Bill Aims to Give Ponce Mayor Authority Over Port
PONCE — New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. Víctor Torres González filed a bill to give back Mayor María “Mayita” Meléndez authority over the Port of Ponce, in order to facilitate its development.
“It is time for us to exploit this resource for the benefit of our people. The past administration handcuffed this development for purely political-partisan reasons. Not only was the move malicious in nature, but it didn’t provide favorable results for the Manorial City or the southern area. That is why we are taking this action to give the port back to Ponce residents,” explained Torres González in written declarations.
House Bill 714 establishes that the Port of Ponce Administration will be presided by Meléndez as of May 1. The bill, filed in January 31 would abolish Act No. 176-2016, in order to derogate decrees that bestowed powers to a board of directors above the jurisdiction of the Autonomous Municipal Government.
“This bill is about bringing social justice to the people of Ponce. Ponce’s planning and economic development belong to its residents. The bill we are filing also contains a decree that aims to investigate the board of directors sheltered under the order we want to eradicate,” commented the NPP legislator, who represents District 23.
The cameral measure adds two new members to the board, which will be designated by House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez and Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz. The board’s terms of service were reduced from six to four years to tho those members who aren’t government officials, in an attempt to revoke political partisanship from the Authority.
In addition, the bill establishes compliance parameters to the operator of the selected port, and outlines a policy to audit labors and results so as to fulfill the goals set in any administrative agreement in the port facility.