. A very few have gotten rich, while the rest of us have been left to struggle for equal opportunities. That has to change. And the change will not come from me. It has to come from you, the people. You must demand better representation from all levels. People can’t expect to run for politics just so they can enrich themselves and enrich their family members and friends. That has gone on too long, and it has to stop now.

But the people have to get involved. And that is why I am asking, in your communities, that you look at the people who want to serve you, and judge them not so much by their party colours, but by what they bring to the table. For too long, Village Councils have been manipulated by politicians who only hand out instructions and expect them to be followed. But the Village Council has a much bigger role to play than that, and MUST play a much bigger role than that. So you must elect persons who are willing to put in the work, and want to do it for the right reasons. That is the only way our communities will progress.

In our slates in Palmar, Carmelita, Santa Martha and Chan Pine Ridge, committed groups of men and women have come forward to declare that they are prepared to work hard for the betterment of their people, to ensure that the people in our communities are treated with respect and dignity and that they have access to the opportunities they should – education, health, land, and jobs. That is always the type of representation I will stand behind. Always.

In three weeks, the decision will be in your hands, and I ask you to give it a lot of thought, and understand that this is not an election that means nothing in the scheme of things. This is the first step to getting proper representation for you and your families. I stand behind these slates, because they believe in the same principles I do – commitment, service, integrity and hard work. This is the time to take a stand and to demand the very best governance you can get. This is the time, and the decision is in your hands.

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