First debate - 2011 elections - Part 1

April 2011
From XAD:

The video of this part of the debate in embedded at the bottom of this page.

The XàbiaViva election debate was held among all candidates for the upcoming elections for the first time.

However, notable by his absence was Mayor Eduardo Monfort, who was substituted by Vicent Chorro, and the withdrawal of the PP candidate, José Juan Castelló for the second part on questions from the audience. The meeting, presented by President of "Xàbia Viva", José Buigues and moderated by artist Toni Marí, was also attended by the representative of Ciudadanos por Jávea, Juan Ortolá.

The rules were: Interventions were limited to two minutes, participants should refrain from making personal comments, criticism or taking negative attitudes.

During the first part, Jordan Bader, Representing "Xàbia Viva" posed four questions drawn from the contributions provided by people over recent weeks in the Blog and Facebook of the association, as well as from Xàbia al Día, where the issues were compiled. The second part of the meeting was devoted to direct public questioning.

Candidates were given the first four questions before the debate, apart from Oscar Anton (XD) and Vicent Chorro (Bloc-Centristes) due to technical errors, and were answered in rotation.

Please note the current representation on the Town Council:
Governing coalition: Bloc-Centrist (seven Councillors including the Mayor), PP (five councillors), CpJ (one), while the opposition consists of four PSPV (Socialists); three Nueva Jávea and one from the "mixed group" (i.e. Xàbia Democratica). There is no representation for ERPV (Esquerra Republicana) or UCID (Unión Ciudadana por la Democracia - a newly formed splinter group of the PP).

Q What area do you consider a priority: construction, tourism, fiestas, sports, culture, finance?**

Oscar Anton, XD
The priority for Xàbia is an economic crash plan. The municipal budget must be revised and re-oriented to stimulate the economy and generate employment. Anton aimed to build on the many opportunities offered by public patrimony, and improve administrative efficiency. It is key to restore peoples' confidence, and this can only be done through public participation. Specifically he called for the creation of consultative councils comprising representatives of each social sector of the municipality, and whose decisions are binding.

Juan José Castelló, PP
Public participation is essential, he therefore intends to devote a 5% of the annual municipal budget to projects upon which citizens can vote through new technologies. He also committed to seek grants to help boost employment, revive tourism "opening Jávea to the sea", to back green energy and look for grants to ensure that the cost to the citizen is as little as possible.

Juan Carlos Ortín, (UCID)
The priority is to revive tourism, which is the lung of the people. He committed to attend tourism fairs "To create tourism and not other things." Secondly construction, for which 90% of the municipal works should be done by builders who live in Jávea, followed by the need for "a thorough review of the treasury", and fourthly culture, which "was lacking many aspects of many other recreational sites."

Jaume Ivorra, (ERPV) Esquerra Republicana del Pais Valencià,
We do not not prioritize, but discuss these issues cross-platform and lift the town hall to the twenty-first century. For many years we have been living off construction, and now we must live on tourism and related services. Ivorra proposed a boost to primary sectors such as fishing and farming, which can help reduce unemployment (a priority for the ERPV).

Vicent Chorro, (BLOC-Centriste) stand in for Mayor Eduardo Monfort)
The priority is to diversify economic activity, while respecting natural resources, so that training is ready to "accept anything that accomplishes this, such as new technologies, renewable energy…". Chorro also highlighted the fact that of the 2,000 Jávea citizens that are unemployed, 1,054 do not have any training, so education is a priority for the Bloc-Centristes and the Town Hall is "making great efforts on this issue."

José Chulvi (PSPV)
"We must not waste a minute but get to work immediately." First, management and economic audits, then follow their suggestions to improve the internal organization of the Town Hall as well as services for residents and entrepreneurs. Chulvi backed the creation of a Strategic Town Plan, and recalled that during the 15 months he was in the executive he had begun developing this as well as a Tourism Board. The Socialists are committed to citizen participation, and the idea that residents and employers are an active part of municipal management through new technologies. Also that tourism is the main economic engine of the city.

Juan Planelles (NJ)
It is necessary change in the way the municipality is governed, so that there is a consensus among all social and political forces. Planelles said they had already developed a Strategic Plan for the municipality, and will make it available to all parties and all citizens "so that all can make the Xàbia we all want."

Q:Which budget do you think should be reduced and how would you optimize the municipal budget?**

Juan José Castelló (PP),
Proposed a downward revision of the municipal property tax and reduction of the costs incurred by the Town, starting cutting with grace and favour jobs by 25%* (See Ed's note below), in addition to "work effectively with austerity and cleanliness"

Juan Carlos Ortín (UCID)
Committed to having fewer grace and favour jobs and a tax cut, including the property tax. His program would be known in the next 6 days.

Jaume Ivorra (ERPV)
A priority is an audit of the municipal accounts then a reorganisation of its organisation, "so that citizens find the council on their side to help them out of the crisis." A commitment to "rigorously honest" management, but no tax cut. "It could be good, but then what?".

