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December 1, 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

CHRISTMAS at Chedraui’s Supermarket across the highway where employees show their stacking abilities with bottles arranged to look a lot like, well, Christmas trees. (Staff Photo)

 

Voters to decide fate of longtime
Colonos volunteer  Jorge Kaufer

His resignation sought by developer

By Staff
Chances are that if Colonos board Chairman Jorge Kaufer had slept later the morning of March 29, 2017, the call for his resignation would not be a topic in the approaching Dec. 9 General Assembly agenda.

That was the morning when the Colonos board members, after an earlier split vote in deference to the Fideicomiso’s prodding, agreed to prevent vehicles carrying customers to several commercial boating services from entering the resort, thus scuttling the businesses by depriving them of customers.

The strategy, approved by split vote after weeks of arguing between Fideicomiso Roman Rivera Torres and the Colonos board, backfired when the vehicles were refused entrance and their drivers declined Security requests to back away from the gates, effectively blocking the entrance to surprised regular traffic.

Strategy changed

That, recalled Kaufer,  a 10-year volunteer member on the Colonos board, was when his phone started ringing.  “Traffic was all the way past Chedraui and I started receiving calls at home from people complaining that employees couldn’t reach work and residents couldn’t get to their shopping.”

Pelican staff was on the scene as were a handful of reporters/photographers from local newspapers, a few lawyers, owners of the commercial boats involved in the conflict with marina ownership and some of their employees and clients. Waiting in the wings were the local police in the event of disorder and tow trucks awaiting  orders.

Two hours into the impasse, Kaufer said, Colonos board members who voted for the blockade in the split vote were supposed to monitor the situation but were nowhere to be seen, having “changed their strategy the night before,” he said.

Violence feared    

Fearing an outbreak of violence and excessive disruption of the normal gate activity of blameless residents, Kaufer said he went to the gate and found that “none of the strategies and agreements promised were taking place. I decided to end the blockade that, from my point of view, was close to becoming violent and was harming more people than the one it was helping.”

Prior to the failed blockade, he said, many meetings, some attended by lawyers, did not convince several board members, including himself, of the intent of the bylaw upon which the blockade was predicated.

The by-law is vague

The by-law, Article 18, declares: “Entry to the development is restricted to colonists, owners of real estate within it, or people with proper authorization.” And therein lies part of the current controversy: The article is wide open to a multitude of contradictory interpretations.

In its basic premise, the Fideicomiso interprets the rule as a protective tool to be used by a given stakeholder/business – the marina in this case – against another private business and assist one side to the detriment  of the other.

Kaufer and several board members on the minority side of the split vote to block access, disagree with that interpretation and have one of their own, simply, the bylaw does not intend for Colonos funds and gate access to be manipulated with prejudice to settle private business conflicts among stakeholders.

Since Kaufer’s unilateral decision to unblock the gate on March 29 in defiance of the split-vote majority – for which he takes full responsibility – the Fideicomiso, who is also president of the Colonos Vigilance Committee, has petitioned for the resignations of Kaufer, an elected Colonos official, and Armando Rincon, who is hired by the board as general manager and not subject to voter action. The Fideicomiso alleges a general dereliction of duty and erosion of security as causes for dismissal. (See following story)

Voters face decisions

In their split vote, Kaufer said, the board members tried “to avoid the imminent break between the Fideicomiso and Colonos if we didn’t comply.” Kaufer has told the Pelican he does not intend or want to resign, but will abide by the wishes of the voters.

Rivera Torres, who clearly sees Article 18 in a different light, has told the Colonos he will take control of the main gate operation in April, 2018, if not sooner, for a period of three months and fix what he claims are general and specific security problems. That would include, he told the Pelican recently, blocking the main gate to at least one of the boating businesses with which he is in conflict, then return the gate operations to the Colonos.

The Colonos accepts that the Fideicomiso owns the main-gate structure. However, all security equipment, motorcycles, cars, videocams and payroll were and are funded and owned by the Colonos Homeowners Association. Ownership of the roads leading to, from and under the building is currently claimed by the Fideicomiso, but is in contention.

