A year ago, the Bigastro town council was turned upside down by the resignation of the previous mayor, José Joaquín Moya. who had been in office for 25 years. At the time, Moya was in gaol whilst investigations were being carried out regarding allegations made against him by the opposition party.
One year on, the new mayor, Raúl Valerio Medina, sums up his first year of office in an article printed in the newspaper Informacion.
In the article the mayor says that his main objective for his first year in office was to restore calm and normality to the town, to put the past behind and look to the future.
Valerio goes on to deny that he has had to work under the shadow of the previous mayor; an accusation levelled at him by the PP. The new mayor says that, although he has received a lot of help from the previous councillors, he has been able to work independently. The decisions he has made have not been based on the past but on what he sees as the future for the town.
The mayor continues by explaining that Bigastro’s economic situation is complicated. When asked whether the financial situation was worse now than under Moya, Valerio says that the new administration faces more problems than the previous one did. He adds that it has been difficult making payments to suppliers and that many of these have had to be postponed. However, the mayor assures us that everything has been dealt with in a scrupulous manner.
With regards to city planning issues, Valerio says that two of the previous decisions made in the General Plans for 2006 and 2007 have had to be annulled or at least modified. In particular he refers to Modification 6 and 6A in the plan for Sector D-6 related to the number of floors allowed in buildings. He adds that the council now have more open discussions about these matters with the Conselleria de Urbanismo than before.
Of the future, the mayor says that they will continue working with cool heads; making decisions, responding to the political tensions they face and the accusations levelled at them. In his opinion, people have already seen that the council now works in a very different fashion to before. The main thing, as far as Valerio is concerned, is to demonstrate that the council values the people of the town.
Finally when asked whether he would be standing for office at the next election, Valerio said he would. He feels that he has been able to demonstrate a change from the previous administration and hopes that the people of Bigastro will want him to continue representing them.
In my opinion, Raúl Valerio Medina has brought a much needed breath of fresh air to the town. Even at the time of the last election, I felt that Moya’s 25 years in office was too long and the town needed a change. Whether the accusations made by the opposition against him were true or false didn’t matter, the fact that they had been made was sufficient to warrant a change of direction and that is what we have seen.
It can’t have been easy taking over from someone who had such long standing roots in the town especially in the midst of an economic crisis. The fact that Valerio has managed to restore calm in such a short period is a great tribute to his nature as a person and his political ability. My only gripe is that he too handsome; those of who are not blessed with his good looks can only look upon him with envy!