In March of this year, Carlos Tarife (PP) began to assume the powers of the Public Services area, leaving behind those of Urbanism, which passed into the hands of his party colleague Guillermo Díaz Guerra. He admits that the change of functions has been an “impact”, coming from a more technical area, given the large number of services to manage and that, in aspects such as cleaning, there may be a perception that it is not as good as could be. However, he assures that “with the new contract for parks and gardens, although it seems that it has nothing to do with it, that perception is going to improve.” Tarife defends the need to raise water prices and believes that, if he cannot do so, he should “compensate” Emmasa to protect its viability.
-Seven months have passed since he joined Public Services. What balance does it make?
“I have to say that it is a brutal impact. Accustomed to being in a more technical area such as Urban Planning, managing everything that has to do with sanitation, asphalt, lighting, parks and gardens, cleaning and Emmasa is, without a doubt, a great challenge. I can say that I am satisfied because we are doing things and it is being noticed on the street, but also with ideas for the future”.
“We have already started talking about a new pavement plan. We have a problem, which is more noticeable when you asphalt, and that is that we have some sidewalks that have up to seven or eight different colors. Looking to the future, we have to plan a change in the pavement of the city, where, in addition, the technicians consider that there should be five models, one for each district, which will give the city a different look”.
-That plan would also involve widening sidewalks?
“Even not only widen sidewalks, but make many single-platform streets, in the style of Imeldo Serís, and that La Rosa will also have, where accessibility is 100%.”
How is the paving plan going?
“We are on schedule, I think the deadlines will be met and by the end of February everything will be finished. Some action has even been delayed, such as the paving of the main streets of García Sanabria, until after Plenilunio”.
-Speaking of Garcia Sanabria. Does Santa Cruz have a problem with its trees?
“It is true that we have been surprised that, without wind, they fall, but it is also true that we are talking about many trees having an age. Given this situation, with the latest rains, what we have done is to give a period of 48 hours, from the end of the alarm, to see the reaction of the tree. From what the technicians tell us, since it stops raining and it reaches an average of 23 degrees again, we are in a critical period where branches can fall; That’s why, when the alert ended on Monday, we waited until Wednesday to open the parks. We don’t have a problem, but obviously the new contract improves two things, the Palmetum and the García Sanabria, which will have their own teams, and the revision of the trees, which used to be done every two years, and will now be annual”.
-The agreement with Sacyr and the rise in water rates is another of the issues you have addressed. Where is that file?
“We have already signed the return of the canon in the board of directors. As of December 31 of this year, the first payment will be 3.3 million and so on until 2031”.
-How is the negotiation of the works going?
“We are talking about three that are going to help us achieve zero discharge by 2025. One is already underway, which is Igueste de San Andrés, which will be completed at the end of October. The only thing missing is the work inside the sea, and it is waiting for it to be calmer. The others are Taganana, San Andrés and the canalization of Añaza with Acorán. There are 8.2 million that Sacyr also finances, and at the end of the year we will be in a position to present the water channeling works that will be around 40 million”.
-An agreement that is linked to the increase in rates…
“It’s a good deal for Santa Cruz. As for rates, since 2012 the water rate has not been raised. Emmasa’s economic situation forces us to this increase. Only in desalination have the expenses derived from the increase in the electricity bill multiplied and, aside from that, we are in one of the assumptions of the specifications”.
-And in case the increase is denied, at what point is the agreement?
“We would have to sit down within the water monitoring commission and see how we solve it. From my point of view, the solution would be that, with the City Council’s own money, Emmasa’s economic situation would be compensated, that is, to go to a compensation system that has already been used on other occasions”.
-Another of the workhorses in your area is cleaning. The perception of many neighbors is that things are not being done well…
“After the justice spoke, because we must remember that some parties and companies denounced the adjudication, and the justice agreed with the technicians, we have to work with this company and clean up the city. What we do are meetings practically every week to study improvements. I understand part of the perception of dirt in some places, but that is also mixed with the other contract, that of Parks and Gardens”.
-What do you mean?
“Because until now, if a flower bed was full of cigarette butts, Valoriza cleans it from the flower bed outside, and inside Parks and Gardens, but until now the staff had no obligation to do so, and with the new contract, yes. So I think the perception of cleanliness is going to improve. Washdowns have also been improved, which were done without removing the vehicles. It has returned to the old system and it has improved. In addition, the cleaning of the containers has been reinforced and the equipment collection system, which was overwhelmed, has been changed.
-Will you finally be the PP candidate for mayor?
“I am calm, working as a group to improve the city, I do not hide that it is a dream to be a candidate, but I respect the times and deadlines of the party, which will communicate it when appropriate. Both the regional president, Manolo Domínguez, and the island president, Emilio Navarro, know that I play as a team, so that, if the candidacy arrives, it will be welcome, and if not, I will not raise any problem, I have always been a loyal person And my loyalty is bombproof.