I’m as cynical at the next person when it comes to trusting politicians to make good on their promises.
With Mexico at a crossroads as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez took their oaths of office over the past week, I’m going through serious attitude adjustment on a more positive side.
It applies as well to Chapala’s municipal government, still wet behind the ears barely two months into the new administration. I attribute the change of heart principally to snarky buzz picked up on social networks popular with local expats.
For example, last month, members of Mayor Moy Anaya’s staff held a well organized town hall to inform the immigrant community on efforts to root out engrained corruption in the state traffic police force. While the event prompted lots of positive feedback, it also brought on darker views.
Remarks such as “Yeah, we’ve heard this before. Nothing ever changes,” popped up from some old-timers who didn’t even bother to go. In response to the request to hand in written questions to streamline the meeting, another person snapped back, “Will the officials submit written answers on 3x5 cards?”
The government’s recent crackdown on parking violations was greeted with similar “seeing is believing” skepticism. A report on the first week of the operativo tallied 35 vehicles towed away for occupying illegal spaces and dozens of objects removed from unauthorized reserved parking spots. And the enforcement beat goes on.
To those who have been critical that Tránsito hasn’t yet worked the streets of Ajijic, I’d advise them to hold their horsepower. They’ll get there sooner or later. And don’t dare whine if your car gets hauled off for blocking a street corner, garage entrance or blue line space for the handicapped.
As for constant gripes about roadways riddled with potholes, bear in mind that the new government started out on the tail end of a bountiful rainy season that caused massive street damage, and with empty coffers that won’t be refreshed until tax payments roll in at the first of the new year. Work crews are out there anyway, doing the best they can to fill in the most treacherous craters. Meanwhile, try thinking of the problem as a challenge to remain alert behind the wheel and while you’re at it, rack up imaginary points for smartly dodging the hazards.
I’ve watched 15 municipal governments and seven state and federal regimes come and go. Each change has bred renewed optimism, often as not only to be dashed by the time as the terms expired. But hope springs eternal. New administrations need time to get their bearings and eventually prove their mettle … or not.
The point is, there’s ample reason reserve judgment on the new mayor, governor and president of the nation. Let’s cut them some slack for a while yet, knowing there’s plenty of time ahead to indulge in just criticism.