The Vecinos de Akumal Norte, A.C. was established to interact with local government officials and to provide services to the community that are not provided by local government. This is a membership organization which depends on local dues-paying members to further its goals. The organization’s website is located here: http://vecinosakumalnorte.org/
VECINOS ANNUAL MEETING – FEB. 23, 2023 59 members were present in person or by proxy, and six more attended via Zoom. All monetary figures are in pesos unless otherwise designated.
- A loan of $190,000 was not repaid this year and is still outstanding. It will be repaid when there is sufficient cash available.
- The 2023 budget has increased by 3%, which includes a proposed 17 to 18 percent increase in the membership dues rates, as fewer new members are expected. Overall expenses are anticipated to increase by 27% in 2023.
The 2023 Budget including Dues was adopted by unanimous vote.
Retiring Board President Dan Freeman announced there will be a special First Friday event on March 3 in remembrance of Mary Henderson: “Have a Drink with Mary.”
Accomplishments over the past seven years include:
- Agreements with the Tulum Municipality that grant Vecinos the representation for the entire community and allow the area to move forward as a private community – improvement of roads, lighting, and sewer service, etc.
- Security, including the Pluma (gate). The Security Committee facilitates operations between the Pluma, municipality, private guard services, and the Guardia Nacional. It also handles street signage such as street names and speed signs.
- Some need to be replaced, and a maintenance program is being discussed
- Rebuilding of the Security Caseta at the entry / pluma
- Negotiation with Xcaret for building of a parking lot to alleviate van parking on the street at the Yal-Ku Lagoon
Initiation of new operating systems and technology – new website, accounting method/software, and “Customer Relationship Management” (CRM) system
Security Report Committee Member Peter Swenson reported the following accomplishments:
- Secured the community via the pluma and a guard force integrated with the Guardia Nacional. This resulted in a significantly reduced crime rate
- Regulation of traffic flow into the community: More than 20,000 vehicles were counted entering through the pluma.
- Replaced the topes (speed bumps) at the pluma (thank you to Lou Vitale for funding this project)
In 2023, security goals will focus on:
- Strong crime deterrence
- Ability to respond to all emergencies
- Improvement of camera resolution
- Maintenance of a stable and high-quality private guard force
- Establishment of radio communications and installation of repeaters
- Improvement in public awareness
The security budget of the Vecinos was $549,000 in 2022, but actual expenditures were $563,000, mostly due to the improvements of the caseta. In 2023, the budget will increase by 18 percent due to increased guard costs, plus equipment and cameras.
Government Committee Report
Committee Chair Ingrid Datica explained that a goal of Vecinos is to establish formal contact with the Tulum authorities, and that the first agreement was signed in 2014, establishing an ongoing relationship to make improvements in services and security.
So far, there has been a diagnosis of the community’s situation including urban, environmental and public services, and inventory of property to file with the Catastro to assure that all are accurately designated.
Next steps are the creation of an action plan and work plan (in progress) and fundraising.
The highest priorities are
- Update catastro and obtain an updated agreement signed with the Tulum Municipality
- Security – integrate with the Guardia Nacional and other agents
- Sewer System — This has been a priority for 17 years, and it may be another three to five years in coming. Vecinos is also pursuing a parallel track with neighboring landowner M&M Development. Vecinos has supplied required information on estimated wastewater liters per second to be considered in M&M’s development master plan. Our effluent currently moves through the mangrove or out into Half Moon Bay. Properties should assure proper handling of sewage by using wastewater gardens, reviving wetlands, or providing some kind of on-site wastewater treatment.
- Solid and Hazardous Waste — The Committee is creating a team to design a comprehensive solid waste (trash) disposal program in conjunction with the Centro Ecológico de Akumal (CEA). Volunteers are needed.
- The Government Project currently has a completed diagnostic report with recommendations . To continue the project, an estimated $360,000 is needed, not including hiring of additional needed experts. Fundraising is a must.
Appointment of President and Treasurer and Ratification
Tandy Muir-Warden reported on elections procedures developed by the Bylaws Committee, and advised that although they have not yet been formalized, the process was followed.
Only one application was received for each office: President – Ricardo Mangione, Treasurer – Neil Canter By unanimous vote, the candidates were appointed to two-year terms.
President’s Report and 2023 Priorities
Newly appointed President Ricardo Mangione addressed the membership and shared the following:
- Ricardo and wife Mónica retired after 30 years in the medical field and moved full time to Akumal from Miami.
- Originally born and raised in Venezuela, Spanish is Ricardo’s first language.
- Anticipates spending 20+ hours per week working for the beautiful Akumal community.
- Emphasized joining together and working together – after talking to everyone, “we all want the same thing,”
- Encouraged membership and asked everyone to get involved, as there are so many programs that are important.
- Future plans and projects will require fundraising
- Communication is vital; the website will be used, and a survey will be sent out via email to learn about concerns with Vecinos and with the community.
- The Government Project is a priority. Consultant Ivan Hernandez stated that “The Association must obtain the necessary consensus with owners so its agents have the backing the authorities will demand.”
- Vecinos must represent all owners and its member businesses for the future in order to make a real impact with the Tulum Municipality.
- Committed to being a good President – doors are open, call, email, make contact.
The President’s 2023 Priorities were accepted by unanimous vote.
Keeping It Akumal: Volunteer Extraordinaire Nancy Poor thanked all who attended the “Keeping it Akumal” fundraiser and said it would be done again next year – but 3-4 more volunteers are needed to help Shirley and Monica. The event netted $6,700 usd for Vecinos projects.
2024 Annual Meeting The date was tentatively set for Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 10 a.m.
The Ordinary Meeting was immediately followed by an Extraordinary Meeting to address the proposed bylaws changes. The results are as follows:
Article 9: 75% approved; Article 10: 98% approved; Article 13: 78%approved; Article 14: 82% approved; Article 17: 78.8 % approved; Internal Regulations: 92.1% approved.
— For the full report, go to the organization’s website.
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