Vieques Municipal Finances

January 26, 2016 1 comment

Gypsy García Córdova is the President of the Vieques City Council.  Today, January 26, 2016, he made some declarations regarding the town’s financial condition in attention to a newspaper article recently published on the subject.

Here is the unedited statement which he made available in English and which I reproduce unedited and with his permission.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

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STATEMENT BY MR. GYPSY GARCÍA CÓRDOVA

“Referring to today’s publication in which the Mayor Emeric makes tax issues dire warnings, I would like to clarify some points which I refer ahead.

“The Municipality of Vieques closed its fiscal year in surplus in the last three years, duly certified by the Comptroller’s Office.

“Currently the Municipality of Vieques ended an accumulated debt of $ 6 million dragging of the past 15 years, today January 2016 the accumulated debt is $ 0.00

“By order of Law under the leadership of former Governor Sila Calderon (2001) an annual subsidy of about $3 million for Vieques, that due to the government’s fiscal crisis have not met with Vieques, as yet they have not made many citizens with their tax refunds. Therefore, a municipality of Vieques being limited financial resources, this situation could affect the continuity of work of many employees.

“That said, it does not mean under any circumstances mismanagement of finance, overdraft or the proposed annual budget of the municipality that is still in effect until 30 / June / 2016.

“The administration and its Mayor Mr. Victor Emeric, has been very diligent and responsible with its economy and fiscal health. In fact, due to the strong media pressure the central government will make a partial payment to the Municipality to ensure employee payroll this week, as it undertook to identify funds as soon continuity.

Thanks,

Gypsy I. Garcia Cordova
President Legislature Vieques

Categories: News

Celebrating Vieques – An invitation

January 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Please read the invitation below which I forward on behalf of the Vieques Conservation and Historial Trust.  If you want more information about the dinner or would like to attend, please call 787-741-8850 or send an e-mail to viequesconservationtrust@gmail.com or visit the website www.vcht.org for more information.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

 

Dear Members and Friends:
The annual Trust dinner, “Celebrating Vieques”, is being held at El Blok on Saturday, February 6, at 6:00 P.M. This is a major fund-raising event. Your generous support is needed and appreciated.
This year, the Trust will honor three persons who have made exceptional contributions to our community and our mission:
Ellen Parker – Trust Volunteer Award
Eva Bolivar – MANTA Volunteer Award
Barbara Hyland – Jade Condor Award
Please join us on February 6 to celebrate the Trust and the contributions of these individuals.
 
 
Estimados miembros y amigos:
La cena anual del Fideicomiso, “Celebrando a Vieques”, se llevará a cabo en El Blok el sábado 6 de febrero a las 6:00 P.M. Este es un importante evento de recaudación de fondos. Su apoyo generoso será grandemente apreciado:
Este año el Fideicomiso horará a tres personas que han contribuido excepcionalmente con nuestra comunidad y nuestra misión:
Ellen Parker – Reconocimiento como Voluntaria del Fideicomiso
Eva Bolivar – Reconocimiento como Voluntaria de MANTA
Barbara Hyland – Condor de Jade
Acompáñenos el 6 de febrero a celebrar el Fideicomiso y a estas personas y sus contribuciones.

Categories: Uncategorized

“The Christmas Song” beautifully performed

December 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Carlos Day is a musician born in Buffalo to Puerto Rican parents
  He (of course) considers himself Boricua.

Carlos has been recording videos on his abilities as a musician.  He plays the guitar, the bass, can play congas and the piano;  but his two most amazing abilities in my opinion (and I am not a musician), are the trumpet and his fabulous voice.

Carlos recently distributed through Facebook his lively performance of a classic known and enjoyed by all across all ethnical and religious backgrounds.

Hence, here it is from Carlos Day (and me) wishing HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all!!!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153823576809540&id=562119539

Categories: Uncategorized

10 years in Vieques – Just wanted to thank you

December 14, 2015 1 comment

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of my first business trip to Vieques. 
Sunday, March 15, 2005 was that day.  The Bravos Beach Hotel and Bananas was where I held my first meetings. 

The fact that I was doing these meetings while wearing Bermuda shorts and on a Sunday, had a significance I fully did not comprehend at the time.  Nevertheless, by the end of the year I was completely sumerge in learning about and understanding the legal issues all lawyers study while in law school, but only a few enjoy the opportunity of practicing with in real life.

And I have to say that I have never looked back!

Working in Vieques has been a blessing.  It is challenging but fun: sometimes gruesome but always rewarding: almost never disappointed, but certainly always satisfied with another well done closing, or another title fully recorded or all kinds of legal work completed.

I began this blog in 2007, July to be specific.   Many of you have been with me since the beginning;  but newcomer or not, I am thankful for your follow and for everything you do to keep us enjoying our relationship with La Isla Nena.

