Law Approved Granting Administrative Autonomy to Municipal District Councils

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Those interested in the effort to create a new Municipal District Council (MDC) that includes Nosara and Samara are now able to realize their goal, due to the approval of the Municipal District Council Autonomy Law on Tuesday, February 11.

The law, which regulates the creation, organization and functions of the MDCs, declares them to now be bodies with their own autonomy, assigned to the municipality in their respective canton.

For that reason, the MDCs will now be able to receive municipal fees, such as those for permits, fines or taxes. In addition, any mayor or councilor who does not adequately fulfill their duties according to the law could be dismissed.

Before the law was approved, MDCs had no real administrative autonomy and were subordinated to their municipality.

For his part, Luis Antonio Aiza, a Guanacaste representative from the National Liberation Party (PLN – Partido Liberación Nacional), believes that the news is very positive, since existing MDCs have been seeking independence to manage their projects for years.

On those same lines, Marcos Avila, syndic for Nosara and president of the Nosara Development Association (ADIN – Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Nosara), stated, “It’s excellent news,” as for years there has been talk in Nosara of the wish to form an independent canton, or at least a Municipal District Council.

“We are going to move ahead full force with the effort to create a district council that includes Nosara and Samara and other districts that want to join,” said Avila.

Avila believes that the creation of an MDC is the best option for Nosara, due to the fact that, “Nosara has for years been abandoned by the municipality [of Nicoya]. We understand Nosara’s needs and we know who the tax evaders are,” he explained.

The councils can be created if an area is very far from the municipality to which it belongs. Nosara is 60 kilometers from the city of Nicoya (30 kilometers of which are gravel road), and many residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the municipality’s response to problems including the garbage dump and the canton’s roads.

In this regard, Alvin Rosenbaum, president of the Nosara Civic Association (NCA), commented that he wants to work together with other local organizations to find out what they think about the matter and understand the details of the new legislation.

In addition, Rosenbaum indicated that they will continue communicating and working with the mayor’s office and the Nicoya Municipal Council about the initiative to create a new MDC in Nosara.

ADIN as well as the NCA have set aside historic differences to join forces and promote an independent government.

“This is great news for everyone in the Nosara District. While I haven’t yet read the full text of the new law, it is clear that it is an amazing opportunity for us to come together as a single prosperous community. Marco Avila and I for the Nosara Civic Association and Asosacion De Desarrollo Integral de Nosara signed a formal declaration of cooperation on April 6 of last year and we are making real progress towards realizing our common goals.”

Currently, there are 8 MDCs in the country, located in Cervantes (Alvarado); Tucurrique (Jimenez); San Isidro de Peñas Blancas (San Ramon); Colorado (Juntas de Abangares); Monteverde; Cóbano; Lepanto y Paquera (Puntarenas).