The approval of the 2015 ordinary budget is the main subject under discussion these days at the Municipality of Nicoya. The debate surrounding the budget, which has still not been approved, came up amongst the members of the municipal council, who have still not agreed to definitively approve the document that would allow the municipality to function for the next year.
During the council’s session on Monday, September 22, Councilors Ana Lizeth Espinoza and Carlos Medina presented a document in which they detailed a series of alleged inconsistencies contained in the municipal budget.
The document states that the 2015 municipal budget is incomplete, lacking technical and planning studies.
In addition, it points out that the Program III costs total ₵1,058,059,359 ($1,954,000), but that the text of the budget bill only allocates ₵734,956,144 ($1,357,000), meaning that ₵323,103,215 ($597,000) of the budget is unauthorized.
The situation concerns Councilor Espinoza Fonseca, who stated that she will not vote for a budget with inconsistencies and numbers that don’t add up. “There are some discrepancies and inconsistencies in the budget regarding some budget listings; they don’t add up or match…what the department reports. Until those errors are resolved and they are clear and correct, I cannot vote for a budget like this,” she said.
Regarding the subject, Councilor Rodolfo Orozco, president of the tax and budget committee, reported that Councilors Ana Lizeth Espinoza and Carlos Medina did not attend any of the committee’s meetings.
“She [Espinoza] is completely wrong; she has not come to the municipality like us, who have met with the municipality’s budget department for three days, along with other municipal departments. And now they come with a document they made, in which they say there is money missing. This has been hard work done by the entire municipality. This is cheap politics because it’s the canton of Nicoya that loses out,” said Orozco.
Along the same line, Marco Jimenez, municipal mayor, described the document presented by Fonseca and Medina as “absolutely false.” He added, “They want to do damage and it’s been Ana Lizeth Espinoza and Councilor Carlos Medina’s typical practice; they don’t understand budget matters and someone made them a report that they read in the municipal council.”
The final presentation of the 2015 municipal budget will be put to a vote among the council in the extraordinary session on Wednesday, September 24, and then turned over to the General Comptroller of the Republic.
In the case that the Comptroller does not approve the budget, the municipality will have to use the same amount of funds spent this year for 2015 expenses.