HOTELS FOIL PASSAGE OF COLONOS BUDGET
LATE BREAKING – A six-hour power outage befell the whole of Puerto Aventuras beginning at 2:30 a.m.Thursday (Dec. 15). As of press time the cause was unknown. Fortunately, hotels on auxiliary power were able to feed residents who found themselves without power and simultaneously hungry. Power was restored at about 8:30 a.m. However, power remained out south of Puerto Aventuras as linemen replaced old wooden poles with cement, came later reports. It would be considerate if CFE would alert communities to this type of planned work in advance.
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Objections force another assembly in March
Two percent fee reduction shelved for now
Posted 12/12/11 by Pelican Paulie
An aggressive plea by hoteliers for reduced Colonos costs has jeopardized a proposed 2 percent decrease in 2012 fees and also forced the need for another general assembly in March to adopt a budget. What it means to fee-paying home and condo owners is that the rate for 2012 will remain, for the moment at least, the same as for 2011.
And despite some contentious moments during the 5-hour convention, there are no major changes or significant fiscal demands to report to stakeholders who did not attend but whose concerns and causes were well represented by their active neighbors in the audience and the Colonos and vigilance boards.
About 40 investors in the PA lifestyle attended the assembly last Saturday in the Dreams Hotel – not hardly enough to overcome the wealth of votes held by the hoteliers and their sympathizers– as debate over the budget proposed by the Colonos board collided with a steely resistance from the hotels. Their spokesmen – only two – wanted more recognition of their problems in determining the fee structure, particularly as it pertains to what they feel are overbearing rubbish collection charges, a complex political/municipal issue with a history.
Other issues surface
While finances occupied most of the morning session, other issues such as building code changes, lack of code enforcement and an ongoing disagreement over Plano 3 single-family home construction were aired as the meeting morphed from morning into a heavenly afternoon.
The day’s events must now be crunched significantly in summarizing the proceedings:
This year’s financial statement was approved but not before retired businessman Timothy Howard questioned the source of a surplus and other speakers took turns trying to explain it, including Colonos and vigilance board members. Howard later said the statement could be improved and hoped he would be around sooner next year to offer assistance, since he has significant experience preparing and reading financial reports. And oddly enough, the ubiquitous rubbish issue evidently had a hand in the surplus because the municipality took over the work from the Colonos, resulting in Colonos savings from layoffs.
Next year’s budget with 2 percent decrease was not approved because the proposal did not meet hotel demands for more significant reduction. Many speakers entered an ensuing verbal fray including Liliana Viola; former Colonos board member and condo administrator Oscar Calderon; condo administrators Carlos Suarez and Lothar Batt;
businessman Martin Wohnlich and others including Gilbert Chaine of the vigilance panel, Colonos board members Jorge Kaufer, Daniele Gracis and President Beatriz Marron Vales, who was graceful in allowing some problems had been encountered with the financial presentation and hoped to improve that next time. However, she remained steadfast for the budget as it was presented despite the fact that a third-party personnel problem delayed the statement’s delivery to allow businesses enough time to study it prior to the meeting.
With defeat of the measure, it was agreed to hold another assembly in March to adopt a budget either by changing the fee structure giving the hotels a break at the expense of other settlers, cutting corners or getting enough voters agreeable to a 2 percent reduction – the first in five years – to show up and vote.
Board fights cuts
Marron Vales and the board members were adamant about cutting services that would set the community back. “What grass do we cut? Where do we let the grass grow? Which lights do we turn off?” she asked. “The budget was a lot of hard work,” added Kaufer. “It would be irresponsible not to pass it.”
And with tongue-in-cheek, Marron Vales said she had sent a long list of needs to Santa, inferring that short of getting infrastructure maintenance for free, the Colonos and its settlers and businesses have to fund it.
As the miasmic thrusts and parries increased in tempo and degree , a calm voice in the audience called for a vote to cool the emerging vitriol (albeit none of the speakers wanted conflict, they said). The budget failed because the hotels obviously had more apportioned votes.
In other business, landowner Angelo Mouzouropoulos reiterated his desire published earlier in the Pelican Free Press to alert landowners in Plano 3 of a problem constructing single family homes without first acquiring mandated environmental reports, which earlier buyers evidently assumed had been obtained by the developer.
Several owners who decided to build anyway reportedly ran into difficulty with the government, some subjected to stop-work orders, fines and other “added costs”…which prompted a public remark by Liliana Viola that people here “should never pay bribes.”
Mouzouropoulos urged owners to contact the Fideicomiso and ask the right questions
before building to avoid problems. There was no rebuttal to his comments.
Real estate agent Sally Evans asked if he was suggesting landowners in Plano 3, of which she is one, should get together to discuss this. Mouzouropoulos said that would be an excellent idea.
On a similar but other front, Wohnlich asked also if the Colonos could do anything about homes being built on Bahia Yanten without regard to zoning setbacks, permeable ground and height restrictions. The answer was, essentially, no, leaving the audience to wonder where the enforcement arm of the building code is hiding.
There was also a slide presentation by Christina Alexander, founder of the non-profit Anat Kah community fund, listing the health and education programs it already has working in the Poblado, its plans for the future, and its need for tax deductible donations. She said an anonymous donor has pledged a 2:1 match of donations during December.
