Mayors Association requests federal oversight of Puerto Rico recovery funds
SAN JUAN —Cayey Mayor Rolando Ortiz, who serves as the Puerto Rico Mayors Association president, criticized Monday the meeting between Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González, and mayors of the New Progressive Party, and demanded strict federal supervision over federal funds allocated to the island.
“Of course, it raises suspicion that they have met only with the mayors of their party. It evinces again that there is discrimination against the mayors of the Popular Democratic Party, and that has been seen since the passage of the two hurricanes [Irma and Maria],” Ortiz argued in a press release.
“When it comes to public funds, there is no reason to segment the mayors, unless it was an intraparty meeting that had been held in its central committee, without using public funds allocated to La Fortaleza,” he added.
According to La Fortaleza Public Affairs Secretary Ramón Rosario, the governor and the resident commissioner convened Sunday with mayors from their party to coordinate the development of public works and social programs related to the federal funds Puerto Rico will receive.
On Feb. 9, Congress passed a two-year budget plan that included $16 billion to assist in the Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts after the Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on Sept. 20.
“What this type of attitude does is to further undermine the credibility of the Rosselló government before the federal authorities. We are going to demand at the federal level that strict controls be established in the management and distribution of funds. The entire world has already seen with astonishment how the Rosselló administration handled the Whitefish case disastrously and we are not going to be part of that poor way of managing public funds,” Ortiz said.
“What we demand is there be absolute justice in this process. In order for things to finish well they should start well, and the management of the crisis started off on the wrong foot. It is time to end the consistent behavior of discrimination that this Rosselló administration has with residents of the municipalities that elected mayors of the Popular Democratic Party,” he stated.