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|San Pedro Daily||Sunday,
April 8, 2012
|Front Page||Weather||foto of the day||Regional News||Classified Ads|
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From the desk of
Mayor Daniel Guerrero
On Wednesday, April 4th the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero briefed the media on several issues within the Council. Addressed were the restructuring of the San Pedro Town Council’s staff, the Barry Bowen Bridge, operating hours of shops, restaurants and bars on Good Friday and the presentation of a Financial Report.
The re-structuring of the Council’s staff saw the releasing of three employees and their replacements. The Mayor commented,
“The restructuring of the Council’s staff was forthcoming, in fact it was promised in our manifesto during our campaign. In other municipalities this happened more immediate after the elections. However, we felt that we needed to do an analysis, an evaluation if you may, of what is going on at the Council and what needs to be done for the success of the Town. With this done the Council decided to release three of our staff members: Pablo Kumul, Nesher Acosta and Gonzalo Alamilla. If you notice, two of these individuals were from the Property Tax department. There has been a public outcry that the property tax system simply was not really operating. With the releasing of those employees and the placing of Daniela Nuñez along with Wilbert Magaña as the new Evaluation Officer, we have started to work on improving that department. We are already working on a new database. We have many persons working on it.”
There is a third person who will be hired to work in that department as well. With the shuffling, there has now become a vacancy in the Trade and Liquor department, which is where Magaña has been moved from. Further to this, UDP Councilor candidate in the recent elections, Yolanda Parham was hired as the Mayor’s personal assistant.
Concerning the opening hours on Good Friday for businesses that sell alcohol, the Mayor explained,
“The shops will be allowed to stay opened as per their regular hours. However, alcohol will NOT be sold from ANY establishment, starting midnight on Thursday April 5th through 9pm on Friday, April 6th. We will be having spot checks by personnel from the Liquor Licensing Board accompanied by a police officer. As for the bars and night clubs, the Council together with the Minister of Tourism, for this year, was flexible to accommodate the business community. People had already invested in promoting their special Easter events. With this taken into consideration as well as addressing concerns by the Catholic Church, we have decided to allow them to open at 9PM, with their usual extensions. However, next year will be completely different. From 12midnight on Thursday through 12 midnight on Friday, San Pedro will be DRY.”
As for the Barry Bowen Bridge, the Mayor assured that the bridge will NOT be closed.
“The eastern pedestrian walk on the Barry Bowen Bridge has been permanently closed as it is un-usable. We initially had plans to close the bridge owing to its state of deterioration. However we have decided to wait until after the Easter when we’ve invited engineers to come in to look at the bridge and see what we can do, how we can upgrade. What we want to do is cast it with cement and replace the railings with something very low maintenance, a material that exists and is currently being used by Coco Beach. This material will not rot and it will not rust and it’s very, very light. Our objective is to reduce the cost of maintenance. Once this is done, the bridge will be opened 24/7 and have a meter, somewhat of a toll.”
The Mayor further explained that once this is done, the cost of accessing the bridge will be cut drastically and the collection booths will be replaced by a meter.
As for the Financial Report, the Mayor assured that once the Easter rush is over, the Council will start working on a Public Presentation where they will disclose the financial state of the Council when they took it over, as well as a state of the Council’s finances presently. The Mayor extended an opened invitation to all residents of San Pedro to feel free to contact him with ideas if you have any and including, “If you see me heading in the wrong direction, please call me out. That’s the only way I will know.”
He ended wishing everyone a nice, peaceful enjoyable Easter Vacation.
San Pedro Sun
San Pedro Traffic Control Committee commences
Traffic Safety Campaign
With the number of motor vehicles on Ambergris Caye in the thousands, the new San Pedro Traffic Control Committee SPTCC has embarked on an ambitious “Traffic Safety Campaign” to bring the traffic situation under control. Elected councilor to the San Pedro Town Council Kenrick William Brackett, whose portfolio includes Vice Chair of the SPTCC, along with Councilor elect Wally Nuñez spoke to The San Pedro Sun regarding the new campaign. ”We are pretty much aware of the traffic situation. We are aware of the things that have been happening. We think that things have gone a little bit out of control and we need to cure that.”
