06202019Thu
Last updateWed, 19 Jun 2019 1pm

Columns

The road to hell

I’ll bet there’s not a single soul in our community who wouldn’t be thrilled to see local thoroughfares put into perfect condition. Life could be so much more carefree if we didn’t have to navigate wobbly cobblestone streets and highways riddled with potholes.

While upkeep is the responsibility of our government authorities, many ordinary citizens have the good will to dig into their pockets to chip in for street repairs, recognizing how little revenue we generate with dirt-cheap the property taxes. Some simply hire workmen to patch up on the streets where they live. Others are pitching in through a campaign started up to elect the community’s expat king and queen.

It’s a noble cause and the contestants are all known for good deeds that benefit others. But the way the bizarre contest has been organized leaves a lot to be desired.

pg17aFor starters, the contest has been promoted almost exclusively through a single Facebook page that is administered by one of the female contenders. The rules are not only vague and incomplete, but subject to inexplicable changes, such as a last-minute extension of the voting deadline originally set for one day before Carnival when the crowning was supposed to take place.

In addition, the local businessman who is the contest’s mastermind admits there is no master plan for the pothole repair project it is intended to fund. However swell the intentions, it smacks of a hare-brained scheme with no clear method of accountability.

Experience tells me that foreign immigrants are suckers for this kind of initiative. They are prone to thinking that they can simply throw money at plans cooked up to solve community problems.

Take for example the grassroots movement to save our mountains from unchecked urban growth. Back in December expats coughed up a lot of cash so the group could hire a big time Mexico City attorney to gather information for pressuring the local government. Since then the defense committee has maintained a troubling silence, leaving contributors ignorant of what, if any, progress has been made.

I can’t forget the lady dressed in red who stood up at the last public meeting and pointedly asked, “Who are you people?” It was a reasonable question for the individuals who were asking for financial support. But she got no answer, only hemming and hawing about how time was too short to properly introduce the steering committee who’s who.

More recently there was an uproar over a handsome young foreigner who was seen wandering around the streets barefoot, filthy and apparently under the influence of mind-altering substances. An initial effort to come to his rescue turned into bickering on social media among various people claiming to know “for sure” who he is, where he came from and details of his back story.

Expat liaison Hector España took charge of the situation, getting the blond, blue-eyed kid cleaned up, outfitted in new clothing and some medical attention before he was turned over to immigration authorities to determine his nationality and channel his case to consular officials. The final chapter will probably remain a mystery.