Since June 2015, Jaume Porsell (PP) has been the mayor of the municipality Andratx in south-west Majorca. Before handing over his mandate to his colleague Katia Rouarch (PI) next month, he talks with us about the past 23 months of the term, ongoing projects and his plans for the future.
After almost two years of tenure…. How many days have you regretted your decision to candidate as mayor?
Not one single day. The political work continues to inspire me, precisely because it presents me new challenges every day. When I hand over the mayor’s office to my colleague Katia Rouarch in June, I will continue to serve as a deputy mayor and town councilor for urban development.
During our last conversation, you mentioned the good economic situation of the municipality Andratx. What does it look like today?
The economic situation is still very good. Our Department of Economy and Finance, headed by Councilor Estefania Gonzalvo (PP) has achieved one of the declared goals of the current legislative period: Andratx is debt-free. All liabilities were relieved and we were able to reduce the land tax (IBI) for the fifth year in a row to relieve our community members. Nevertheless, we can not reinvest as much as we would like to. The creation of reserves is prescribed by law by the central government in Madrid.
Another major project is the extension of the Calle Levante in Port d’Andratx to relief the traffic of the coast road. The completion of the construction work with an estimated budget of 700,000 euros was announced for the beginning of the summer season …
We can hold the date, the work is going on very well. The extension of Levante will allow a direct exit from the urbanizations “La Mola”, “Valleluz” and “Marmassen”. In addition, we have the possibility to block the promenade – in exceptional cases – temporarily for the traffic. This provides more security and space, for example at city festivals and markets.
Speaking of “La Mola” … What about the work in the urbanization? Should it not have been completed for a long time? The local residents have even launched the online platform “Vecinos de La Mola” to draw attention to the case…
The people around me know that – talking about th case – my pulse goes up. It is a very complex story, both technical and contentual. I understand the rage and frustration of the local residents very well and have insisted that everything now runs over my table. Even after the change of office, the process will remain with me as a city councilor for urban development. Since 2012 the case was touched by too many hands …
What is really interesting to the participants is the current status and when the work starts finally…
The other nine – already completed – urbanizations from the infrastructure project approved in 2009 are being gradually inspected by the city’s engineer and the technicians of Acciona, the company which is responsible for the work. Unfortunately, there is only one person available from the city hall, as it was laid down at the contract in 2009. After all other urbanizations have been settled, an amendment of the contract must be presented by Acciona, including a re-calculation of the quotas for the neighbors…
What other projects have been realized in the last two years and where are the solutions still to be made?
In addition to the organization of many major events and trade fairs, such as the “Fira de Energías Renovables” (Fair for Renewable Energy), we were able to do a lot to preserve the cultural heritage in our community: among others, the “Sa Planeta” mill, which was partially destroyed by a storm in 2012, was built up again and received a new roof. The construction of 1784 is one of the most important cultural monuments of the region. The costs were borne equally by the Majorcan Island Council and our municipality. The restoration work on the “Torre de la Mola” is also progressing well.
And the ongoing projects?
What remains at the moment is the clearing-up of the first line in Port d’Andratx, not just after the last great storm. In general, care and repair are neglected. We have repeatedly asked the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands, who is responsible for this area, to do something and we offered our support. Our goal is the joint management of the area, so that our beautiful harbor gets the appearance it deserves again. For weeks we received complaints about damaged walkways, railings and not removed debris. The Saluet Bridge has not been accessible for weeks. An unacceptable condition.
The decision of the competent authority on the return of the bus stop in Andratx from the outer districts back to the center is also still outstanding. After the relocation, the retailers were struggling with sales losses. It will be about the consideration of punctual local traffic – interests of the retailers.
Two additional years as deputy mayor and municipal council for urban development … Will you remain in politics after?
I think it was Winston Churchill, who once said “It’s Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future”. What I’ve learned during my political career is, that everything can happen.