Vicent Chorro (Centrist Bloc-)
As Councillor for Finance he had to defend his budget and said that although the fiesta commissions received half of what they had before, the quality and number of concerts has improved. He said "management is honest" and "Xàbia does not add a deficit to the government deficit." He stressed the austerity policy of his government noting that there had not been an increase in municipal staff for 6 years, and Jávea spends less on officials than other regional municipalities, and that they no longer used the municipal budget for invitations.

José Chulvi (PSPV)
Made a commitment that citizens would participate in 100% of the municipal budget. It is they who must decide what work to do and which issues are priorities. Also, although at present the property tax issue is with the Supreme Court, we must seek a new assessment that meets current property values.

Juan Planelles (N J)
First optimize existing resources, then an absolute austerity, "as any employer who enters into a poorly managed company." "You can not waste money as has been done for years", our assets must be optimized and valued, reduce taxes in the medium term to lower the tax burden and encourage the investor to come to Javea.

Oscar Anton (XD)
Priority should be a "strategic budget for what we want to be" and to increase the capacity to generate income, to see how to manage municipal assets. There are numerous examples of how other municipalities can do this, and Anton mentioned the case of the enhancement of a mill and its tourist use in a town near Valencia. The XD is also committed to austerity, but with discretion, considering first what we want and where we are, and conducting a financial and management audit "with common sense and not to political judgement."

Q: When you are Mayor, will you reduce your salary ? And how many grace and favour positions will you have?**

Juan Carlos Ortín (UCID)
The salary "there will not be as now" And grace and favour jobs will be what they will be, neither more nor less. " I would not take the salary they are having now and minimum grace and favour jobs"

Jaume Ivorra (ERPV)
Believed that wages should be regulated by les Corts or a higher stratum, and that a 3.000€ salary is more than worthy for a mayor. As for grace and favour jobs, this would be assessed with external technical advice and in a timely manner as necessary.

Vicent Chorro (Centrist Bloc-)
Noted that salaries are bounded by the recommendations of the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces. But believes that the payroll of each Councillor should be respected before entering public service. He also considers that the grace and favour jobs there were (as in Fiestas and press) was already very fair and believed that any other group would increase their number.

José Chulvi (PSPV)
The recommendations of the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces must be followed, and then reduced. As for grace and favour jobs, it is vital to first have "confidence in the office", and backed optimising the technicians we already had in the Town Hall to be those who did the assessment. He also disagreed with hiring external expertise.

Juan Planelles (NJ)
The mayor and the different political positions cannot be salaried equivalent to in private enterprise, and clarified that the key is in austerity and common sense. Also, NJ believes that 3.000€ it is a decent salary for a mayor, and that the number of grace and favour positions must be minimized.

Oscar Anton (XD)
Also believed that 3.000€ is fit for a mayor, although the "mayor's salary has to depend on the capacity of the mayor". i.e. you have to assess the ability of the mayor to generate resources in the municipality. In terms of grace and favour jobs, Anton justified these because process to contract new municipal employees is difficult and slow, but believes that these positions should provide a service to all parties.

Juan José Castelló (PP)
The salary of the Mayor should be less than what is now perceived and has to be a reflection of social reality, which is very bad, and committed to austerity, transparency and a 25% reduction in grace and favour jobs.

  • It should be noted that the salaries of other councillors are determined by the pay of the mayor.

Q:Why do you think that you should be mayor?**

Jaume Ivorra (ERPV)
Any person who has enthusiasm and the desire to work can be mayor, the problem is to have a good team, good ideas and to engage people in the entire municipal budget of investments. The important thing is not the mayor's personal assessment, but how things are done, and in this sense ERPV opts for citizen participation and new technologies.

Vicent Chorro (Centrist Bloc-)
Defended Eduardo Monfort's position, "Which is honest, hardworking and has long been dedicated to politics," making him one of the people "best prepared in Xàbia to face up to position of mayor."

José Chulvi (PSPV)
It is not an individual, but a group of people that form the candidature and the project for the next four years. "Xàbia needs a positive change which our candidacy can handle" because it has "a team of highly qualified people" He affirmed that their work in opposition in defence of general rights is a sample of their work.

Juan Planelles (NJ)
The best mayor is the one chosen by the people of Xàbia. But the leading team can carry out "a profound change" without neglecting the work of other teams and taking into account all the citizens of Jávea.

Oscar Anton (XD)
Explained that only he represents a team in which everything is voted on, and which seeks to transfer that momentum to the Town Hall to make the citizen participatory. "We must make contact with the public" and that can only be achieved with citizen participation. There are many different formulas to get the people to take part in political decisions.

Juan José Castelló (PP)
Justified his candidacy "because I have a lot of hope. Because I have wanted to work hard for Jávea, because I have come from the private world, I have a project for Jávea, to improve employment and preserve the richness of the environment, because I want to work together and with consensus."

Juan Carlos Ortín (UCID)
Referred to the initials of his party, "We are all one, we are all citizens". His group will provide good management, with more services, more security, environmental care, and its election manifesto would be released on day 6, when people would see the clear ideas and skilled team.

Ed's note Grace and favour jobs*: The incoming executive is allowed to appoint people from its party list to jobs within the town hall. These translate as "positions of trust", but as this has another meaning in English, I have used the term "grace and favour jobs"

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