Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mayor Paz in Hot Seat Again!

Last year Mayor Elsa Paz and the San Pedro Town Council held a general meeting for an End-of-Term Report on Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at the Lions Den. Mayor Paz and her Council came under close scrutiny by the Auditor General’s office for financial irregularities under her stewardship. The report covered the period 2001 to 2006, under both a blue and a red Council and it brought into question several areas where monies either paid out or collected were not clearly accounted for. Some of the irregularities unearthed deal with tax revenues, sale of the Council’s golf carts, missing vouchers and receipts, the purchase of office supplies, the sale of a ferry at Boca del Rio Park, advances made to employees, and the co-signing of loans for a former employee.

At this meeting in December 2008, the Audit report was not presented and Mayor Paz also failed to present a financial report to explain much of the irregularities. She said that her Council had nothing to hide and could answer any question that the public needed to know about the audit, which could be seen at the Town Council upon request.

And just yesterday, Monday, March 2, 2009, Mayor Paz held another meeting to address the audit report and questions where again information was sketchy and attendance was poor as the meeting was not thoroughly advertised.

Mayor Paz read minutes of the financial report and tackled questions pertaining to subsistence allowance to Hon. Manuel Heredia, the sale of a Town Council golf cart, accountability of half million dollar donation by David Mitchell and the sale of 598 acres of land in North Ambergris Caye.

Mayor Paz continues to inform the general public that the Audit Report is a live document and as such is available for viewing at the office of the San Pedro Town Council. The Council has not been audited since 2006.

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