The Ministry of Local Government responds to the San Jose Succotz’s Village Council
The Ministry of Local Government has responded to the San Jose Succotz’s Village Council and says that the government’s proposed demarcation of the village is a legal and mandatory process. Over the weekend, villagers of the western community held a public meeting to express their discontent with GOB’s decision to possibly redefine the boundaries of their community. The exercise, according to the Ministry, took root following Cabinet’s decision in July 2021 to complete the Municipal Boundaries Re-Delineation Exercise that began in 2012. The venture, which involves seven of the nine municipalities, seeks to redefine the municipal jurisdiction of the respective communities where no readily distinguishable boundaries or where traditional boundary lines are not definitive. The Ministry says that in the case of the Benque Viejo Town boundaries, two meetings between the Benque Viejo Town Council and the Succotz Village Council have been convened to review the proposed re-delineation of the Benque Viejo Town boundary. The most recent meeting was held on December 19, 2022, where the Succotz Village Council was represented by the chairperson and three councillors. At this meeting, it was determined, based on the dialogue between the two parties, that the proposed delineation be revisited and re-proposed in consideration that all lands, dwellings, properties, and other public and private assets that are traditionally known to be a part of the respective communities remain as is and/or clearly delineated for the elimination of any doubt as to which jurisdiction they belong to. However, another meeting is yet to be convened to validate the revised proposition before the matter is to be taken for public review in both communities before its final confirmation. The Ministry says the exercise is important to provide the legal basis for the provision of municipal services, collection of revenue, municipal elections, enforcement of local regulations and by-laws, and the general good governance and administration of the local space. In addition, the ministry notes that under Section 2 of the Town Council Act, the Minister of Local Government is responsible for the declaration of municipal boundaries.