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2012 Municipal Budget Held Up by Procedural Disputes

By Arianna McKinney

The 2012 Municipal budget for the Canton of Nicoya is being stalled due to disputes over the proper approval procedure, and the dispute is raging online on the Facebook page of the Alcaldia de Nicoya.

Principal figures in the dispute are Nicoya mayor Marco Jimenez, Representative Yolanda Acuña Castro and Councilman Carlos Medina.  According to Jimenez, it is because of Acuña and Medina that the Office of the General Controller of the Republic (CGR) has not approved this year’s municipal budget. “People of the Citizen’s Action Party (Partido de Acción Ciudadano) conspire against Nicoya,” Jimenez, who is a member of the National Liberation (Liberación Nacional) party, told VON. 
“They don’t want the projects to be approved.” 

Jimenez explained that the lack of approval is based on two factors, one of which is that the municipal council did not approve the budget in time; however he maintains that he has certified documents proving that they did convene 36 hours before the September 21st deadline (the minimum requirement is 24 hours beforehand). 
 
For her part, Acuña explained the issue as follows: “The mayor finds himself in a dispute with the councilmen of Nicoya. He opposed a change in schedule approved and published and he supplanted the proprietary councilmen with supplements convening the council at his whim. The court of contentions ordered him to respect the change to 5 p.m. In this fight, he never wanted to present the budget to the Council so that the Finance and Budget Commission could analyze it and approve it, an indispensible requirement established by the Municipal Code. What he did was convene an extraordinary session at 10 a.m., an hour at which the proprietary [councilmen] can’t attend; he didn’t convene it with 24-hours notice and in addition there wasn’t an approved opinion, which the CGR indicates as nullifying habits, for which the budget is not approved.”    

Jimenez has submitted an appeal to the Controller’s office regarding the 2012 budget, but Acuña affirmed that the mayor’s appeal doesn’t have any effect. She indicated that she left information with the councilmen regarding the 2012 budget. She was in Nicoya during the first week of January in sessions with the community and indicated that several obligations were made that she hopes will be carried out, including following up on a drainage project in Curime of Nicoya and filing complaints against constructions without permits and a company that has been exploiting the maritime zone without a concession (Monte Marbel Sociedad Anonima). 

The budget issue is also being disputed on Facebook, generating some name-calling and a good deal of support for the mayor. On the page of the Alcaldia de Nicoya, Jimenez wrote, “The representative Acuña from PAC arrived at the municipal session and it was obvious that she doesn’t know what happens in Nicoya. She arrived at nothing, as do those that know that even without working, they earn a salary. She has come supporting a councilman from her party that doesn’t pay tribute, doesn’t have social security insurance, that is to say he doesn’t work. It’s easy to support lazy people who are dedicated to causing harm… that’s what the legislator is, and I’m not trying to demerit the councilman, but this is the truth!”

In reply on Facebook, Acuña stated, “What a shame that an authority dedicates time to berate and call ignorant the councilmen that are popularly elected; I believe the Municipal Council of Nicoya has excellent people, Medina, Liseth, Aguirre, and honest syndics that want to work for their town. 2012 should be for working and not dedicating time to fighting, berating, offending, threatening. This doesn’t lead anywhere.”  
 
The debate continues, and the 2012 municipal budget and projects for the Canton of Nicoya remain suspended until this issue can be resolved.  

 

More Regional News

Robbery Suspect Arrested, Guiones Residents Breathe Easy

Residents of Las Huacas will have hopefully rested more easily after this Friday January 20th following the arrest of a man who has allegedly been thieving from homes in the area for well over a year. The arrest came this morning after Francisco Chavarria Rodriguez, a security guard of the private company Securtiy Pacific, found the man sleeping in a hammock covered in leaves behind a residents house in a gully.

Man in Jail After Stabbing Ex-Girlfriend in Samara

The man who repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend when she was leaving work at Villas Playa Samara on Wednesday, January 11th, was apprehended the following day and has been sentenced to three months of preventive imprisonment in Liberia, as verified by Ronald Alvarez, supervisor of the Public Force for Nicoya canton.

Alcohol is Suspected Culprit of Death in Samara

On Monday morning, January 9th, Bruce Frederick Corbitt, an American man around 60 years old, was found dead on the floor of the room where he was staying in Samara.

Flights take off from new air terminal in Liberia on Thursday

Good news for those who visit Nosara and Samara via the Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia: new installations are prepared to begin functioning this Thursday, January 12th, at 6:50 in the morning, when the first national flight from Nature Air with touch the runway and inaugurate the new facilities, as announced by Minister of Transportation Francisco Jimenez. 

The Future of Tourism
Chambers of Tourism in Nosara, Samara and Carrillo Developing New Strategies

While tourism in Costa Rica is increasing in general, the coastal destinations of Nosara and Samara remain at the bottom of the list of tourist destinations in Guanacaste. According to data provided by CATURGUA, the Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism, only 1% of international tourists visit Nosara and 2% visit Samara.

More Cell Phone Towers Built in the Nicoya Canton
Debate Continues About Health Risks and Civil Rights
• Constitutional Court rules in favor of cell phone companies
• International concerns about health risks minimized

International concerns about health hazards and citizens' concerns about where cell phone towers are located were minimized by a recent ruling of the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. La Nación reports that the Court ruled in favor of allowing cell phone companies to erect towers where they see fit.

Council's President Under Investigation for Hiring Without Due Process
• The contract was for fireworks

Nicoya's Council's President, Juan Luis Aguirre Vidaurre, is being investigated by the Town Council for hiring the fireworks used on December 31st, 2010, without following due process. The fireworks display had a cost of $800 however, a year later, the owner of the company hired is still walking the halls of Nicoya's Municipalidad, bill in hand, looking for someone to pay him what he is owed.

Mystery shrouds the death of poisoned high school student

Four months have passed since the town of Nosara was shocked by the death of Hernandez, a 17-year-old high school student, after being poisoned by two alleged assailants while on his way to school. With a fire arm, the two obligated him to consume a herbicide after taking his cellular phone and 50,000 colones ($100). 

 

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