By Marion V. Ali
Regino Hernandez, the Alcalde of Big Falls Village in Toledo has said he intends to sue for libel, all those persons who made allegations against him of mishandling public funds.
At a village public meeting last Sundaytwo persons stood up to accuse Hernandez of not providing accounting details of money which the Government had given the village council in 2013. The figure, they said, amounts to $20,000.
In a telephone conversation with The Reporter, Hernandez reported this week that the councillor who called the meeting, did so on the premise to talk about communal land rights, an issue which he, the councillor supports, but which Hernandez opposes.
Instead, the meeting took a different turn when certain persons accused the Alcalde of misusing public money and not providing accountability.
Hernandez clarified that as an alcalde, he does not deal with the matters of the village.
“It is the village council, by law, that deals with the development of the village”, he told Reporter.
“What I deal with is law and order.”
Hernandez explained that he collects a salary from the government and that he just got elected three months ago. He added that some people are trying to create division in Big Falls Village. He points especially at one former village council member as the one trying to drum up confusion in the village.
Meanwhile, Lindy Ramclam, the chairman of the village, agreed with Hernandez that there are a few persons who trying to create division.
He said he was chairman at the time the money was disbursed to the council and that he was responsible for the projects which the money went into. Ramclam said that he has provided full accountability to the Ministry of Local Government, which is in charge of village council affairs, for the spending of the $20,000 subvention.
He explained that the money was spent on a number of projects, including full bathroom facilities at the Hicatee Community Centre, new lights at the Big Falls football field, the September celebrations for that year, maintenance of the football field, and the purchase of a new laptop computer, printer and stationery for the community centre.
Hernandez says he too will sue anyone who made wild allegations against him at Sunday’s meeting.
He has planned a general village council meeting for this Sunday at the Big Falls Community Centre, starting at 2 p.m., to set the record straight and to answer any questions or concerns the villagers may have.