Political Candidates weigh in on the Town Clock issue

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussions about the town clock/digital billboard being built in middle of the corner of Ambergris Street and Barrier Reef Drive. This week we took the time to speak to all three mayoral candidates and standard bearers about their opinions on such a controversial topic. All persons were asked the same questions.

Conchita Flota – PUP Mayoral Candidate

Question 1: Are you opposed to the location of the clock?

Answer: Yes! The street is too narrow and we already have major problems with traffic, the clock in the middle of the street will only compound the problem. We need to look at other aspects as well. When there is celebration, the route will need to change and it will take away from such event. During emergencies, that part of the street will be a problem to access.

Question 2: Are you opposed to the digital billboards?

Answer: Yes! The signs will take away from the uniqueness of the island. Tourists don’t come to see that sort of stuff. Tourist come to San Pedro because it is a laidback, calm and quiet community. The billboard is too flashy and will take away from the charm of the island.

Question 3: Are you opposed to a clock in the central park and just not in the middle of the street?

Answer: I am not opposed to the idea of a town clock. However I think that if placed where the ancient bell or Mayan fountain was, it will fit perfect.

Daniel “Danny” Guerrero – UDP Mayoral Candidate

Question 1: Are you opposed to the location of the clock?

Answer: No I don’t oppose the location of the clock. That street should be closed from 6:00PM to 6:00AM anyways. Eventually that section of the street will be closed to traffic.

Question 2: Are you opposed to the digital billboards?

Answer: Yes! I have a problem with the digital billboards. I don’t think it blends in with the idea of a town clock. In addition the billboard will also take away from the uniqueness of the island.

Question 3: Are you opposed to a clock in the central park and just not in the middle of the street?

Answer: No! If the Town Council wants to move it to the Central Park, I don’t see me having a problem with it.

Melanie “Mel” Paz – Independent Mayoral Candidate

Question 1: Are you opposed to the location of the clock?

Answer: Yes, absolutely! I think that the Town Council could have found another place other than our main street. It is the busiest street of San Pedro and it will only contribute to traffic congestion on the island. Needless to say too that Barrier Reef Drive is one of the streets that have the easiest access in time of emergencies, with the clock built; it will make it difficult for emergency purposes.

Question 2: Are you opposed to the digital billboards?

Answer: Of course. I don’t think we need a digital billboard in down town San Pedro. It will take away from the laidback ambience of San Pedro and the quaintness of what the island suppose to be.

Question 3: Are you opposed to a clock in the central park and just not in the middle of the street?

Answer: I am not opposed to the idea of the clock, but it should not be used for a bill board. I would certainly welcome the concept in the park instead of the street but the clock concept needs to be representative of the island, something that represents this island. If the donor needs to be recognized, then a plaque indicating who sponsored the project is enough. The project should be a town clock and nothing else.

Ana Patricia “Patty” Arceo – PUP Standard Bearer, Belize Rural South

Question 1: Are you opposed to the location of the clock?

Answer: Yes! Vehicular flow is very limited and Barrier Reef Drive is one of the main accesses for traffic, the clock will only cause more traffic problems. Also, the main street is used as main access for emergency vehicle such as the fire truck; it will only be more difficult to access during an emergency.

Question 2: Are you opposed to the digital billboards?

Answer: Yes! It will only take away from the quaintness of San Pedro Town and this island. This place is not Times Square!

Question 3: Are you opposed to a clock in the central park and just not in the middle of the street?

Answer: No! I don’t oppose the idea of a clock being built. I oppose the idea of the clock being smack in the middle of THE Main Street of San Pedro. I would embrace the clock being built where the Mayan Fountain was. But I don’t think that it should be used as a digital billboard.

Mike Campbell – PNP Standard Bearer, Belize Rural South

Question 1: Are you opposed to the location of the clock?

Answer: Yes! The reasons I oppose to it is 1) it appears to be something that will further congest our traffic in town and 2) I think the entire town should have a say on something that will affect everyone. It is not fair to have one person or a small group of people decide on something that will affect all of us.

Question 2: Are you opposed to the digital billboards?

Answer: Absolutely! I do not believe that the Town should be allowed to have one person selling advertisement on public space. Those actions set a bad precedent to conduct business in San Pedro. It will appear that the Town Council endorses some particular business over others; it is not fair to other businesses that have common interest in conducting fair competition on this island.

Question 3: Are you opposed to a clock in the central park and just not in the middle of the street?

Answer: I am not opposed to the clock. But a billboard in the middle of the main street; that’s crap!

Manuel Heredia Jr. – UDP Standard Bearer and Area Representative, Belize Rural South

Hon. Manuel Heredia was out of the country and unavailable for comments. We will continue in our attempt to get his opinion and report on it as it becomes available.

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