On Wednesday, April 4th the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero briefed the media on several issues within the Council. Addressed were the restructuring of the San Pedro Town Council’s staff, the Barry Bowen Bridge, operating hours of shops, restaurants and bars on Good Friday and the presentation of a Financial Report.
The re-structuring of the Council’s staff saw the releasing of three employees and their replacements. The Mayor commented,
“The restructuring of the Council’s staff was forthcoming, in fact it was promised in our manifesto during our campaign. In other municipalities this happened more immediate after the elections. However, we felt that we needed to do an analysis, an evaluation if you may, of what is going on at the Council and what needs to be done for the success of the Town. With this done the Council decided to release three of our staff members: Pablo Kumul, Nesher Acosta and Gonzalo Alamilla. If you notice, two of these individuals were from the Property Tax department. There has been a public outcry that the property tax system simply was not really operating. With the releasing of those employees and the placing of Daniela Nuñez along with Wilbert Magaña as the new Evaluation Officer, we have started to work on improving that department. We are already working on a new database. We have many persons working on it.”
There is a third person who will be hired to work in that department as well. With the shuffling, there has now become a vacancy in the Trade and Liquor department, which is where Magaña has been moved from. Further to this, UDP Councilor candidate in the recent elections, Yolanda Parham was hired as the Mayor’s personal assistant.
Concerning the opening hours on Good Friday for businesses that sell alcohol, the Mayor explained,
“The shops will be allowed to stay opened as per their regular hours. However, alcohol will NOT be sold from ANY establishment, starting midnight on Thursday April 5th through 9pm on Friday, April 6th. We will be having spot checks by personnel from the Liquor Licensing Board accompanied by a police officer. As for the bars and night clubs, the Council together with the Minister of Tourism, for this year, was flexible to accommodate the business community. People had already invested in promoting their special Easter events. With this taken into consideration as well as addressing concerns by the Catholic Church, we have decided to allow them to open at 9PM, with their usual extensions. However, next year will be completely different. From 12midnight on Thursday through 12 midnight on Friday, San Pedro will be DRY.”
As for the Barry Bowen Bridge, the Mayor assured that the bridge will NOT be closed.
“The eastern pedestrian walk on the Barry Bowen Bridge has been permanently closed as it is un-usable. We initially had plans to close the bridge owing to its state of deterioration. However we have decided to wait until after the Easter when we’ve invited engineers to come in to look at the bridge and see what we can do, how we can upgrade. What we want to do is cast it with cement and replace the railings with something very low maintenance, a material that exists and is currently being used by Coco Beach. This material will not rot and it will not rust and it’s very, very light. Our objective is to reduce the cost of maintenance. Once this is done, the bridge will be opened 24/7 and have a meter, somewhat of a toll.”
The Mayor further explained that once this is done, the cost of accessing the bridge will be cut drastically and the collection booths will be replaced by a meter.
As for the Financial Report, the Mayor assured that once the Easter rush is over, the Council will start working on a Public Presentation where they will disclose the financial state of the Council when they took it over, as well as a state of the Council’s finances presently. The Mayor extended an opened invitation to all residents of San Pedro to feel free to contact him with ideas if you have any and including, “If you see me heading in the wrong direction, please call me out. That’s the only way I will know.” He ended wishing everyone a nice, peaceful enjoyable Easter Vacation.