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“Experienced” People for Villarreal’s Cabinet

By Jesús Aguado

New Mayor Ricardo Villarreal will not hesitate to remove his directors if they are not doing a good job. During his presentation to San Miguel, he said that he will work with the best people.

The presentation of his cabinet took place a few days before he was sworn in. Most members have worked in the public sector; for some, this is their first time. Since the public sector has been singled out in the past for nepotism, Villarreal stated that during his administration, he does not want to have families “who own City Hall.” That is why no members of his family—up to the fourth level of kinship—will be hired to work at City Hall. The power has to come from the citizens. Nonetheless, when he remarked, “We will work with the best. It does not matter if they are friends or family. All we want to guarantee is good service for Sanmiguelenses,” that comment was not clear.

In this administration, which could be extended until 2021, the Secretariat of Public Service was finally approved by the City Council. It will include the Traffic, Alcohol, Security, and Civil Protection Departments. It is headed by Ricardo Benavides, who has more than 20 years in security-related positions. The Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Planning Department was created, headed by Ángel Gastelum. He has worked as director of the Ecology and the Urban Development departments at different times.

All the legal issues of the municipality will be handled by José Luis Zavala Rosiles, a new public servant politically on the rise. He has worked as personal assistant to the Secretary of the City Council, and he just ended his three-year term as a city councilor. During the city council meetings, he was outstanding for presenting the strongest legal arguments before agreeing with a decision made by the members of the City Council.

Rosario Licea Perales is the director of Citizens’ Attention. He has been Secretary of the city council and just ended his three-year term as a counselor of SAPASMA (Water System). Zonia Elena Torres Saeb is the Director of Tourism, Economic Development, and International Affairs; according to an online site, she was the sub-secretary of Tourism in Tamaulipas, from which she resigned in 2013. Another director with experience is Ricardo Trujillo, who after three years returns to the Instititute for San Miguel’s Youth.

Felipe Tapia is currently heading the Public Works Department and, although he is an architect, this is his first time in that department. In the past he worked in coordination of the Social and Human Development Department. Alfonso Sautto Agundis was president of the water system and a city councilor. Now he directs the Public Services Department. That area is in charge of garbage collection, the control of street and licensed vendors, and public lighting. The Oficialía Mayor, the administration of human and material resources of City Hall, is headed by Rodolfo Jurado Maycotte. He has been assistant and interim mayor.

Villarreal asked Sanmiguelenses for a vote of confidence for his team and affirmed that none of them has a secure job for the next three years because they have to gain the respect and confidence of Sanmiguelenses. Mayor Villarreal was firm in saying, “I will not hesitate to remove somebody who is not performing well, because the commitment is to the citizens.”


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