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DECEMBER EXTRA! 2017

Time and tithe wait for…

…THE CTAX COLLECTORS to arrive at the Colonos meeting room Monday morning to collect property tax. The agents arrived a little late, had computer problems and, like last year, said they could only accept cash, which is why taxpayers with credit cards should wait a day or so before paying. (Staff Photo)

Taxpayers display patience
as collectors come to town

By Staff
Municipal property tax collectors need to improve their service in Puerto Aventuras to avoid upending taxpayer bliss in the community.

Two agents arrived a little late Monday to begin the two-week service that precludes having to drive to Playa to make the payment. They told a waiting group they were detained by traffic backed-up by an accident on Highway 307.

A man named Alberto was the first to arrive before 9:30 and was soon joined by six other people waiting on the patio, several of whom wearied of waiting and left, including Alberto. He returned a few hours later along with others who had left earlier.

Then, like last year, came the news that the agents could accept cash only since the credit card system wasn’t working, even though, one would think, the municipality had a year to fix it. Some payers who live in inexpensive condos managed to squeeze enough pesos from their pockets to make the payment, while some owners of expensive villas had to go fetch relatively substantial amounts of cash and return.

“They should take the first morning just to set up their equipment and start taking payments in the afternoon,” said one exasperated but patient contributor to the municipal treasury.

The collectors will be at the Colonos meeting room all week, from 9:30 to 5 p.m. and 9:30 to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 9), the day of the general assembly. The agents will be on hand next week also during those same hours Monday through Friday, Dec. 15. The December discount is 20 percent, albeit some, not ll, taxpayers noticed a slight increase in the  tax bite this year.

 

Pot luck…

FORMER SHORT-LIVED children’s park is now used by the Colonos as a nursery for the potted plants that grace the community common areas. The park is located on the median of he main road from the gate. It faded from disuse. (Staff Photo)

Colonos board will battle
to keep control of access

Concedes Taema signing ‘mistake’

By Staff
The intent of PA developer Roman River Torres to temporarily retake control of main gate access will be easier said than done, asserts a letter sent to residents over the weekend by the Colonos Homeowners Association board.

“This board …will do everything possible within legal limits to maintain control over PA access,” board Chairman Jorge Kaufer assured residents.

As background, the gatehouse is owned by the developer, but Kaufer underscores that “we are not going to let the entrance and the right of way of all residents be handled by someone who does not represent us.”

He said that if the Colonos is pushed into retaining control of access operations without the gatehouse, “we have already studied ways to achieve this,” the letter states.

Currently, the developer cedes gate operations and use of the gatehouse to the Colonos under an annual agreement. In return, the association of homeowners funds the access operation, gatehouse area improvements and maintenance, and pays for security payroll and required apparatus such as cars and videocams to get the job done.

Board open to negotiation

The threatened interruption of the main gate status quo starting in April 2018, according to comments from the developer, would be for three months, during which time clients of one or several marine services companies would be denied entrance at the main gate to settle a host of marina grievances against the boat owners, including years of noise complaints from residents of the nearby Chac-Hal-Al condo complex.

“Until today, the control and maintenance of all roads including the entrances as well as the security cameras and the public lighting system have been the responsibility of Colonos and should continue to be so,” the letter affirms.

“It is the intent of the existing Colonos board to remain open to negotiating a contract renewal to retain and improve the gatehouse,” the letter states. “The board hopes that the general assembly (on Dec. 9) will consider the disruption that would be caused to residents and homeowners if a new contract for continued use of the gatehouse is not negotiated.”

Taema vote was misguided

On another issue, the letter reiterates an explanation by VC member Carlos Suarez, published earlier in the Pelican, that the board overlooked what impact would be on density and infrastructure in its decision to sign the Taema agreement.

Fortunately, the letter notes, recent comments by some residents made the board “aware of the mistake we made when we signed the agreement,” by considering only the potential revenue for businesses but not the detrimental impact on infrastructure and lifestyle of residents.

“Now we realize our mistake and apologize.” In response to the residents who elect them, the board has placed the issue on the assembly agenda to give them the opportunity to either approve the signing or “cancel the contract,” since no one is yet living in the Taema development.

Developer hints at more
withdrawals from Colonos

By Staff
The usually congenial community of Puerto Aventuras may be on the verge of unraveling, to the detriment of the common good.

Reported gatehouse rises, along with tempers, to help end what Chac-Hal-Al condo owners say are beach abuses in the summer.  (Staff Photo)

Fideicomiso Roman Rivera Torres has detached, with cause he notes, the marina and its payments to the Colonos Homeowners Association, which maintains and funds some major infrastructure and the security force. Conversely, the Colonos has declined to integrate Phase 4 into the association until Phase 4 has the revenue to fund its share of public services regardless of the developer’s pledge to cover any deficits.

The grapevine last week shared that the troubled Chac-Hal-Al condo complex may be leaning toward leaving the Colonos homeowners association and going it alone with its own security and other services. The complex is already building what looks like a gatehouse on the point leading to the beach.

In addition, a postscript in the assembly report of the Vigilance Committee, the developer states that condo complexes and the Omni Hotel along Fatima Bay will opt out of the Colonos Association for lack of sufficient protection from beach invaders not blocked at the main gate, begging the question of how such scattered fiefdoms will pay to  maintain the general infrastructure and nurture ongoing unity n the community.

The Monday morning quarterbacks are generally gossiping that logic, compromise and reconciliation, not Crazy Glue, are needed to hold the community together in the face of diverse opinions and actions.

Those virtues will be needed at the Dec. 9 general assembly as voters are asked to help solve the problems with their vote.

