The latest complaint is for alleged “work incompatibility” with Tomeu’s exclusive dedication to being mayor. | R.F.

Junts Avançam, the main opposition group at Pollensa town hall, have lodged an official complaint against the mayor, Tomeu Cifre, with the anti-corruption office. This is the second time that Junts have denounced the mayor to Jaume Far’s office. The first was in respect of the allegation that the councillor for social welfare, Francisca Cerdà, had jumped the queue and been vaccinated much earlier than she should have been and that she and Tomeu were having regular PCR tests paid for by public funds.

The latest complaint is for alleged “work incompatibility” with Tomeu’s exclusive dedication to being mayor. It concerns the application for and granting of 3,000 euros of Balearic government aid to compensate for Covid-caused loss of earnings by a family business for holiday rental.

The opposition group states that no approval for a reduction of the mayor’s working hours was sought from or given by a full meeting of the council - a reduction to allow him to dedicate part of his working time to other responsibilities. Junts have highlighted comments made by Tomeu to the media regarding his secondary activity of holiday rental, for which he pays self-employment insurance.

Junts argue that it is not necessary to be self-employed in order to have a holiday rental, while they question the ethics and “dubious legality” of taking a full-time salary as mayor and at the same time seeking and receiving a grant of 3,000 euros.

The technicality of all this is something for experts to ponder. Meanwhile, a question arises as to whether it would have come up (and become a “denuncia” to the anti-corruption office), if it hadn’t been for Tomeu’s salary. Junts and the other opposition groups have consistently criticised and drawn attention to the fact that when Cifre’s Tots per Pollença and partners formed the administration after the 2019 administration, the mayor awarded himself a handsome pay rise.

This was a rise compared with what Miquel Àngel March of Junts had been earning as mayor, and it meant that Tomeu’s salary was the maximum permitted for a municipality of the size of Pollensa.

Junts have once more brought this up, saying that it was one of the highest salary increases for any mayor in the country - in relative terms, that is, by around 40% to what is now just over 54,000 euros a year. As far as Majorca is concerned, Cifre is the fifth highest-earning mayor on the island after the mayors of Palma, Calvia, Campos and Capdepera (according to official figures for 2020). Junts have never forgiven him for this and they have certainly never forgotten it. Which is why one asks the question. Had his salary been that much lower, would the denuncia have been made?

A statement from the opposition group makes clear how they feel: “Pollensa does not deserve a mayor who takes advantage of his position to receive the maximum amount permitted by law, while carrying out other jobs without having the compatibility of a reduction in working hours and taking aid that should be destined for businesspeople and the self-employed who have actually suffered from the Covid crisis.”

Tomeu, for his part, says that there is no incompatibility and that he has done nothing illegal in having requested public aid for his family business.

Jaume Far’s office will doubtless consider the matter at some point. But meanwhile, and as an adjunct, Cifre has made an observation which is somewhat revealing about the realties of Pollensa. He rents out a villa, just like other councillors, including Miquel Àngel March. “In Pollensa, many people do this.”
Quite so.