Local September 9, 2014 | 11:56 am

Officials have let the capital become a morass: Mayoral candidate

Santo Domingo.- improvisation, lack of rule from municipal officials who allow its streets to be dug up and food stands or bars set up under any overpass or on sidewalks in every corner, hobble Dominican Republic’s capital.

"We have a model of sporadic intervention in relation to public spaces and control over urban zoning," said Domingo Contreras, former general secretary of the National District City Council.

As a result, Contreras said Santo Domingo has become a city without environmental foundations, exposed to multiple diseases, due to deficits in the pluvial drainage, polluted underground waters and its creek beds converted into sewers and waste dumps. "This city has to reconvene to define the path it’s going to take."

He proposes more citizen engagement to solve urban problems, by decentralizing the City Council’s functions, through a position which could be called the City Regent. "It’s a figure of authority at the service of the community, working with neighborhoods to prevent any street being dug up and left without being fixed."

"There’s no way to solve the problems the way it’s being managed," he warned. "For example, from three in the afternoon Friday until 9am Monday the city is on auto-pilot without any municipal supervision, without any authority."

"We have a serious problem with the exercise of authority in the territory, Contreras said, this must be accompanied by an education program on respect for pedestrians of the city, waste recycling and respect of the traffic law.”

Green fund

Contreras, who seeks to become the capital’s mayor, said it’s essential to create a "Green Fund" for Santo Domingo, which guarantees the resources for the action it requires. “It’s not acceptable that construction companies continue to pay 200 pesos for every apartment they build.”

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