New Mayor Answers Questions

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The stunning victory of the Morena Party in the election last July also led to sweeping changes in our state, and Los Cabos electing our first woman mayor.

During a press conference given by new Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro, Ms. Castro got pissy with the press when asked questions about allowing Uber into Cabo, and about the complaint filed by her husband against the city for wrongful termination.  Ms. Castro cut the interview short, and that was that.

Must be the season, because in outgoing Mayor Arturo de la Rosa’s last speech, which went on for two hours, he showed a lot of anger. Might be just a sore loser, as he came in a distant third in his bid for reelection. After his two hour harangue before a crowd bused in for the occasion, he also stalked off.

"The issue of transportation is a state issue, we will do our part with what pertains to us, once we are in office, thank you, see you later, " she said the new mayor before abruptly leaving. In a second interview, when asked about her husband's lawsuit, she said, "I already gave you (that) interview," avoiding the question. "My husband does not have any demands, and I make it clear to you once and for all, do you let me speak? You are asking me," she answered then cut off the interview and left.

Last July, when she was still running for office, she said her administration would not allow Uber in, saying she was not in cahoots with the taxistas, but she has to "give support to Cabo’s families.”

"Definitely not, we have to give support to the families Cabeñas. (Cabo families). We do not have any support of the digital platforms, we have support of those who currently work transport responsibly here, they are families Cabeñas and that's what I said in the campaign.'' So there.

 Uber company officials have publicly stated their intention to start operating in Los Cabos, through its communication manager Saúl Crespo, since last November. They have announced that this spring break more than 10,000 tourists requested the service through their US based app. Ms. Castro said she did not have knowledge of any proposal by the international company. Maybe that’s because Uber officials know it’s not her decision, that’s on the state level.

"The quality is different, however we do not have any proposal. We believe that it depends a lot on the demand, what may be generated by the fact that it is convenient or not convenient. At the moment we do not we have a study. So far we have no application and no intention, what we do have is a current transportation agency that we need to professionalize; to work with them," she said. Well, the acknowledgement that we need to professionalize the taxi drivers is a good start.

And like every politician before her, Armida Castro commented in a Cabo Mil radio interview that an important city issue is that of safety and for that reason, she said, she will work in coordination with the Secretariat of the Navy. The Navy is responsible for public safety in Southern Baja, and she did not mention her city police who have been yanked from authority in order to install the sailors. Well, in all fairness, at that time the city and their police were not hers yet.

She also addressed the issue of drinking water, saying she will not support a new desalination plant because the city doesn’t need more debt, and she is told by specialists it’s more economical to get the current plant to work at 100 percent. The previous administration believed if it were hitting on all cylinders, it still wouldn’t be enough, but the first plant was never working well, limping along while chronically “needing parts”. That plant was built by a Spanish company and apparently parts would have to come over on an old Spanish sailing galleon. Or maybe that company never got paid? Surely they weren’t stupid enough to advance us credit.

In an interview broadcast on Facebook Live, Mayor Castro was questioned on the issue of poorly built shacks and citizens living in poverty and she responded that she was not aware of the exact number of poor families nor how much land is being occupied by squatters.

"I can tell you that we have more than 9,000 citizens in extreme poverty and are located just in those irregular properties, (squatter camps),  that you speak of. I can only tell you that in the case of Cabo San Lucas there is only one area that has more than 600 families. In San José there are about 400,'' she said. Adding that, ''We have already been working on this for three months, before the campaign began. I commit myself to work for families who are in need and do the impossible every day.''

Another campaign promise made shortly after her election is, a promise to reduce salaries for Mayor, City Council members and Aldermen by 50%.'' After her Mexico City meeting with the newly elected President of Mexico, Mayor Castro confirmed that current spending will be reduced by 30%, as part of the measures to adapt to President AMLO's austerity plan. "We listened very attentively to the austerity program proposed by our President Elect, we are convinced that to achieve the real change proposed by the new national project, it will be of vital importance to reduce the operating cost of governments and that is why we join to this plan that López Obrador proposes to us today. In addition, in the first year of the new government, no new computer equipment or vehicles will be purchased and the number of drivers will be reduced.