Say or no say

The main gate is the first line of defense in Puerto Aventuras and assembly voters have a clesr choice at the Dec. 9 general assembly concerning its operations.

One prevailing consensus among voters, who fund the gate operations and improvements, is that they  pay for a say on how the gate is administered. They do this by virtue of voting for Colonosits leaders and their policies and also by petition for satisfaction of grievances, if any. The Colonos board is answerable to them, unlike the developer who is not answerable to the voters or their petitions.

Voters will be asked on Dec. 9 to select their preference by either voting for retention of Kaufer and current gate policies  or the  Fideicomiso’s bid for Kaufer’s dismissal.

Developer faults Colonos
board for resort’s malaise

By Staff
Developer Roman Rivera Torres has been accorded time at the Dec. 9 assembly and space in the annual report to explain why he feels Colonos board Chairman Jorge Kaufer should be voted out of office.

In a postscript to the Vigilance Committee’s annual financial report, the developer cites, in particular, Kaufer’s action of March 29, 2017 in unilaterally ending a blockade gone awry at the main gate in disregard of a contrary board vote. In this circumstance, Kaufer said, he saw the blockade devolve into an emergency situation requiring an immediate decision to open the gates to traffic.

The developer also charges that Kaufer and the board are withholding $200,000 USD in gate improvement funds that were appropriated by the last assembly.

Kaufer has previously explained that action was taken to safeguard homeowner funds after the developer warned he would take control of the gate and declined to sign a 10-year agreement on gate control in return for using the public funds on a private building without long-term guarantees.

In other charges, the developer faults the Colonos for not helping the marina block 3,000  clients a month of marine services with whom the marina is in dispute; not prematurely accepting Phase 4 into the association despite the developer’s offer to cover any deficits; allowing too many outsiders to the Fatima Bay beaches in summer, provoking a threat from condos and the Omni to possibly leave the association; improper performance in the matter of enforcing zoning; lack of enforcement in traffic and speed control, noise limits and hours of commercial operations.

It should be noted the postscript is signed by Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, the developer, and Timothy Howard of the vigilance committee. Howard has noted in the financial report that he “does not specifically endorse these comments” in the postscript. What will matter on Dec. 9 is what the majority of voters endorse.

Net work…

PLASTIC NETTING used to contain protective barriers is carried by a laborer along Fatima Bay’s shore. (Staff Photo)

Property tax collectors here
December 4 through the 15th

Pay early and get 20 percent discount

Municipal tax collection agents will make paying property taxes easy for Puerto Aventurans again this year by accepting payments at the Colonos administration office first from Monday, Dec. 4 to Friday, Dec. 8. Hours on those days are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The collectors will also be at the Colonos on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Payments will also be taken the following week, Monday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be discounts again this year at 20 percent during the month of December, 15 percent in January and 10 percent in February. Credit cards are accepted but bring cash in the event there is  malfunction as there was last year.

It is recommended by Colonos that people paying more than 10 bills send cadastral numbers to the following email: f_arandal@hotmail.com

 

The Colonos employee Christmas party will be held  Dec. 15 and the board is asking residents to help by providing gifts or cash to buy gift for the party’s annual raffle. Donations may be left at the Colonos office during working hours.

Soccer –  Thierry Defauw reports that the friendly Sunday morning pick-up soccer games have resumed at the Puerto Maya field in back of the Oxxo store on the main road into the village. Call Thierry at  984-877-5190 for more information. Young, middle aged and older folks can join the fun workout.

Trivial Pursuits at 4 p.m. Sundays Dec. 3 and 17 at Latitude 20 Restaurant and a new game, ‘Friendly Feud, on Dec. 10 with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Owner Jim Stubbs welcomes new players to join in the fun.

Paamul charity group slates
annual garage sale for Jan. 14

By Andrea Watkins:
Paamul Services to Others Committee (PSOC) is announcing the Annual Charity Garage Sale to be held at David’s Store at the 307 entrance to Paamul on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.

This Annual Garage Sale is one of the charity functions held each year by the PSOC to raise funds to help with the necessities of life and further the education of the residents in some of our villages, currently Chumpon, in Quintana Roo, Santa Clara,  Kulunche and San Pedro in Yucatan state.

