Yesterday, we showed you the UDP's Town Council Slate for Orange Walk. They are hoping that this team, lead by former Mayor Phillip de la Fuente can unseat the PUP incumbent Mayor Kevin Bernard in John Briceno's hometown.
And six months away from those elections, politics in Orange Walk is already heating up. Yesterday, the UDP's accused Mayor Bernard of committing half of the monthly Government Subvention for 12 years - so that he can pave streets.
Tonight we have both sides of the story: starting with the accusation from the UDP's Phillip De la Fuente, Elodio Aragon, and Alberto August, as they described it yesterday:
Phillip De La Fuente, UDP Mayoral Candidate - Orange Walk
"The present mayor of Orange Walk Town is paving some streets in Orange Walk alright. He has borrowed money from the present government to get those done, so he is getting support from this government."
Alberto August, Chairman - UDP
"It is time for a change. It is unfair that even criminal for any mayor to be spending money for 4 municipalities down the road. I don't know what kind of action will be taken in regards to that. There was an activity of that nature that was tried with our council in Punta Gorda and the Prime Minister immediately put down his foot and say that is not going to happen in Punta Gorda, but that one was allowed to sit there in Orange Walk - totally compromising. In fact what the mayor has effectively done is cut the subvention for 4 councils by almost half, because they normally get $34,000 per month and he is taking away now $15,000 of that every month for the next thirteen and three quarter and a third years."
Hon. Elodio Aragon, Area Rep., OW East
"What the mayor has not told people is that he has mortgaged for 12-15 years those subventions that he gets to private individuals for the paving of those streets. So he has actually mortgaged 30 plus million dollars and out of that I would assume it's close to 15 or more thousands a month to private individuals for those streets. But the sad thing he didn't mortgaged it only for the term that he will served, has mortgaged it for the next 12-15 years. That is 3 or 4 or 5 municipality governing bodies. Tell me, is there anything creative in that? The easiest thing to do is to borrow and to spend money."