On Friday, November 23, 2007, a Petition signed by Ricardo Vidargas Birk, president of Va Por San Miguel de Allende, A.C., directed to the Mayor of our city, was presented to the Office of the Secretary to the Municipality. This Petition was also signed by seventy supporters; it consists of a series of petitions and proposals directed towards the participation of the community at large in the municipal government’s decisions related to the urban, environmental, cultural and historic development of San Miguel de Allende. The petitions are summarized as follows:
ONE: That the “Law on the Protection and Conservation of the City of San Miguel de Allende, making it, in effect, a Typical Township” be abided by and made effective, and that a Board of Supervisors enabled by this law be formed. Among other responsibilities, this Board is to be charged with authorizing constructions, reconstructions, and repairs that may be made in the township, as well as with prohibiting the construction and even ordering the demolition of those structures that violate the typical architectural and urban characteristics of the city.
Seven different points are proposed for the Municipality to put this law into practice.
TWO: That the “Law on the Urban Development for the State of Guanajuato” be applied in all that is related to the citizens, in regard to the drafting, revision and execution of the Land Use Plan and Urban Development Programs.
Four basic considerations are proposed so that the Municipality may implement measures and actions regarding the application of this law, which guarantee the citizen participation referred to by the law.
It is requested that the same legal procedure that is used for the development and review of land be also used to obtaining both approval and changes.
Three practical measures are proposed for ensuring citizen participation in this process.
It is also requested that the Municipality integrate the work of the Municipal Planning Council and the respective sub-councils, as ordered in the law, regarding the coordination, analysis, evaluation and planning between the Municipality and the public, private and social sectors.
The Petition requests that the law be enforced, regarding the duty of the Municipality to review, evaluate and, as needed, modify, each year, the Land Use Plan and Urban Development Programs, following the same procedure called for in the law, for the participation of the different social sectors.
THREE: It is requested that the “Law for Protecting and Conserving the Environment of the State of Guanajuato” be applied, in all that which relates to the municipal duty to promote citizen participation in regard to the planning, execution, evaluation and overseeing environmental policy.
Four basic measures to ensure effective citizen participation are proposed for the Municipality’s consideration.
It is requested that Environmental Consultation Councils be formed, as required by the law, asking that measures directed to providing needed information be established, and seeking the participation of objective and impartial residents and civil organizations for the formation of said councils.
It is requested that this specific law be complied with, as well as with the municipal accord reached in 2005 that declared the “Charco del Ingenio” and other areas be designated as an Ecological Preservation Zone, specifically asking that:
a) The Management Program for this be created, with the input and proposals of those people in charge of the properties, and of area neighbors.
b) That the Declaration’s context be formally communicated to owners and proprietors in the Zone.
c) That the Declaration be registered in the Property Public Registry, so that it be known and abided to by all.
The Mayor is asked that he submit for approval by the Municipal Assembly a point of agreement for publication in the Municipal Gazette, with information about the twenty basic aspects related to the initiatives, the creation of and modification of laws and regulations regarding the environment and urban development; as well as the petitions, procedures and approvals for changes in land use regulations; environmental impact statements and any resolutions regarding these; and the opinions and proposals set forth by the public, as well as the consideration given these on the part of the authorities.
FOUR: In regard to the compliance and application of the “Cultural Patrimony of the State of Guanajuato Law,” the mayor is requested to submit for approval of the Municipal Assembly an accord which, in compliance with this law, is directed to:
a) The development of a Municipal Plan and a Protection, Conservation and Restoration Program for the State’s Cultural Patrimony that is located in the Municipality.
b) To initiate actions directed to the protection, conservation and restoration of San Miguel de Allende’s cultural patrimony, and
c) To issue the regulations which are derivatives of this law.
FIVE: as to the fundamental issue of water availability in the Municipality, it is requested that the Municipal Assembly and the Mayor let us know, in as much detail as possible, the actions and strategies they are to follow in order to anticipate, attend to and avoid the possibility that our municipality run out of water.
Each one of the points in the Petition has a second point, in which the Mayor is asked to express his motives and the legal justifications upon which his criteria are based, should he not agree or consider the preceding point unjustified.
The Petition concludes by letting the Mayor know that the call that he and the municipal, state and federal authorities constantly make to citizens, for all to work, participate and cooperate together for the country’s and the municipality’s common good, encourages this organization’s petitioners to trust in that he will provide a written answer to this Petition. In this manner, we can all take the first step in the creation of a new order in the relations between authorities and citizens, in which the old habits of belligerence, sown by deception, lack of trust, apathy and mutual condemnation between citizens and authorities, be forever put behind.
NOTE: Even though this Petition has already been presented to the Municipal Assembly, those who are interested in supporting it may sign the Petition at any time. This organization will submit those signatures to the Municipal Assembly.