We all wish you the best always, and I hope to see you soon in Vieques.  I will be around and I hope you are too.

With much appreciation,

Santiago F. Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized

New Website and New Blog – Subscribe Please

December 10, 2015 Leave a comment

With the help of a company called Studio98 I have created a new webiste for my law firm Lampón & Associate.  You may access the site through the http://www.PuertoRicoLegalBlog.com or the http://www.LamponLaw.com domain names.

In the Puerto Rico Legal Blog site I have also incorporated a blog dealing with general real estate, business and inheritance law issues particular to Puerto Rico.  This has been my baby project for the last few months and it is now just about done.

This blog dealing exclusively with Vieques will continue.  As a matter of fact, our presence in Vieques has increased during the last two years, to the point that I have added another lawyer to our team.  Ms. Limarie Mendez is now a full time member of L&A and, together with and under the direct supervision of lawyer Hildamar Rodríguez, is leading the effort of keeping up with the increasing demand for services emanating out of Vieques.

The blog I have incorporated into the Puerto Rico Legal Blog website is free and I would like you to go, visit it and read some of the articles.  If you like it, you are invited to subscribe for free.

I want to clarify that the articles I publish at Puerto Rico Legal Blog will not be published within this Vieques Law Blog.  Also, the articles I publish here will not be published in the other blog to avoid duplicative notifications.

As a final note, I am always looking for ideas for articles I may publish.  Please let me know through a comment below or an e-mail, about any idea you may have for an article.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized

MONTE CARMELO – October 2015 Important Update

October 22, 2015 3 comments

I have been working with Monte Carmelo in Vieques for many years.  The same goes for Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston.  While all three areas overall share similar backgrounds, circumstances and issues, Monte Carmelo has always demonstrated to be a breed of its own.  Monte Carmelo has always been seen as the “black sheep” of the family.

Apparently, all that is about to change very rapidly.

The Puerto Rico Housing Department (“PRHD”) is in charge of Monte Carmelo.  Historically, PRHD was also responsible for Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston, until the Municipality of Vieques acquired all the rights over those two areas.  Monte Carmelo remained with the PRHD.

The Municipality of Vieques has always been more effective in moving the title process forward, with many titles having been recognized in both Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston.  Since 2008 my law firm has been involved in many transactions for both these areas, many of them already completed at the Puerto Rico Property Registry.  In the event you are wondering, by “completed” I mean: “the title formally reviewed, accepted and recorded as final by the Puerto Rico Property Registry.”

That has not been the case for Monte Carmelo, mostly because PRHD could not get its act together.

Nevertheless, for the past few months the PRHD has been actively pursuing the required information to complete closings which would result in completed titles.  While bureaucracy always plays a part when working with most government agencies, PRHD is becoming increasingly effective at managing their resources and may be on the verge of granting the first series of titles in Monte Carmelo.

The first titles to come through would be those for permanent residents of Vieques.  These has been the category of transactions that PRHD has been (reportedly) focusing on.  Nevertheless, just a couple of months ago, we were able to finally create the correct environment for other categories of properties and applicants to be considered and accordingly began some motion forward.  The category which is now moving to the front of the line, are those properties which are currently being used for residential purposes regardless if the person is a permanent resident or not.

I believe PRHD is moving in the correct direction.  While I wish they would do so at a much faster pace, it appears that we are headed into a very busy Christmas Season.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on the above.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Title Clearing in Puerto Rico – A brief introduction

October 21, 2015 Leave a comment

I recently had the grateful experience of meeting and helping key executives of one of the biggest and most successful title clearing companies in the United States.  They have a series of clients that have entered the Puerto Rico market, which in turn have placed them in the unexpected but also interesting position of having to become trained in how the title clearing process works in Puerto Rico.

Now, title clearing for us has two variables.  On the one hand, is the task of making sure that a title is in perfect condition to be properly and securely transferred to a new owner.  This also means that the registration of the title is such, that the property can be successfully used to as a guarantee for a loan.  The other face of this coin, is the clearing of the title after a loan has been paid of completely.  This action is what nowadays I am referring to as the “lien release” process.

In Puerto Rico we use other expressions or names to refer to this two actions.

When dealing with a title that is not clear, the action of “clearing” the title we refer to it in Spanish as “cleaning” the title or “título limpio.”  On the other hand, when we are referring to releasing a property form a lien, we referred to it as “freeing” the property which is the translation from the Spanish “liberando” which means “setting free.”

In sum, we may become confused by different words or by becoming lost in translation.  Nevertheless, at the end of the road the end result we can deliver to you is the same; we may just need to reference some dictionaries along the way.

Very truly yours,

Santiago F. Lampón

Categories: Uncategorized
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