Newly elected Rosarito Mayor Mirna Rincon Vargas met with a selection of invited townspeople December 20 at CEART Rosarito. The mayor outlined once again her plan for the next three years, concentrating on crime prevention, public safety, and tourism. It wasn’t the meeting many of us hoped for, originally being informed it would be an informal meeting between Mayor Rincon and foreign residents only. When this wasn’t possible, the “meeting” became a “conference” and a cross-section of Rosaritense was invited.
After a brief welcoming speech and PowerPoint, in Spanish, the audience broke into several focus groups including
· Citizen Care and governance
· Transparent and responsible government
· Urban development and planning
· Environment, coastal, and marine
· Economic development and tourism
· Public Services
The foreign residents met at one location to discuss a little about many topics concerning their Rosarito experience. All were asked to fill out a four-page questionnaire. Issues included how we rate public services (excellent to very poor) such as road conditions, lighting, service provided at municipal offices, and much more.
Residents were also asked to rank in importance matters of Public Administration so that the City may provide a better service to foreigners. Not listed on the form but of a huge importance to most of us was to have available bilingual government forms and documents. If nothing else, than to offer the information informally, not officially, in English.
Serious governmental issues including crime prevention, public health care, safety, education and cultures were rated in importance, with crime prevention rating as most people’s number one choice of importance.
The government was also interested in foreigner’s views concerning local economic development, rating tourism, agriculture, wooing the film industry and foreign factories to Rosarito, and expansion of conventions to the Baja Convention Center.
The City is prioritizing programs on a number of themes including strengthening our communities, the safety of Rosarito, employment and economic welfare, sustainable urban development, and innovative, efficient and transparent government.
Finally, extra pages were included so that foreign residents could add their own views, proposals or suggestions that they would like to have the government consider when finalizing their Municipal Development Plan. The day concluded with the monitors of each focus group tallying responses and forwarding results to Mayor Vargas’ team. We appreciate the Foreign Residents Attention Office (FRAO) for including us in this important dialogue.