New Mayor Inaugurated

With a big party and lingering acrimony between the two major parties
BY: BRIDGET BURKE

In a surprise twist, Tony Agúndez, the outgoing Los Cabos mayor, switched the date for the swearing in of incoming mayor Arturo de la Rosa. This switcharoo was blessed by the City Council in a meeting held over the weekend, just before Monday’s official transition. The reason provided was to avoid having two mayors in office at once.

In the new schedule, the outgoing mayor would present his final  report at 6:00 pm in the big plaza in front of City Hall. The plan was for the new Mayor would to be officially sworn into office at 11:45 at night. So incoming Mayor de la Rosa separated his inaugural speech from his swearing in ceremony into two different events at two different locations.

So on Monday, a few hours before officially taking office, he gave his first speech at the Sheraton Hacienda Hotel in Cabo San Lucas. Special guests included leaders of the chambers of commerce and various business associations, and of course his campaign supporters

The event was well organized and managed, with the 1100 guests undergoing three security checks before entering the presentation hall.  Two large television walls showed the Mayor’s campaign slogan “El Cambio Lo Hacemos Todos” (We Make the Change), and the official seal of the City of Los Cabos was decked out on the  front of the podium.

At 8:30 pm, Arturo de la Rosa entered the room accompanied by Governor Carlos Mendoza. The governor’s appearance is always necessary, which is why the day of all the city mayors’ inauguration varies: the governor has to get around to each city and he can’t do it on one day. Obviously  the audience was packed with his campaign supporters, because the new mayor got a three minute standing ovation as he made his way to the front of the room. After an introductory three minute video, the new Mayor began his speech, which was broadcast live on the Internet.

In his first message to the citizens of Los Cabos, he emphatically stated that this was going to be a “historic municipal administration” and reaffirmed his intention to work in close collaboration with the various sectors of the municipality as well as with Governor Mendoza. “We will work to attract more tourism, more investment, more infrastructure, more markets, and provide higher quality services, because this represents economic development and welfare for all Baja California Sur,” he said. 

The new Mayor spoke of the need for his administration to, “work responsibly, with order, efficiency and honesty, but above all with transparency. In the public there is a crisis of credibility,” said Mayor de la Rosa. In as slap to his predecessor he said,  “The policy of deception, manipulation, abuse and neglect have no place in our government.”

Mayor de la Rosa has agreed to work with a Citizen Watch group created by volunteers and asking for recognition from him. He stated that citizens should be able to know, “What and how public resources are being spent” and he hopes the new Citizen Watch group will help “Improve the processes and procedures at City Hall, allowing us to have efficient services, reduce waiting times and above all ensure zero tolerance for corruption.”

He went over again the 10 commitments in six categories from his campaign, including the police problem, combating corruption, better municipal services, improved water delivery, enforcing the systems in place, and accountability. Then he added the predictable promise of more parks. Parks and pavement seems to be the proverbial bread and circuses for this town.

He promised to be against the proposed gold mine in the  Sierra de la Laguna mountains behind our town, although it is out of his jurisdiction, so who cares what he thinks about it? Well, maybe we should, as he promised to pressure the mayor of La Paz to not change the zoning that would allow it. Our new mayor also proposed creating a joint commission of the two cities to keep the gold mine out, because as he points out, “The Sierra is the main source of water supply in our city as well.” Opponents of the mine feel the operation will contaminate the water.

Then, as the grand finale to the gala evening, just before midnight, with everyone now moved back to the Los Cabos City Hall, Arturo de la Rosa was sworn in as the new Mayor of Los Cabos.

He was accompanied by his newly formed city council, some hand picked by him, but by law four are from opposition parties. The new city council will consist of: Susana Garcia del Carmen Zatarain, Jesus Antonio Gomez Montoya, Julia Maria Rodriguez Ramos, Celestino Atienzo, Aurelio Beltran, Eulalia del Carmen Diaz Guzman, Juan Manuel Murillo Murillo, Ramona Peralta Zumaya, Francisco Javier Rubio Castro, Samir Zavin Ruiz, Jesus Romero Flores, Noria del Carmen Rodriguez Contreras, Daniel Antonio Arriola Elizondo.