The committee has embarked on several strategies to achieve their goal. The first is the issuing of flyers that are distributed through golf cart rental business. The flyers outline specific violations, stating: NO to Underage Driving; NO to Drinking and Driving; NO to Speeding; NO to Reckless Driving; NO Excessive Noise. The flyer also promotes ALWAYS have a driver’s license while driving a motor vehicle and ALWAYS wear a helmet when driving a motor cycle. The flyer also outlines road-worthy safety features such as working horns, lights, mirrors, etc and proper seating for ALL passengers, specifically warning against babies being carried on the laps of drivers.
One of the more visible moves by the committee is the hiring of two additional Traffic Wardens. Brackett informed, “Firstly I must say in transportation, in the traffic department, we are hiring two new wardens. I would like to get about four to six more new wardens but we’re going to start with two and we think that is a step in the right direction.”
The new wardens along with the two wardens presently tasked with monitoring the traffic situation on the island will be receiving new training that will enhance their effectiveness as they perform their daily duties. Brackett continued, “I have spoken to Assistant Superintendent Robinson who is the Officer in Charge of the San Pedro formation who will be training the wardens. She comes here highly recommended and she has a lot of experience in the department of traffic. We are going to be doing a lot of other trainings with her. I am happy to say that we are going to be working very closely with the police department.”
Training for the wardens started on Tuesday, April 3rd when they attended a one-hour training on “Driving under the Influence” with ASP Robinson.
Driving motorcycles safely and the wearing of helmets is one of the items high on the list of concerns for the committee.
“Most of all anyone riding on a motorcycle must wear a helmet. Loud music – we’re not going to tolerate loud music; there will be no excessive loud music. We will be checking on lights, horns, mirrors, etc. We are highly discouraging babies being carried on the laps of drivers. This practice affects your driving. We want to encourage your public to just be careful. We also especially ask that all public officials, government workers to take the initiative and show the example by following these traffic regulations. If riding a motorcycle, wear your helmets. I assure you that we will be giving you tickets.”
The committee has also placed six over-street banners in and around San Pedro Town promoting safe driving. The SPTCC highly discourages multiple vehicles for single family homes. The SPTCC encourages if absolutely a necessity, that business owners get smaller vehicles. The SPTCC hopes to raise the level of integrity of the department, increase the efficiency of the traffic wardens and acquire the services of a Traffic Prosecutor.
Tickets will be issued to anyone caught violating the traffic regulations. Violations are expected to be paid within time stated. If payments are not received, individuals will be prosecuted. Drinking and Driving is one of the more serious offences that the committee will be looking at.
“It’s against the law to drink and drive, period. If caught drinking and driving, you will be ticketed. Your vehicle can be impounded. I have to look more into the law to see exactly what the penalties are for that offence. Drinking and driving is a very, very serious offence as it can lead to accidents and loss of life. We want to protect our citizens,” commented Brackett.
Further to this, the committee also has workers re-painting the street corners and speed bumps.
“If you park your vehicle on a corner where the red lines are, you will be ticketed.”
Kenrick concluded stating;
“We want this to be a safe Easter for everyone. We want the traffic flow to be good and we also want people that come here and that live here to have a happy and safe Easter. If issued a ticket and you need further clarification, please feel free to contact us about it and we will be more than happy to sit and chat with you about your ticket. We welcome suggestions from the public. Most importantly, we ask the general public to respect our wardens. Please be considerate of the workload of our wardens and know that we will be working very closely with the Police department, especially over the Easter weekend. We definitely just want to educate everyone about traffic safety on this island and we want to emphasize on that.”
San Pedro Sun
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