Infrastructure work noted
The Colonos board gave an accounting of its infrastructure maintenance for the year including road repairs, gardening, recycling operations, light replacement and revetment installation on eight islands in Kantenha Bay north of the lagoon bridge. Voices proclaimed Puerto Aventuras as the safest community on the Mayan Riviera with only 26 minor thefts reported for the year.
Serving on the Colonos board also are Hector Pavon; secretary, Tim Day, treasurer, (resigned); Ivonne Almeida and Roman Rivera Torres. On the vigilance committee are Gilbert Chaine, president; John Bush and Deborah van der Haar, all of whom received a round of enthusiastic applause for their volunteer efforts on behalf of settlers.
In the end, as attendees exited the beachside salon into the sun’s warming rays, smiling and shaking hands or hugging goodbyes, the notion that Puerto Aventuras remains a paradise was palpable.
And like the world, Paradise also is run by the people who show up…with lots of votes.
Phrase a week… By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You are stopped by the police and want to say you appreciate the police’s work in protecting you. Say: “Aprecio mucho su trabajo para protegernos.”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Reach her at 984-108-3517.)
Sta. Teresita del nino Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman
Catholic), at the poblado; classes: Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m.
(Spanish);Contact church office: 984-206-6245 (4-8 p.m.-
Corpus Christi Parrish (Roman Catholic);
Calle 110A entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana); Mass: Saturdays,
9 a.m. (English); office: 803-0600; Rev. James Hogan.
Lubavitch Jewish Center, Avenida 10 entre Calle 6 , Playa Del Carmen; service: Sundays, 9 a.m.;
tel. 984-876-5571; Contact: Rabbi Mendel Goldberg.
Church English Speaking Christian church, non-denominational, Meets
t 10:00 a.m. Sundays; more information at 984-120-4169; located on Highway 307
in Tulum 1.2 miles south of San Francisco store, past the Mormon church, on the
right next to the fruit stand.
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
AUTO EMISSIONS TESTING in Quintana Roo reportedly approved by environmentalists could cost an average 300 pesos per car (about 300,000 of them) to assure cleaner air…COPPER STILL GOLDENas Copper the Doggie celebrated a 15th
birthday last week with around 40 guests who assembled for lunch, maybe 50 guests if you count the canines bringing good wishes too. Anyway, attendance broke records for this annual social…FORMER POLICEMAN’Sbody with nearly severed head was discovered over the weekend along Playa del Carmen’s 65 No. Avenue in the extreme North End…No clues to the homicide yet…MEXICAN AUTHORITES foiled a plot to sneak the son of Moammar Qaddafi into Mexico with false papers identifying them as Mexican. They purportedly were headed for Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast, which, with tongue in cheek, indicates that Mexico despite its unfortunate cartel publicity, remains a destination of choice… Q. ROO ECONOMY UP by 10 percent this year reports a Playa del Carmen delegate to the Economic Ministry, showing a healthy economic stability that could inspire even more growth…CAR BATTERY RECYCLING PLANTS in Mexico are suspected of being harmful to children who live near the plants because the plants lack sufficient controls. Some 2 million batteries are expected this coming year from the U.S. for
recycling. The lead-acid is removed in put in new batteries bound for China’s growing car market, reported the New York Times. One U.S, recycling plant owner plans to spend $70M to upgrade its facility in Cienega de Flores, Nuevo Leon…BABY DOLPHINS ARRIVE– Three of four baby dolphins expected to be born around this time have arrived and from all reports mothers and children are doing well. Dolphin births attract the curious and the interested to the Dolphin Walk while some residents, including Doe Stowell and Darlene Schwandke, keep a watchful eye on the process. Schwandke witnessed the second “miracle” birth Tuesday at 9 p.m. while the latest birth was around 2 a.m. Thursday… PROMOTING TOURISM with cash for projects was included in an agreement between Q. Roo and the Federal government to spend on infrastructure improvements that could feed private investment. Tourism Sec. Gloria Guevara noted Mexico’s economy ranks 14th in the world and positioned as best Latin American country in which to do business…MORE FLIGHTS – Delta and United plan more flights from Los Angeles and U.S. Airways eyeing a weekly service from Logan in Boston…MINIMUM WAGE HIKE of 4.2 percent is being criticized by the Confederation of Workers and Peasants as not sufficient in view of increases in food, transportation and gasoline price hikes…TAXI DRIVERS trying to block the highway to Tulum as the result of a dispute between two taxi unions attracted scores interest from
several PA residents driving by and of police in front of a resort between Akumal and Puerto Aventuras on Monday. Police arrived to keep the highway open. The disagreement had flared into an attack on a playa taxi in Tulum…THERE SEEMED TO BEsome omissions on membership of the Community Park Committeen in a letter to the Pelican last week, which the Pelican is pleased to clarify. All those who have served on the committee from Day One to now are: Monica Tynan Day, Dulce Carillo (resigned), Liliana Viola, Andrew Pittman (now teaching at Texas A&M), Szusza Batt, Patricia Hernandez, Steffanie Kovalick (resigned). Meanwhile, the park panel keeps pushing along to improve the site with the help of the Colonos maintenance crew which this week painted crosswalks on the entrance road for the safety of park users. Motorists should take note and slow down before the crosswalk…
End This Post… but you can read P.A. history below