It is official. The Nosara Development Association (ADIN – Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral de Nosara) has taken the first step towards creating a Municipal District Council (MDC).
On Monday, August 4, the association gave municipal council members copies of a document presenting a detailed summary of the desire of many Nosarans to have the autonomy to administrate their own revenue.
The document was signed by more than 1,800 Nosara residents and more than 20 development organizations and associations from the district. Marco Avila, syndic and president of ADIN, was optimistic upon turning in the document, which has been one of the biggest projects during his term as president of the association.
“Today is the first step made on behalf of the local government of Nosara and on behalf of all of the organizations and the residents who supported the document to take this great step,” said Avila.
Municipal District Councils (MDC) are bodies with their own autonomy, assigned to the municipality in their respective canton. The MDCs are able to receive municipal fees, such as those for permits, fines or taxes.
Mayor Marcos Jimenez expressed his respect for the Nosarans’ initiative to strengthen their autonomy. “Nosara wants to have its own style of development; it wants to promote it and debate it through the formation of a municipal district council, and I believe that one should respect what the people think,” he indicated.
The project was left in the charge of the municipality’s legal department, which will rule on its legality within a maximum period of 21 days.
Next, if the document is approved by the council, a municipal commission would be formed to create a charter for the new district council.
The final step to establish an MDC, such as the one being proposed in Nosara, would be to hold a referendum, verified by the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE – Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones), in which at least 13% of Nicoya’s electorate would have to vote, according to municipal rules.
Also, councilors were visited by representatives from the Nicoya branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG – Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia) during the session. The officials reported that the drought resulting from the El Niño phenomenon has affected some 1,300 ranchers and approximately 1,800 farmers in the canton.
Ronald Mora, in charge of MAG’s Nicoya office, indicated that the districts most affected by the drought are Nicoya, La Mansion, San Antonio and Quebrada Honda. However, he explained that although pastures in Belen de Nosarita, Samara and Nosara are in decent condition, watering holes are not, as “they are in very bad shape because the rivers and creeks are not running,” he said.
As such, the councilors approved a motion to send the subject to the agriculture and livestock commission, to consider the possibility of including a line item in the 2015 budget to support Nicoyan farmers and ranchers.