This event will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until mid-afternoon.  Come have fun shopping and at the same time know that you are helping provide some more needs of residents in our villages.

If you have items to donate or any questions about our charities, please refer to the Facebook page for Paamul Services to Others Committee and send a message.

 

The Roundup…

Passengers on Puerto Aventuas-Playa combi route were held up by three gun-toting men who boarded the van like any other passengers last week then later asked the deriver to stop at the entrance to an irregular subdivision known as the “invasion of the towers.’ They then produced weapons and stole the belongings of the other eight passengers and disappeared. The passengers declined to report the incident for investigation because they said the bureaucratic process takes too long and few criminals ever get arrested…

The 56th murder in the ongoing warfare between narco gangs was recorded earlier this week in the Ejido colony of Playa del Carmen…

The body of a woman  repored missing last Saturday was found in underbrush near he Calica bridge a and 307 highway a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras on Monday. The woman was apparently truck by a truck while riding her motorcycle, which was found in  ditch off the highway. She was epored missing by a relarive…

Home-made bombs made their debut last week in Playa del Carmen’s continuing battle between narco gangs for control of the area. Police said bombs were thrown at the home of a tour salesman in the tourist zone, injuring wo women…

Hotel reservations for the high season are hovering in the 80 percent range, report officials of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, indixcations tht despite some negative publicity aeround nareco violence, the are remains a str4ong player in th touist industry…

Seven cases of leprosy have been reported on the Yucatan Peninsula, most of them in Mayan populations. There was one case in Campeche, two in Quintana Roo and the remainder in Yucatan state. Health officials in Quintana Roo are monitoring hospitals and clinics for suspected cases of the disease. The disease, which affects the skin and nervous system, can now be treated with medications provided I is discovered early…

The Mail Bag…

Leave ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’

Dear Editor:
I am deeply offended at The Colonos’ use of the term “X-mas”.  This is not a suitable abbreviation for the word “Christmas”.  You should not be censoring the “Christ” in Christmas, especially during the Christmas season.  Mexico is 98% Catholic.  Whose decision was it to omit Christ from Christmas in this edition of The Pelican Press?  Shame on you! Please publish this statement and change your policy as your action offends many Christians in our Community.

Signed/Jack Moore

(Ed. Note: Catholics make up 81 percent of the Mexican population as of 2010, not 98, according to a 2013 Pew Research report. If you are referring to the poster “Saturday in Puerto,” your complaint is misdirected since the poster was composed by and for the Colegio. Merry Christmas.)

 

The rules we live by…or not!

(Page 13 of 22, unedited)

CHAPTER X

OF THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE

ARTICLE 32.- The Vigilance Committee shall be formed by three of the associates who will serve as a President and two full-time members. Preferably, at least one them should be a Certified Public Accountant.

ARTICLE 33.- THE FOLLOWING ARE OBLIGATIONS AND ATTRIBUTIONS OF THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE:

  1. Check the accounting books, documents or inventory of the Association’s patrimony whenever considered convenient;
  2. To call though the President or the Board of Directors to General Extraordinary Meetings of the Associates to inform about any irregularities in the administration of the Associations patrimony;
  • To supervise the behavior of the President or of everyone of the Board members;
  1. Supervise the election process for either President or a Board of Directors end all other organs of the Association;
  2. Resolve on the requests from either the President or the Board of Directors to exercise actions of ownership over the property of the Association;
  3. Resolve on and present to the General Extraordinary• Assembly summoned for that purpose, the requests from the President or the Board of Directors, to carry out actions of ownership over the real-property of the Association;
  • To participate in the Board meetings, with say but no vote, and to carry out the commissions the same entrusts it toward the attainment of the goals referred to in Article 6 of these Bylaws; and
  • To have an external auditing firm check the accounts every year. This result will than be presented to the General Ordinary Assembly for ratification.

ARTICLE 34.- The communications from the Vigilance Committee must be signed by its President and any by one other member at least. In case of prolonged absence of the President, the signature of any two of the Committee members will suffice.

ARTICLE 35.- The Vigilance Committee shell stay in office for two years, at the term of which it may be renewed partly or wholly. (To be continued)

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The end – Previous edition below

 

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