The Public Budget Is Not Healthy
By Jesús Aguado
The payroll of local administration employees is currently not guaranteed. According to municipal treasurer Alejandro Martínez, the finances are not in good shape, regardless of the comments of former Mayor Mauricio Trejo, who assured that he would leave enough money to operate until the end of the year.
Also, due to insufficient money, CEDECOM (Center For Community Development) closed, affecting more than two thousand people. On October 14 after the closing of classes and workshops at CEDECOM, the employees put a notice on the door stating that the place was closed due to the fact that “the previous administration did not leave the estimated money for the instructors’ payment.”
Osvaldo García, director of the Social Development Department, explained that his office wanted to have it open, but when they checked the budget, they realized that they had only 15 thousand pesos. To open and operate CEDECOM, they need more than 700 thousand pesos. Opening CEDECOM was a priority when we had this interview, and they wanted to open the center this week. García said that the municipal Treasury was conducting an investigation to find out where the money is because “it was diverted.” He also noted that 1,800,000 additional pesos belonging to scholarships are also “lost.” He stated that the beneficiaries have complained with the previous administration that they signed the documents, and the money was not given to them.
Treasurer Martínez told Atención that he could not say that the money was diverted. He assured that the money was spent, but his office needs to determine what the previous administration bought and see if the expense is justified. “We will have the result very soon,” he said. Martínez also commented that his group will look for money in the budget to open CEDECOM as soon as possible, but the opening will have to be approved by the city council.
Regarding the question of whether the administration will have enough money to operate until the end of the year, Martínez answered that, although they will receive more money from the federation and the state, he is not sure if the money will be enough to allow a good end to this year. He said the money the administration now has is focused on public services and, of course, the payroll.
Weekly, more than two thousand people attend the Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario de San Miguel de Allende (Center of Community Development of San Miguel de Allende), CEDECOM.
CEDECOM is part of the local Social and Human Development Department. Located in the upper area of the city, it started operating in 2007. Through the years, the number of workshops has increased from 10 to 48, ranging from fitness workshops, such as tae kwon do and yoga, to art courses, including theater and ballet, and job skills courses, including cooking classes and training for beauticians. CEDECOM’s yearly budget is 1.5 million pesos. Half of that amount is provided by the federal government and half by the municipal government.
On Monday, October 19, Mayor Ricardo Villarreal announced that CEDECOM was going to be open the next day. This was possible, he said, thanks to some city councilors and directors from the local administration who donated the payment.
More than 182 thousand pesos were collected to pay the first month’s salary for instructors. In the days to come, the administration will determine how CEDECOM can be operated until the last week of December.