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TSE Pays Thousands of Dollars in Rent While Still Owing Rent to Municipality
Tribunal Waits for Invoices from the Municipality to Pay Off Debt
Mayor Says They Breached Their Contract 

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo      

Photo by Oliver Perez
The new office for the Supreme Election Court in Nicoya

Starting this year, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE- Electoral Supreme Court) will pay 1,332,000 colones ($2,664) per month in rent for the offices of the regional branch in Nicoya.

The difference represents a greater expense since the TSE will pay approximately 39 times more than the previous amount of 35,000 colones ($70) monthly that the municipality charged for use of the location in the Municipal Market.

Since 1990, a contractual commitment existed between the two parties; however during part of this period the Tribunal came to owe more than eight years to the municipality for the lease, a debt that expired, according to the TSE, because the municipality never presented invoices to make payment of the debt.

Currently, the Tribunal still owes the municipality the entire payment corresponding to the months of 2012.

The reason the TSE alleges for not paying these months isn’t lack of resources on behalf of the institution but rather that the Ministry of Finance requires them to present detailed invoices regarding rent payments.

Francisco Rodriguez, executive director of the TSE, explained, “The Ministry of Finance tells us that we should present stamped invoices with the rent detail.”

In addition, Rodriguez indicated that the last receipt that the municipality gave them was in 2011 for an amount of 408,000 colones ($816), which corresponded to payment of all of that year, so they still have to pay for the months of 2012.  

Marcos Jimenez, municipal mayor, explained that the TSE “breached the contract (for the lease of the premises) due to inefficiency and poor administrative management.

Jimenez manifested that “they still owe us. They were billed and never paid,” so for him it was better that they vacate the property.

For his part, Rodriguez recognized that the previous amount of 35,000 colones ($70) was symbolic since as the years passed it wasn’t up to date and didn’t represent the real value of the property. 

However, he clarified that they have the budget to pay the debt to the municipality and that they are willing to do so, whenever they submit the corresponding receipts.

In addition, the chief complained of the structural conditions of the previous municipal location. He assured that in winter “the water filtered in” and it lacked space. 

Rodriguez also added that before deciding to move to the new property, they performed a market study and the location that fulfilled the requirements was the building of Fued Ayales.  He pointed out that it has parking, sufficient space, sanitary bathrooms and that they will soon install air conditioning units.

The regional branch is now located 200 meters north of the Municipal Market and the hours of service are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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Caja Intervenes at Nicoya Hospital for Administrative Mismanagement

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Ticos in the United States: Living the American Dream Has Its Price

We walk from the train station toward a Guatemalan restaurant where we decide to have breakfast. It’s 11 a.m. on a summer day in August, a little late to be eating the first meal of the day, but Sandra, Miguel and Robert requested the day off of work to be with us, and they decided that before opening the doors to their private life, we should get to know each other briefly.

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of December stories you might have missed.

Requesting Permission to Build Will Only Take 30 Days

In general, those who have taken the steps to build a house have had to exercise patience since the process of obtaining all the permits has taken from several months to a year or more in some cases.

Nicoyans Speak Out Against Planting Transgenic Corn in Guanacaste

Guanacaste cantons, like Abangares and Nicoya, are fighting to remain free of transgenic corn now that the company Delta and Pine is looking to plant modified international Monsanto seeds in the canton of Abangares. The controversy will be delayed until the end of February since the State National Biosecurity Commission requested more information about the product. 

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