A mayor with many plans
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
On January 20 the local government will have completed 100 days in office, and according to Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco his administration will undertake several actions, including the relocation or dismissal of directors and employees, the completion of the convention center, the promotion of San Miguel around the world, bringing celebrities to town, and merging the departments of Traffic and Security, which will become a secretariat. In an interview for Atención, Trejo also said that during his administration they will approve a Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial (Territorial Zoning Plan) in order to eliminate the current problem of the polluting brick ovens and provide a framework for the future growth of the municipality.
Relocation and dismissal of public servants
Trejo stated that the public administration is not a fixed entity but is fluid like any other company, and for that reason his administration will change according to the situation. On December 10, 2012, it was reported that Octavio Drago Quero, then director of Public Security, did not pass confidence tests and for that reason he resigned his post and was replaced by Gabriel Arturo Yáñez. Trejo said that Drago did pass the confidence tests but he lacked the necessary directorial skills. “Yáñez has the profile and the ability to merge the Traffic and Security Departments with the aim of forming a secretariat, which must be operating this year,” said Trejo.
Later the same month, Ana Paula Dávalos, who was director of Liaison with Nonprofit Organizations and the Expat Community, was made director of the municipal DIF (Department of Family Integration), a position previously occupied by Carla Ramírez. Trejo said that that change was made because he wants to give the DIF the importance that it deserves because it is one of the most important entities of the administration and it represents the last hope for those most in need. “Dávalos,” he said, “has an executive profile that will help in getting more financial resources to help those who need it.” Carla Ramírez was relocated to SAPASMA, which according to Trejo “nowadays is very controlled in its finances.”
The NGO Department is headed currently by Fernanda Esparza, who has worked for several years in public administration and according to Trejo is very experienced, and the decision has been well accepted by the NGOs. Trejo said that these changes are just part of the plans for the first stage of his government and after 100 days he will thoroughly analyze the good and bad results of his cabinet and directors could be fired or relocated. He also made it clear that during his term in office he will make as many changes as needed.
On the matter of employees’ dismissal, Mayor Trejo said that each director will evaluate his personnel and if the public servants do not work and there is enough money in the budget, then they will be fired, but after a thorough evaluation. Trejo said, “The directors have the freedom to hire not friends but professional people. If they can form their team with the employees already working, it would be great, but if they need to remove some of them and bring in someone new they will be allowed to do it.”
Mayor’s expectations for 2013
Jesús Aguado: What are the expectations for Public Security?
Mauricio Trejo: We have to be realistic. Crime will not end, and even graffiti is a felony, but sanmiguelenses can expect improved security and the crime indexes (theft of vehicles, telephone extortion, residential burglary, kidnappings and muggings) will start to decrease. It is my commitment. The police force will be overhauled, as well as the vehicles. We will create a Public Security and Traffic Secretariat and there will be a very close collaboration between the local government and federal and state bodies. Currently we are working with the SEDENA (Secretary of National Defense), and I would like to say that the army is not here to enter those places where confrontations exist, it is just for prevention and to help in case of major catastrophes. Currently they are helping us to patrol in rural communities.
JA: What are the expectations for tourism?
MT: There will be a huge promotion for San Miguel. We will be working with the local Tourism Council as well as with national and international entities. We will create new events and we also will work closely with those who organize festivals of quality in order have a living city with quality tourism.
JA: Recently, María José Garrido said that the local government invited Spencer Tunick to visit the city for 30 days with other artists. Spencer Tunick has visited San Miguel several times. Why Tunick? Aren’t there any other celebrities to invite?
MT: There will be those who like and those who do not like Spencer, but the goal is to bring internationally known celebrities to San Miguel who have influence in a market of quality. Spencer Tunick is well known around the world, and each time he visits San Miguel the city is mentioned all over the world, and that is what we are searching for: to let the world know that people like him are visiting the city. We are trying to invite celebrities who can expose the name of San Miguel to the world, who can bring in tourists with buying power. Besides, Spencer Tunick loves San Miguel. We also have plans to invite Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, and even President Obama will receive an invitation.
JA: What will be the focus of public works?
MT: Most of our public works will not be seen by everyone because they will be in rural communities where they are needed. We will improve and construct parks, recreational areas and sports fields, all to improve public wellness. We will build many rural roads and we will help schools. In the urban zone we will improve streets and create new roads in order to have smoother traffic flow. We will finish the improvement of the local aerodrome and the construction of the new convention center with space for between 1,200 and 1,500 people.
JA: What are the projects for the former train station?
MT: There is a problem that will take time. The last administration did not visualize that in the center of that complex there is privately owned land. The owner found out that the area is being restored and improved and wants to sell the piece of land at a price that we cannot afford. We are going to start a process of expropriation, and when we get that land, the plans for the station will proceed. It will be a beautiful and attractive place for families to visit, and also it will be an ornament at the entrance of San Miguel. We also plan to begin train rides between Dolores and San Miguel if we get the land. If we do not get it, then it will just be a museum.
JA: What are the plans for urban development?
MT: The growth of the city will be organized, respectful, intelligent and ethical. There will not be corruption because the developers can talk directly with the mayor. We will work for a territorial zoning plan in order to avoid the construction of developments with 8,000 houses or to avoid the placing of brick kilns wherever the owners wants. The process for permits will be improved and the regulations will be respected. In the matter of the BANTERRA and McDonald’s cases we will be very respectful until the final resolution.