Pollensa

Pollensa Rosy Schell

07-10-2017Liebe Leser, schicken Sie uns Ih

It does seem a trifle odd that we have now arrived at May and town hall budgets for 2021 are still waiting for approval - the budget of one town hall in particular, Pollensa. But then we are talking Pollensa, where it isn't that odd; it's more normal for the budgets to be set well into the year for which they are intended.

There have been justifications for this delay in years gone by. The absence of a majority made the budget approval for the last mayor, Miquel Àngel March of Junts Avançam, a nigh on impossible task. In May 2017, as an example, the budget got linked to a vote of no confidence in him. Somehow he got over that hurdle, there was eventually a budget, and the mayor lived to fight a further two budget-setting carryings-on before giving way (after the 2019 election) to the current mayor, Tomeu Cifre.

In theory, Tomeu's budget task should be straightforward. There are that many parties which form the administration (the mayor's Tots, the PP, the UMP, El Pi - have I forgotten any?) - that there is a clear majority. Yet for all this, here we are in May when, also in theory, the initial approval for the budget should have been in October.

Last week, councillors with executive responsibilities for the various municipal functions and services were gathered prior to the presentation of the budget, which was at Thursday's council meeting. The principal aspect of the budget is a five per cent reduction in spending - on account of a fall in revenue because of you know what. Escaping the reduction, councillors were told, are to be social services and the municipal care home.

The opposition fully understand the reasons for the cut in spending, but they have been questioning why one item on the town hall accounts is not being amended downwards - the salaries of the mayor and the executive councillors.

The salaries have of course been a major bone of contention ever since Tomeu took charge and whacked them up by around 40%. The opposition have never missed an opportunity to criticise, and so here was another opportunity. Five per cent wasn't much to ask when set against a previous 40% increase. Was it?

It's fair to say that certain councillors will have had their hands particularly full because of the pandemic. Others will have had their hands less full. So, would a small cut in salary not be recognition of this? I have wondered, and not just in connection with Pollensa, how it has been possible to justify, as examples, responsibilities for fairs and fiestas, when they have either been scrapped or reduced to some virtual activity. The opposition in Pollensa have been wondering the same thing.

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