Dear San Pedro Sun,
Subject: SAN PEDRO SUN’S SPTC DELIVERY REGULATIONS ARTICLE
Last week, the San Pedro Sun ran an article criticizing Bowen & Bowen for failing to abide by the rules of a pilot project, initiated by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), restricting downtown delivery trucks to the hours of 2am to 7am. Since the article did not include any comments from B&B representatives but just conjecture about our motivations, we would like to set the record straight about a few things.
As noted in the Sun article, B&B was one of few companies who supported this project, and we made the necessary changes to restructure our delivery routes to obey the new rules; changes which increased workload, took extra time, required additional people, and cost more money. We know that traffic congestion is an increasing problem in San Pedro. It is a problem that impacts our customers, both the stores that stock our products and the consumers who purchase them. So, although the rules created a new burden both for our drivers and the businesses we deliver to, we obliged.
While the Sun did report B&B was one of very few companies to actually obey those rules, what it got wrong is not reporting that many trucks continued making deliveries during the restricted hours (we also noted a truck from another water company making deliveries in the embargo zone). These trucks are not always as clearly marked as our B&B fleet, but we have documented this ourselves.
We do not expect special treatment, but we expect fair treatment. If the new rules are to be effective they must be applied evenly, to all companies. Running an article suggesting B&B is the sole company disobeying these rules is irresponsible and unfair. We expect better from the Sun, and its readers ought to as well.
The article characterizes B&B as thinking we are above the law, and more important than the people of Belize. This is also untrue, and it’s offensive. We are the people of Belize, the revenue we generate goes back into Belize, in the form of wages, taxes, infrastructure and the many events and causes we sponsor and support. We are committed to any initiative that improves the lives of people here, because those people are our employees, our business partners, our friends, and our families.
We have reached out to the Mayor’s office and the SPTC, and we look forward to working with them to address this issue in a holistic way that is effective and treats ALL parties fairly. And we hope that moving forward, the Sun will cover this story fairly from all parties’ points of view.
Michael H. M. Bowen
President / CEO
The San Pedro Sun would like to point out that the issue of Bowen and Bowen not complying with the proposed delivery system was brought our attention by San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who was frustrated with the apparent lack of cooperation.
In our article, the Mayor was given the opportunity to express his concerns and opinions regarding the matter. The San Pedro Sun placed SEVERAL calls to both the local Bowen and Bowen distributor here on the island, as well to their home office on the mainland. Ultimately, we were told that the only person in the company authorized for comment was Hilberto Martinez, who was out of the country at the time.
Considering Bowen and Bowen’s response to our article, one would think they would have made it a priority to find someone, perhaps the author of this letter to the editor, to make comment when given the opportunity.