San Pedro Sun broke this story and has been covering it since yesterday (San Pedro Sun – The Clock) and Ambergris Today has followed up with some pointed questions to the mayor, Elsa Paz. (Ambergris Today – Hot Topic).
You can read all about the gaudy, over-sized, misplaced clock tower in both of these publications. It is being built as I type.
For over a year, we have all watched Ramon’s put up large, ugly signs all over town. We were all surprised when a jumbo-tron was erected across from the airstrip advertising the resort and, wanted or not, shouting daily religious messages like: Jesus Loves You, Obey Your Husband and Death is the wages of Sin. It is almost blinding at night. I assumed this was on private land and we had no choice. Other seriously ugly construction has taken place all over town.
But this is just a huge mistake. One we can stop. It’s bad for tourism. No one comes to San Pedro to see flashing signs. It ruins the charm this island has always had. It is bad for residents. Who wants to be maneuvering around this monstrosity while driving down the Front Street? How will fire vehicles, large trucks and the September parades get around it? It is bad for everyone.
When asked by Ambergris Today if this project would still proceed with all the public dissent, the mayor said: In regards to having made decisions without a public consulation Mayor Paz commented that, since it is a donation (from Ramon’s Village) and not a project funded by the SPTC, no public consultation is needed. And it can not be stopped.
Is it not the Town Councils’ job to make sure that all construction on public land is properly placed and appropriate? Apparently not, the placement was left wholly to Ramon’s Village.
I am just asking all of you to help after reading all of the information. Visitors, please write to the Town Council at SPTB@BTL.net (maybe your message will be read), call at 501-226-3711 or write a letter to the editor at our local newspaper, the sanpedrosun.com. Residents, please join the demonstration at noon on Monday and consider boycotting Ramon’s Village (I know I will). Seriously weigh issues like this before electing your next town council in the 2012 elections. Business owners (hotels, tour guides, blog writers, etc.), please consider all of this before making recommendations for your guests.
Why does Ramon’s even need to do this much advertising in town? How many walk-in bookings do they actually get? I would imagine over 95% of their guests book before they even reach Belize.
Apparently, the town council does not care about what the public wants or needs…so let’s all stand up in any way we can to be heard on this matter.
Or, let’s start raising money so that we can all donate a giant tarp to drape over this giant mistake. You with me?