Mayor Elsa Paz and her six councilors met with the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce this past Thursday, March 23, at their weekly scheduled meeting and were able to address some current issues that the Town Councilors are working on. Mayor Elsa Paz first congratulated the Chamber on all its accomplishments and dedication to its efforts in bettering San Pedro for all its residents and tourists alike. She also thanked the Chamber for their support during the election campaign and for the voters who voted for her and her councilors.
She proceeded to introduce her councilors and their new portfolios and introduced her new Deputy Mayor, Justiniano Guerrero and started by asking for participation and cooperation from the Chamber as the group has many ideas and knows the weaknesses of the town.
Mayor Paz stated that she wants to work together with the Chamber to better the community and needs the support of all organizations in San Pedro. She stated that Jules Escalante is on the advisory committee and will be the liaison between the Chamber and the Town Council. In this way both groups can work together to better the community by sharing ideas. Mr. Guerrero said his doors are always open to the community.
Joseph Elijio then took the floor and thanked the Chamber for their donation of $1,000.00 for sports equipment. He stated that he will work closely with Pablo Ico and will be attending Chamber meetings. He then went on to say that they are currently working on a boxing program within the next couple of weeks. He is also working on a Rugby Youth League with Sterling Vorus of Island Ferry and the British Armed Forces. This will require 28 players for a 7-a-side league in which he already has coaches and sponsors.
Pablo Ico was next to address the Chamber members and he stated that his portfolio included youth culture and sports. He stated he is willing and wanting to work hand in hand with the Chamber and Evan Vernon and said he is also currently working on the boxing program along with Joseph Elijio. Another program that has been started by the veterans of the San Pedro Football League is beginning an under 14 league and he will work with them to help in any way he can.
Deputy Mayor Justiniano (Nano) Guerrero then took the floor and stated that he is most concerned about trash on the streets, on the beaches and in the river. He has just placed 15 new trash bins along Sea Grape Drive and is responsible for island beautification and waste management. He then asked the chamber to start a beautification committee which he can work closely with. Mr. Guerrero also said that he is having a river clean-up project this coming Sunday and will be putting up more no littering signs.
Many Chamber members then asked questions and discussed ideas of picking up and disposing of trash on the north side of the island, including incinerators and landfills. Mr. Guerrero answered by stating that there must be an environmental impact study of such a landfill before it can be done. The Chamber suggested purchasing an incinerator for the Town Council to use and land can be given by the Town Council to use as a landfill area.
The Mayor then took the floor again. She asked for a proposal plan from the Chamber on garbage disposal. She then answered a few more questions about the roads, the bridge and the youth curfew. The grader should be ready soon and she would like to grade the road from the new bridge all the way to Captain Morgan’s.
The bridge will have no charges for workers and students on bikes but tourists and residents should pay $1.00 for riding their bikes across the bridge. And finally, Mayor Elsa Paz concluded by saying that she is currently waiting for a social worker to be able to work with the police and special constables to enforce the youth curfew. She closed the meeting by thanking the Chamber again and said she looks forward to working closely with the group members in future projects. (from Chamber of Commerce Minutes)