The lack of pay for travel expenses to attend municipal sessions has syndics of the Nicoya municipal council worried. They expressed their concern during the council’s session on Monday, September 8.
David Caravaca, a syndic for La Mansion, said that the municipality has never had regulations that cover the payment of travel expenses. “They have us in limbo, because there is no clarity on the subject, and it affects us who live far from the periphery of Nicoya,” he indicated.
Another affected syndic is Bonifacio Diaz, who lives in the community of Chinampas de Samara. He explained that since August he has not received his travel allowance, which is why he says the municipality owes him one month. In addition, he said that due to the late hour at which sessions end, he has to miss out and leave early to be able to take the last bus that leaves for Samara.
“The last bus for Samara leaves at 8 p.m., so I have to leave before the sessions [end]. I get off in Terciopelo; if I call a taxi from Samara I have to pay ¢14,000 ($25.88), so I have to walk more than 4 kilometers after the stop. I almost always get home at 11 p.m., which means I’m not only exhausted but also in danger,” explained Diaz.
Diaz said that in his case, the municipality was paying ¢7,000 ($12.94) for transportation and ¢5,000 ($9.24) for food. He also reported that other syndics are not receiving their stipend. “My colleague from Nosara Marcos Avila comes from a much longer distance [60 kilometers]; he does have transportation but I can’t imagine how much he spends on gas.”
Municipal code establishes that allowances for transportation, room and board for councilors and syndics that live far from the municipal capital are paid based on the amounts in tables established by the Comptroller General of the Republic.
For her part, Vice Mayor Adriana Rodriguez said that it was unforeseen that the municipal resources would run out for the period, but that the next municipal budget, which will be approved in this month, will earmark funds for travel allowances for the next year.
“In reality it [resulted from] confusion; the budget that funds the travel allowances had been exhausted because it didn’t have a specific listing,” explained Rodriguez.
Councilors Elect Representative for Canton Roadways Board
Also during the session, the councilors elected Councilor Farith Granados as their representative for the Canton Roadways board, replacing of Councilor Norma Obando, who said she could not go to the board’s session for personal reasons.
The goal of the Roadways Board is to recognize which of the canton’s roads are priorities for municipal intervention and to allocate resources resulting from Law 8114.
The Canton Roadways Board is made up of Mayor Marco Jimenez, Farith Granados, a member of the municipal council, Victor Campos, in representation of MOPT, Mario Vargas, representing the district councils, Rafael Galagarza, representing the canton’s development associations, and Victor Reyes, director of the Technical Roadways Management Unit (UTGV – Unidad Tecnica de Gestion Vial).
Farith Granados, a substitute councilor representing the district of Nicoya, said that although the roads of every community cannot be improved, he will try to give priority to the communities that don’t have anything and need more help.
The Canton Roadways Board holds meetings every second Thursday of the month at UTGV’s offices.