NCA Looks to Change Their Role in the Community

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On Tuesday, January 28, the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) held their annual meeting with about 40 members in attendance. During the meeting, they elected a new board, with several changes, and also recognized two long-time board members for their service.

The meeting went “according to plan,” according to the NCA president, Alvin Rosenbaum. A preliminary planning meeting was held on January 21 to determine nominations for the board, as well as to form four committees. The Growth Management Committee will focus on issues like zoning and water, and the Community Development Committee will look at how to improve relations with the village of Nosara and with the municipal government. Other committees will work on projects related to organization development and advancement and fundraising.

The only point of contention in the meeting was how to deal with one point in the budget related to the rent of the NCA facilities by the Playas de Nosara ASADA. A motion was approved to postpone a decision in this regard until the boards of the NCA and the ASADA can meet to better define how they work together, taking into account that water supply is a priority concern of both entities.

While looking at the annual budget, Rosenbaum reported that the NCA did not pay their 2013 taxes, although they have funds reserved to do so, because they are waiting to resolve a dispute with the Municipality of Nicoya regarding the amount of taxes due, as the municipality is taxing parkland areas registered to the NCA as “prime property.”

The NCA, which originally began as a housing association, has grown so that it is now like its own little village with 32 business members and  223 individuals and families represented. During his presentation, Rosenbaum stressed the need to change the NCA business model, looking at forms of governance and forming strategic partnerships, as well as encouraging new members to have a wider participation in planning and to expand communications. 

Rosenbaum presented some findings of a report conducted by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) with a grant from the Johnson Short Foundation. Despite the income from tourism in the Nosara area, the report showed that 25% of the people live in poverty in the Nosara area, 34% lack basic needs  and 75% of the work force does not have a high school education. In addition, although about $268,000 were collected in taxes from Nosara as of October 2013, only about $49,000 was invested by the municipality in services and projects for the district.

“There is an inequity here that we think needs to be addressed in serious ways,” Rosenbaum asserted, mentioning needs for education, training, services and facilities to promote the economic health of the community. “We need to do our part with the village, with the district leaders, to do that, gringos and ticos together,” he stressed.  

During a 3-minute long special meeting held right after the annual meeting, approval was given to donate the land where the new recycling center was built to the Nosara Recycling Association, which is now a legally constituted organization with its own board of directors. 

Two long-time board members were honored during the meeting. A parkland and recreational trail in Section L will be named after Marcel Schaerer, and Bobbi Johnson was named President Emerita, entitling her to participate in perpetuity as a non-voting member of the board.

The president, fiscal and secretary remain the same on the board, but other members changed in order to draw from new expertise and also to incorporate two Costa Ricans. The new board includes Rosenbaum as president, Nice Alterman as vice president with expertise in organizational development, Tiffany Atkinson as secretary, Kim Shook as treasurer, Peter Burke as fiscal, and Marco Johanning, Ethel Araya and Brandon Richardson as vocals.