The Mail Bag…

Developer at odds with public interests

Dear Editor:
A recent letter to the editor lamented that Puerto Aventuras is not the community it once was, that it is no longer a private community.  While it has changed in 15 years, it remains as private as it ever was. Commercial growth is small compared to the challenge of an exploding area population, which has outpaced our community’s ability to cope with its effects.

Access to beaches must be granted since they belong to the people.  This should have been considered in the original master plan.  Restrooms, changing rooms, parking, etc. should have been provided.  I believe the developer lacked the incentive to do this because it costs money and reduces the amount of salable real estate. This remains a challenge for the community.

Many early residents were sold directly by the developer or through his marketing information, that we would have an 18-hole golf course, a beach club that gave all residents beach access and planned growth with limited access to our exclusive community.  Unfortunately, these assurances have faded.

What we have is density far exceeding the original master plan, a 9-hole golf course that adds no value to the community, while an 18-hole course does; additional development of 80 lots and a dog park replacing the second nine holes and bringing even more residents to Puerto Aventuras. And now, the possibility of an additional 2,000 people being granted unfettered access to our community via the Taema Air Park agreement, brought to us by the developer.

My intention here is not to put the developer in a bad light. I love what was built, I love my home, and I love living here. My point is that the developer’s interests are often at odds with those of the owners and that I believe the developer will and has chosen his interests over ours.

Our protection, if indeed we have any, is our voice in the Colonos.  I find it a great conflict of interest that the developer has such a strong voice in this body to the point of seeking the resignation of the Colonos leader, Jorge Kaufer, because he does not always support the developer’s initiatives.

The developer claims the Colonos leadership has failed to provide proper security and that the developer alone is able to do this. The reality is that my golf cart was recently stolen.  Security found it quickly and even identified those who took it for a joy ride. I kept this report if anyone wants to see it.

Conversely, the developer is responsible for security in the marina where whole boats have been stolen in the past and numerous parts including pumps, steering mechanisms, propellers and tackle. Last year, several U.S. boats posted a reward for the return of items taken.   That is how the perpetrator was caught.

If we have any chance of at least stemming the continued erosion of our community, we need to continue to support those who will put the interests of the community over the interests of the developer when these interests are in conflict.

Signed/Bob Uecker (Ed. Note: Longtime resident, business and property owner.)

 

The Roundup…

The annual Colonos employee party for some 42 employees will be held in a poblado location on Friday, Dec 15 and the colonos is reminding residents it appreciates gifts, or cash donations to buy gifts, for the employee raffle, a highlight of the annual event. The gifts can be left at the Colonos office during regular working hours and can include household items and gifts for children and that families can enjoy together.

Resident owners of villas, lots and condos  are reminded they have until the end of the workday Wednesday, Dec. 6, to visit the Colonos office to register to vote if they wish to cast their own choices at the important assembly on Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Dreams Hotel. First call is at 9:30 a.m. Click on the Colonos website atop this page for complete information.

A tour bus carrying passengers was hit from behind by a truck Friday afternoon and nearly pushed off the overpass by the Puerto Aventuras main gate. The truck driver said his truck planed on a puddle of water forcing him into the other lane and into the bus. No injuries were reported. Drive defensively…

Hundreds of cars and taxis lined the shoulders of Highway 307 last Sunday morning in what appeared o be some very important meeting or protest of some sort. Driving by, the Pelican saw several police cruisers and a fire truck standing by.

Narco violence aside, tourists continue to spend their time in the heart of the Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen and along the coast. Hotel occupancy was 81.25 percent in November, not better or worse than the same month last year…

Molotov cocktails were hurled at a bar by two people on a motor scooter in the Ejido area of Playa del Carmen, bringing to four the number of such incidents reported lately. Police believe homemade bombs have been added as a a new weapon in the gangster armory…

The rules we live by…or not!

(Page 14 of 22, unedited)

CHAPTER Xl

OF THE ELECTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE

 

ARTICLE 36.- As the case may be, either the first President or the first members of the Board of Directors and the Vigilance Committee, shall be elected by the simple majority of the total value represented by the votes of the associates present at the associates Assembly.

ARTICLE 37.- Either the President or the Board of Directors in functions shall summon a General Assembly of Associates to elect a new President or a new Board of Directors and a Vigilance Committee, at least thirty days prior the date of the same. The procedure to follow shall be the following:

  1. Either the President or the Board of Directors will send every member Convocation to elect a new President or Board of Directors and the Vigilance Committee, the same which will also be posted on the Associations Bulletin Board, and which will state the date end time on which the General Ordinary Assembly will take place, the site where it will meet, and the purpose which is the election;
  2. The convocation for the Assembly must be published at least 30 calendar days prior to its date referred above;
  3. The date of the Ordinary Assembly to make the election, must be within the first four months of the year;
  4. The elections shall be carried out at the Association’s registered address and in case of emergency. At the discretion of either the President or the Board of Directors in function, at any address they determine, but always within the Puerto Aventuras Tourist Development;
  5. The period to register candidates will start on the date of publication of the convocation, and wily be closed on the date when the Ordinary Assembly referred to in the first item above is to take place;
  6. The candidates for each office must be selected among the associate members who have stood out for their work within the Association and who are current in their obligations according to the bylaws, rules and regulations, and after they have discussed end accepted their candidacy;
  7. The voting process will be supervised by three tellers designated by either the President or the Board of Directors, from amongst the same membership, letting everyone know who they are in time;
  8. in order to have a legally valid Assembly, the provisions in article forty one of the present bylaws must be observed;
  9. Counting of the votes shall be made immediately after the voting is closed by the designated tellers; and
  10. The results of the voting shall be notified to all the membership through a bulletin signed either by the President or the Board of Directors, as the case may be, and the outgoing President or Board President will take the oath of office to the incoming officers before the General Assembly of Associates. (To be continued)

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