Editorial: JVR’s concerns-A A +A
Thursday, January 23, 2014
TALISAY City has been in the news recently and not for something commendable. Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes was heard apologizing to the city council a few days ago. This as media photos and video footages showed City Hall personnel near the city public market draining black water made stagnant by clogged drainage.
The mayor, without the knowledge of the city council, had allowed a family friend from Mindanao to use the City Hall ground as a stockpile area for pebbles. The stockpile didn’t make the area look exquisite.
The arrangement arrived at by the mayor with his friend didn’t have the authority of the city council, prompting City Councilor Raul Cabañero to question it. Cabañero also claimed that City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay admitted that the transaction was done without a contract of lease.
While the mayor has apologized to the city council and the stockpile of pebbles can no longer be seen at the City Hall grounds, the incident showed the same knee-jerk style of leadership that JVR has exhibited since he assumed office in June last year.
Incidentally, the city council must have accepted the mayor’s apology because we haven’t heard of any further fuss from any of the councilors. JVR can therefore thank his lucky stars that the council majority, which belongs to the opposition, is still essentially allied with him.
JVR’s first move associated with this style of leadership was his decision to allow vendors in the public market in Barangay Lagtang to return to the old public market in Barangay Tabunok even if the facility still needed rehabilitation.
In a way, that first knee-jerk move can also be said to have partly contributed to the flooding of the road near the Tabunok public market. Had the Talisay City Government rehabilitated first the facility (rehabilitation would have included improving the drainage system in the area), flooding would have been prevented.
JVR can still be categorized as a new mayor even if he has been in office for more than six months already. Meaning that he still has ample time to straighten up his act.
And he needs to, because the next time around, the city councilors and the public may no longer be tender on him.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2014.