PALMA City Council's first plenary session yesterday approved the pay of the Mayor and the councillors - that of the Mayor will be the same as that received by the Government deputy leader. At the same meeting, Juan José Ferrando Valverde was named director of City Planning.
The plenary session which was the first that had been presided over by Catalina Cirer as the new Mayor, agreed the appointment of 25 specially selected staff to carry out confidential work for the Corporation and of 11 others for the different parliamentary groups. In respect of the new pay awards, the Mayor's deputy Javier Rodrigo de Santos explained that the Mayor will earn 4'208 euros net each month as compared to 3'949 euros which was the figure for last month, May. The Mayor's deputies, councillors, delegates and City Council group spokesmen who work full time will be paid 3'607 euros net a month (122 euros more than the last month), equivalent to the salary of a director general, while other full-time officials will be paid 2'705 euros (35 euros less). Lastly, city council officials who work part-time will be awarded 1'804 euros a month, net (some 40 euros less that the past month). De Santos clarified that only three of the 29 councillors at the City's seat of power worked on a full-time basis, all of them belonging to the Spanish Socialist Workers Party-Balearic Socialist Party, PSIB-PSOE (Isabel Ovier, Iciar Marina Miranda and Ramón Morey) and that payments for attending meetings of associated professional bodies would no longer be made. The plenary session also approved the signing up of 25 senior officials, including the new managing director of City Planning, Juan José Ferrando, who will receive a salary of 47'613.65 euros net and who will take over the post from Carlos Juan Rullán. In total, 15 co-ordinators will be given posts, three area directors and six consultants.
The Opposition announced that they will be keeping a close watch on the work accomplished in these posts, the numbers of which are less than those held under the previous Mayor, Joan Fageda. Catalina Cirer commented that the City Hall “lagged behind” other institutions in its appointment of consultant positions.
A large part of the plenary session was taken up in formalizing the setting up of different committee and naming their representatives. Amongst them were those responsible for the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the different Mirall Palma consortiums. The Socialists took advantage of the situation to ask for the inclusion of some member of their group in these organizations in order to reflect the “democratic representation” of these bodies, a proposal that the Mayor and the Cultural councillor, Rogelio Araújo promised to study. This theme provoked an intense debate, as the socialist spokesman Toni Roig wanted to see such a commitment followed through immediately.
Other Opposition groups also claimed a right to participate.
The council kept a moment's silence in memory of the Manacor councillor, Gustau Fernández, who died in a traffic accident.

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