The race for mayor has begun
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
On May 1, the campaigns of the candidates running for mayor of San Miguel were officially launched. The candidates are Cristóbal Franyuti, Francisco Tovar and Mauricio Trejo. They talked to Atención about their campaign platforms as they concern matters of tourism, security and economic development. They also spoke about how they will work with the foreign community and why they want to head the municipal government.
Cristobal Franyuti (National Action Party, PAN)
Franyuti, a 37-year-old sanmiguelense, is married and has two children. He studied law at the Universidad Marista in Querétaro then earned a master’s degree in International Law at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He was head of the Department of Economic Development and International Affairs from 2003–2006 and secretary of the city council from 2006–2009. He also played a key role in working to get San Miguel appointed as a world Heritage site. Franyuti said, “I want to be mayor because San Miguel is a magical and exceptional place that deserves a better future. It has a lot of potential, and if we act well we can have the best international municipality.” He said he most values hard work, honesty, persistence, consistency and humility.
In terms of bolstering tourism, Franyuti proposes building a convention center as well as buying the former Hermanos Aldama Cinema with federal, state and municipal funds to create a venue for quality events for visitors and sanmiguelenses. “I want to support and give new life to the international festivals in San Miguel, which have made the municipality an international cultural center,” he said. Regarding economic development his proposals are targeted toward attracting industry, including the automotive industry, to the city and developing an industrial zone that could generate more employment “because a municipality with economic development is a successful city.” Increased job opportunities also tie in with his ideas on public security. “Having more police officers does not guarantee security. If we have economic development, we have security. People do not go out and rob others because they like it, but for a lack of opportunities,” he commented.
The main needs of San Miguel, according to the PAN candidate, are opportunities for personal, intellectual and economic development. He commented that the current government has lacked a sense of caring for and commitment to sanmiguelenses in all the departments and some bad decisions were made within the administration. About his campaign he said, “I will not attack my contenders. My campaign will be one of proposals, and I will not use it to discredit the other candidates. My answer to attacks will be proposals.” Finally, he said, “I am a consistent person who loves San Miguel, a young candidate committed to building a municipality with more opportunities of economic development.”
Francisco Tovar (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD)
Candidate Tovar is a 47-year-old sanmiguelense. He was born in the rural community of Agustín González. He attended primary school and worked in el campo, and at the age of 14 he emigrated to the US then later came back and bought a taxi. Currently he has several buses that offer public transportation within the city. Tovar was a city councilor from 2006–2009. During that time he wanted to help those most in need, but because he belonged to the opposition party he did not have enough political power. For that reason he wants to be mayor: to have more power to make decisions and be able to help those in need. “Because I worked for the public administration I got a broader vision to identify and meet people who want to bring investment to the city, industry and tourism, and bring more jobs for the citizens.” Tovar said his key values are honesty, respect, and, most essentially, the family.
With regard to tourism he said he will count on experts in the area, including the foreign community, who can develop a plan to make San Miguel de Allende a prime destination. He also said that he would not make things difficult for those who want to start tourism enterprises in the city. In terms of security, he said that lack of public recreational places has played a part in crime, along with lack of opportunities and problems of addiction, and for that reason he proposes building a clinic for the rehabilitation of those involved with drugs to reintegrate them into the society. He proposes the creation of public spaces in central and rural communities and neighborhoods. To stimulate economic development he proposes generating productive projects and creating an industrial zone.
Mauricio Trejo Pureco (Revolutionary Institutional Party, PRI)
Trejo defines himself as a sanmiguelense, “a happily married dad and businessman.” He is 39 years old. Trejo studied business management at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, and his own businesses are related to tourism. He was the director of Telecable, and from 2003–2004 he was president of the committee for regional festivities of the city. He started the fair at the current fairgrounds. He commented, “I want to be mayor because I want to improve the economy. As a businessman, I cannot be happy if people are suffering around me. I want to be mayor because I have the knowledge and I know the tools and processes needed to improve San Miguel.” He said his key values are honesty, hard work, social sensibility and the importance of the family unit.
His proposals for tourism include building infrastructure to entice more tourists with more buying power, through the improvement of the airport in the city. “Tourism is the main crux in the municipality and all the works of a public administration must be focused on tourism. We have to improve the quality of life, security and public works to attract visitors and make them feel comfortable. We also need a better health system and facilities for the tourists,” he said. He proposes appointing public figures who visit the city as San Miguel Ambassadors. For security, his proposals include involving taxi drivers in a security program (“they are the eyes watching 24 hours”), overhauling the “Vecino Vigilante” (Neighborhood Watch) program, creating a touristic police force and installing surveillance cameras. He said his goal would be to have San Miguel named an “Ejemplo Nacional de Turismo” (National Example of Tourism) in less than two years.
Trejo commented that the needs of San Miguel include employment, a healthy economy, regularization of neighborhoods and a sense of unity. “We must be sanmiguelenses plus others, but we are sanmiguelense against the others,” he said. Trejo said that the best work of this administration was “facing a municipality with public debt of 100 million pesos and renegotiating it to hand over an administration with financial control. But there were errors, too: ignoring and not listening to people, forbidding them important opportunities. It was an error not to work with associations and different groups, and to have nonsensical fights with some members of the city.” With regard to his campaign Trejo commented, “I will not discredit my contenders, and I will not tell them how to do their jobs. I will talk about my proposals to improve the economy of this city.”
The three candidates all believe the foreign community should be included to the benefit of all sanmiguelenses. They also commented that the media must be impartial, trustworthy and objective while reporting and commenting on the electoral process.