For his third term as mayor of Barranquilla, Alejandro Char assures that he is coming «more socially,» working closely with communities. The majority of the people in Barranquilla who voted chose him, and now he has the task of fulfilling their needs.
(Also Read: Live 2023 Elections: Alejandro Char, elected mayor of Barranquilla with 73.23%)
He has promised as a «priority» to guarantee the security of citizens who have been victims of crime, thefts, witnessed massacres, and lament that they can no longer sit on the terraces of their homes, as before, for fear of becoming targets of robbers.
Taking into account this and other aspects that are part of the local agenda, the civil engineer and former governor of Atlántico (2003-2004) has a series of projects in his government plan to meet the needs of the people of Barranquilla.
Security, a priority for Char
We will reach every corner of our city to eradicate crime
‘More citizen security. Permanent elite group in the city to live with tranquility’.
«We will request from the President of the Republic and the Minister of Defense the formation of an elite group, which will allow us to consolidate efforts to defeat organized crime: by land, by air, by river, and by sea. We will reach every corner of our city to eradicate crime and prevent armed groups operating in the region from affecting peaceful coexistence and development in the city,» reads his government plan.
Other proposals include providing universal and high-capacity internet free of charge, initially in strata 1 and 2 neighborhoods in Barranquilla through satellite technology, improving 20,000 homes in strata 1 and 2 neighborhoods in the city.
In addition, the expansion of access to decent and free housing in the city, modernizing the public transportation fleet, improving road infrastructure, and the creation of ‘Urisa,’ a new maternal and child hospital and a mental health hospital for the well-being of the people of Barranquilla.
Char announced the formation of an elite group for the city.
Vanexa Romero/El Tiempo
The other projects announced
They are three important projects that generate less violence, better quality of life, and more employment
‘Barranquilla, city of entrepreneurs and innovators! Putting Barranquilla on the global map of entrepreneurship requires strengthening and promoting the scaling of innovative experiences of individuals, micro and small companies that promote local development and the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the territory,» adds Char, 57 years old.
Other topics he addresses are: employment for young people, sports, culture, robotics centers, and early childhood development.
After learning the name of the elected mayor of the District of Barranquilla, the citizens reacted. One of them was the community leader of the Southwest locality, Jair Fals, who is confident that security will improve with the new administration.
«He comes with three major projects: one is the issue of security that we are experiencing in the city. Two, improvements in housing for low-income families. And three, he will invest heavily in sports. These are three important projects that generate less violence, better quality of life, and more employment,» says Fals.
Concerns about public finances
Meanwhile, economist Jairo Parada Corrales points out that Alejandro Char will have a «tremendous constraint» due to the public finances of a city whose debt is currently at 2.7 trillion pesos.
«He will encounter very serious fiscal limitations. Barranquilla is one of the most indebted cities in the country. He will have two alternatives: burden the citizens with new taxes or seek new indebtedness, which is difficult because the fiscal situation will not allow it,» says the academic.
The expert also takes into account that, in the city, there are committed future budget allocations until 2046 and gives an example of an approved agreement that commits resources of 354 billion pesos for a renewable energy project.
Transmetro on the Olaya Herrera trunk route.
Prensa Alcaldía Barranquilla
In addition to the concern about public debt, Jairo Parada focuses on one of Alejandro Char’s projects, ‘More and better mobility. A renewed, comfortable, and environmentally friendly public transportation system,’ and questions it.
«It is a political project that has been managing the city for four terms and is going for the fifth, and they have not been able to structure a serious proposal for mass transportation and what to do with Transmetro. These are vague proposals because they do not present a serious and clear mass transportation plan,» says the economist.
He also states that one of the programs that could be affected in this government plan, due to the current state of public finances, is the housing program. «There will be more speeches than resources,» considers Parada.
Statement from Protransparencia
In turn, the director of Protransparencia, Horacio Brieva Mariano, agrees with the economist and gives his considerations on the reality that the Alejandro Char´s Administration will face (2024 – 2027) for the execution of its Development Plan.
«A growing indebtedness, which will force prioritization of district public spending. Although revenues have increased in recent years, they are not limitless, and in addition, Barranquilla is one of the cities with the highest tax burden, so the margin for increasing collections is not elastic,» says the man.
(Also: Alejandro Char’s resounding victory in Barranquilla generates different reactions)
And he added that the next term is part of