His Worship Mayor Bernard Wagner is currently serving his second consecutive term following the 2018 Municipal Elections. Bernard is the son of the late Joseph Wagner Sr. and Filomena Wade and was born and raised in the old capitol of Belize City. He attended Queen Square Anglican Primary School, and thereafter attended St. Michael College. His 1983 graduating class was the first such class coming out of the amalgamation of St. Michaels College and St. Hilda’s College. He then attended Belize Technical College sixth form as a student of the Engineering Department. He later attained an Associate Degree in Business and was recognized on the Dean’s List.
After his business studies, Bernard pursued further education in banking and finance. He engaged in an extensive banking career, having worked in this sector for over thirty years. He began as an entry-level cashier/computer operator from 1986 to 1991 with Atlantic Bank Ltd then advanced his employment with Belize bank Ltd in 1991. Mayor Wagner dedicated twenty-four years of his life to the institution, determined to climb the ranks until he rose to the status of manager. Through his unwavering dedication, Bernard managed both the Dangriga branch and the largest branch countrywide, the Market Square branch in Downtown Belize City.
After reaching the pinnacle of his banking career, Mayor Wagner decided to take his career into his own hands and open a small financing firm known as the JBW finance Co. Ltd, a microfinance and payday loan business entity operating in Belize City. Through this medium, Mayor Wagner has provided loan brokerage and other finance related services to the residents of Belize City for years.
Outside of the office, Bernard Wagner has always been a leading personality in organizing basketball competitions in the city and served as the president of the Belize District Basketball Association, President of the Belize Basketball Federation and president of Semi-Pro Basketball. He is the founder Interoffice Basketball which he ran successfully for fifteen years and served as chairman of the National Sports Council. At the time, he was an active sports columnist in Belize’s leading newspaper, The Amandala, and served as co-host of the Amandala Sports Show. Bernard is the founder of the Belize Bank Bulldogs Basketball Club and continues to host local tournaments annually.
Throughout all this, Mayor Wagner experienced an undeniable call to serve which led him to his life of politics. In 2017, the Mayor was called upon the People’s United Party to lead the Municipal PUP Team 11 to victory. The following year, he enjoyed an “upset defeat” over the incumbent UDP team who held Municipal Office for four consecutive terms (twelve years). During his tenure, the Mayor and his Councillors have invested heavily in both physical and socio-economic infrastructure. He has gone beyond the call of duty to engage in fiscal modification, housing projects, social programs, youth and sport initiatives, park and playground rehabilitation, and a plethora of other endeavors geared toward the advancement of Belize City.
In a single term stunted by a global pandemic, and with no assistance from the then Central Government, the Mayor also safeguarded employment of his City Council staff, rendered aid and support to those most at risk and affected by COVID-19 and satisfied over 80% of his manifesto goals. Most recently, Mayor Wagner was also elected the President of the Belize Mayor’s Association (BMA) effective March 2021 for the period of 2021-2022 and now seeks to satisfy all the remaining points of his manifesto as well as satisfy his respective duties to the Association. Mayor Wagner is also one of five global members for the Steering Committee for the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network (CSCN). This committee was formed to enable CLGF members to come together and evaluate key issues relating to: devolution and governance at the city/municipal level, urban trade, economic development and investment, technology for development and creating inclusive and resilient cities with SDGII. Through these platforms, Mayor Wagner intends to enact policies that will give rise to a modern, smart, and environmentally sustainable Belize City.
Mayor Wagner’s passions also extend beyond sporting, entrepreneurship and politics, as the Mayor is also a father and likes to spend his spare time in the comfort of his home with his loving family.