Tourism Department offices relocated
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
The Tourism, Economic Development and International Affairs Department has been operating at the former city hall building since Friday, January 11. María José Garrido, director of the department, said that the department offices were moved closer to the festivals, events and tourists.
“We changed our location to be closer to the tourists and close to what we are promoting,” said Garrido. She commented that it is necessary to be close to all those involved with tourism and more so now that the department is also in charge of organizing festivals. Garrido said that her office has had relatively few visits from residents wanting to start proceedings and for that reason the change will not have a big impact for locals. The office of passports, which serves a greater number of people, will remain at the Edificio Administrativo on the road to Querétaro, said Garrido, because they do not want so many people in the small former city hall building.
According to the director the beauty of the building will be respected and preserved, and the expenses for new furniture will not be high. The office will maintain its normal schedule, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm, on the first floor at Plaza Principal 8. Also housed in the former city hall building are the offices of the IMPLAN (Municipal Institute for Planning) and those of the municipal World Heritage.
In 2006, during Luis Alberto Villarreal’s administration, the local governmental offices were moved from the building in Centro to the Edificio Administrativo on the road to Querétaro, in order to provide more space for employees and visitors and also more parking spaces. During Jesús Correa’s administration (2006–2009) the local government tried to define a new use for the building. Luz María Núñez Flores, who was then just a social activist, proposed the creation of a museum, but her proposal was rejected by the city council. In 2010, Luz María Núñez, as mayor, got a federal grant to restore the building, and she said that the Salón de Cabildos would keep being used for city council meetings. The plans also included a small auditorium, an office for the mayor, offices for the city councilors, a room for sessions of citizens’ councils and a museum on the first floor. The work was finalized in 2011, and the museum was never built.