The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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The Akumal Council
Tulum Municipality Meeting, Thursday, May 15, 2008

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This was basically an informational meeting for the membership and all those who attended.

 

AKUMAL COUNCIL MEETING ON NEW MUNICIPALITY

The Akumal Council convened a special meeting on Thursday, May 15, 2008 to present what it knows about the new Tulum Municipality and answer questions about its impact on Akumal.  The meeting was chaired by Gonzalo Arcila, Sergio E. Gonzalez Rubiera, and Din Richardson.  The meeting was fairly well attended by about 16 members of the Akumal Council, including two accountants.

Gonzalo re-iterated a lot of what he distributed in his e-mail of 2008-04-26 (see April 26 letter) as not too much new has transpired since that time.  However, he did mention that he has been following this issue via information the government diligently posts on the Internet, and he read from a 5 page document – Tulum (municipio) - which he printed off the webs site at  Tulum Municipality.  This is an excellent description of the Tulum Municipality, albeit in Spanish.  As far as Akumal is concerned, the northern boundary of the Tulum Municipality is the southern edge of Yal-Ku Lagoon.

Timeline

  • 2/21/08            the State Congress votes unanimously to make Tulum the 9th Municipality
  • 3/13/08            Tulum is ratified as the 9th Municipality
  • 5/6/08              Official Announcement on the Tulum Municipality
  • 5/16/08            10 days later, Official Decree to be published Public State newspapers, making it official
  • 5/27/08            (approximately 10 days later) State Congress to appoint the 11-person Municipal Council as an interim government until the elections in February 2009.
  • 7/27/08            (approximately) the Interim Council has 60 days to invite the political parties to get organized and participate in the election process for 2009.
  • Feb. 2009        the new elected Town Council and its Mayor will be in office for only 2 years (instead of the normal 3 years), in order to sync with the administration periods in the whole State. 

During the process of reception, the Municipality of Solidaridad must transfer all the available information to the new Municipal Government, such as tax information, subdivisions, records from Catastro, etc.  This process should include the transfer of all municipal obligations, services and infrastructure.  All paperwork, procedures and legal situations remain in the exact same status as they are now.  Same status quo, but under a new Municipal Government.

 The Akumal Council has made several statements in the press in order to call the attention of the authorities to the importance of the Akumal community.  It has requested that someone from our community be appointed to the board of the new Town Council.

 Gonzalo stated that he has been invited to several meetings with the active participants and politicians involved in this process, but that there is actually no official information about who and how they will be integrating this new position.

 

The meeting lasted over two hours, and there was a lot of discussion, but there were no new revelations.  Some of the discussions covered: 

  • North Akumal Regularization.  This is a familiar subject at most Akumal Council meetings, and it was re-iterated that North Akumal was never regularized as part of the Cozumel or Solidaridad Municipalities; Solidaridad was created in 1993 when the municipality of Cozumel was split into two, with the mainland section constituting the new municipality of Solidaridad, which covers a total surface area of 4,245.67 km² and, in the 2005 census it had a population of 135,512.

North Akumal does not have the normal infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, street lighting, sewerage, water, etc.) that defined by a municipality, and while the battle/discussions go on, it is very possible that North Akumal will never be regularized and really recognized by any Municipality. 

It was explained and agreed upon, the need to continue in our process of Regularization and to finally deliver the FRACCIONAMIENTO (starting with Akumal North) to the Municipality.

  • Akumal Membership on the Interim Council.  This seems to be a grey area with regards to how the State Congress will allocate the seats on the Interim Council, and the question was not asked (specifically) on when, where, and how Akumal might nominate its candidate(s).  There seems to be a willingness on the membership for Gonzalo Arcila to have a role in the Interim Council, and there was some discussion about Maria Del Carmen Domani being the Akumal representative, as Maria had once been a member of the Municipality Solidaridad.
     
  • Continuation of Services.  This is a REAL grey area that nobody knows the answer to.  One of the major roles of the Interim Council will be to oversee a clean and clear transition of the related elements/services of the Municipality Solidaridad to the new Municipality Tulum.  What happens with the police coverage?  Garbage collection?  The pot-hole filler for North Akumal?  Water delivery.  The Tax Offices and services? And on and on…….?  TBD.
     
  • An Observation, or the Facts of Life.  SteveC made a comment that there is absolutely no way that the new Tulum Municipality can continue, at least in the short term (2 years?), to provide the level of services and recognition we got from Municipality Solidaridad when you look at the size of the two.  As mentioned above, Playa del Carmen had a reported population of over 135,000 in the 2005 census, while the population of Tulum is set at just under 15,000. As a result of the population, and the fact that Playa del Carmen continues to be the fastest growing city in Mexico, you can easily see the services and infrastructure as you drive through on MX307.  There probably are more police with radar guns on MX307 within the immediate city limits than the entire police force in the sleepy little town of Tulum.  In Playa, they just recently expanded the fire house on MX307, and there are new government buildings being created over by the Mall of the Americas.  The process for paying taxes has been greatly improved. Consider all the hotel rooms within Playa del Carmen and Playacar, to say nothing of Myakoba.

 Admittedly, the Akumal Council has played a major role over the last 3 or 4 years to get Akumal recognized by Municipality Solidaridad, and this resulted in police coverage, garbage collection, and the pot-hole filler for North Akumal, among others.

 Where will we be once Municipality Solidaridad washes its hands of Akumal?
 

  • Akumal Master Plan.  Gonzalo had two pictures showing the layout of the infrastructure of the "new" Akumal to be built across the highway over the next 25 years.  These are available at  ? - image is too large for here; go to MAP.  Reportedly, the number of habitants here will be in the order of 150,000!  This REAL!!
     
  • Sub-Committees.  Years ago, the Akumal Council had a number of sub-committees which worked to various degrees, and some just did not function at all.  Part of this is due to the membership and leadership, to say nothing of the object of the sub-committee.  So, the new Tulum Municipality is being viewed as an "Opportunity" whereby Akumal can be in on the ground floor as the municipality is being established, and a number of sub-committees could/should be formed to bring attention and focus on the important issue; i.e. regularization of North Akumal; police coverage; garbage collection; and water delivery by CAPA; among others.
     
  • Akumal Pueblo.  The pueblo needs to be a part of whatever the Akumal Council does with regards to the Tulum Municipality, and it is recognized that there are some "issues" between the people in the pueblo, CEA, and the Akumal on the east side of MX307.  At some time in the near future, before the General Meeting on June 27, the Akumal Council and CEA will approach the leaders in the pueblo and solicit their involvement in the Akumal Council.
     
  • Sergio E. González Rubiera.  It was acknowledged that Sergio will continue to be the consultant for the Akumal Council, and his role will continue as before, but now he will focus his attention on the Interim Council and the issues identified by the various Sub-Committees.
     
  • Tulum Master Development Plan.  It is not the subject of this paper, but there is a small reference to the (Plan de Desarrollo Urbano, PDU) for Tulum on page 2.  It’s at Tulum PDU.

 

While things might appear rather bleak in the short term, the general mood seemed to be one of optimism and OPPORTUNITY.  It is absolutely imperative that as many people attend the Akumal Council General Meeting on Friday, June 27th.

  

 

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