All posts by Bob Schultz

The March 31st gathering of the Knights of Cortes

The three hundred twenty sixth meeting of the Knights of Cortez took place on March 31, 2021.  Chef Roger Martin opened the Casa Martin Restaurant especially for us. It is located inside the El Nido B & B, which is owned by Sir Gary Morton.

The meeting was called to order by Sir Bob Schultz at 8:15 AM.  In attendance were a total of 38 persons,  18 members and 16 guests, 10 of whom, with the assistance of Sandra Berry and Marilyn Plank,  were members of the Ladies Tomatoes Social group. The additional guest consisted of those noted below.

BAJA SUR GOVERNOR CANDIDATE:

PANCHO PELAYO

&

DISTRICT ONE DEPUTY CANDIDATE:

EDA MARIAPALACIOS MARQUEZ

Along with their respective team members consisting of Luis Aragon and Sergio Perez for the Governor Candidate and Gabriella Palacios Marquez, and Arturo Osunam for the District 1 Deputy’s team. The guests for today’s meeting were arranged for by the Coordinators of the Foreign Community in Los Cabo, Nohemi Romero, and Enrique Gonzalez.

We had encouraged each member to bring your spouse, significant other as well as any friends or neighbors who may have an interest in the future of Baja Sur and our community.

Both candidates where introduced by Nohemi Romero who, with the able assistance of Sir Sergio Gonzales, translated the proceedings for the non-Spanish speaking attendees. Each Candidate’s qualifications and past political experience were presented by way of an English language version of their personal political power point presentation.

Following these presentation, both candidates spoke of their visi0on for the future of the Baja Sur and Cabo in general.  It was noted that Cabo is now the leading and most wealth municipality in Mexico and contributes 85% of the total Mexican Federal budget.

Following was a q& A period. Sir Davis Larson spoke of the advancements already taking place in the Baja Sur especially in the areas of online administration. He further mentioned the need to address the major growth taking place especially in the El Tazel area of Cabo. Water, sewer and CFE electrical shortages would appear to be far behind the growth that is taking place.   

Sir Sergio Gonzalez also mentioned that even though the Cabo San Lucas area produced more than 60 % of the Baja Sur revenues sent to Mexico City, the area seems lacking in being provided a full returning share of money for improvements.  He stated that a disproportionate amount of tax money is returned to LA Paz and San Jose, while Cabo trails badly in the mix.

Sir Bob Schultz spoke of the need for the expat community to be heard by the local and state government.  He noted that although many of the expat community may be unable to vote, they do vote by investing a great deal of money into the community.

At the conclusion of his comments, Sir Bob presented honorary membership in the Knights of Cortes  to each candidate anas well as Nohemi Romero and Enrique Gonzalez..  Sir Bob asked that when the candidates where elected, they might not forget us, but visit the members whenever they are in Cabo.  Pancho Pelayo promised the membership that that would in fact be the case.

At the conclusion of the formal meeting of the Knights of Cortes, breakfast was served while several one-on-one conversation took place.  At 10:40 AM, Sir Bob formally called the meeting concluded.

BREAKFAST mEETING MARCH 17, 2021

Breakfast Meeting of the Knights of Cortes

March 17, 2021

Today was the three hundred twenty-fifth gathering of the Knight’s of Cortes breakfast group. The meeting was held at the Villa Serena Restaurant. Moderator Robert Schultz, called the meeting to order at 8:20 AM.

Attending were eighteen members and eight guests.  The meeting featured a guest speaker. This morning was a “TOWN HALL” type meeting allowing our members and invited guests to meet the possible PAN Candidate for Mayor of San Jose Del Cabo:

Profesora Lupita Saldana

Campaigning is not allowed in Mexico’s election process until April, so Sr. Saldana expressed her desire to hear from us, the locals…the ExPATS community about what our concerns are. We asked those attending to come prepared to suggest possible concerns and  actions that the municipal government might undertake to make Cabo a better place to live.

Questions ran the full gambit of concerns with water once again being one of the primary reoccurring issues. Srt. Saldania noted that as a currently seated Senator in Mexico City, she has repeatedly attempted to address the needs for water infrastructure improvements.  She contends that the current administration has in place, non-qualified political appointees in management positions within the water department.  

She further noted that this seems to be the problem within several other departments as well.  They are being managed by individuals who are less than qualified. She promised if elected, to replace these individuals with engineers and others who have the needed education and firsthand knowledge and capability to properly manage the problems within several departments.

Additional concerns included zoning and what appears to be a lack of enforcement of the laws regarding Highrise buildings which hare blocking of views by new construction.  Ms Saldania noted that there is a Master Plan that was put into place almost 10 years ago and that she will work diligently to enforce the guidelines established by that civil engineering master plan.

The question of planned project was brought forth.  During our meeting with City Engineers two weeks earlier, they noted five priority project that the current administration wanted to see undertaken.  

The question was brought forth as to why, in as much the Cabo San Lucas area of the City,  which accounts for more than 55% of the total population and 65 % of the Tax revenues, yet only one of the five projects would be to benefit Cabo San Lucas and the other four would be placed with San Jose portion of the city.  

The question was “When will Cabo begin to get it’s fair share of the improvements.  Sr. Saladia referred back to the water and highway situation being largely a Cabo rea improvement

The meeting concluded at 10:45 AM with the awarding of Sr. Saldania with an “Honorary Membership” to the Knights of Cortes, as Lady Lupita Saldania.

Knights of Cortez Meeting of March 3, 2021

The three hundred twenty fourth meeting of the Knights of Cortez took place on March 3, 2021 at the New Cabo Bakery located inside the Pioneer Plaza.  The meeting was called to order by Sir Bob at 8:05 AM.  In attendance were 18 members and one guest, along with four members of the Municipal Government.

Thanks to the efforts of Sir Alex Tapia, we were honored with the attendance of several of the high-ranking officials of the Los Cabos Municipal planning and works department.  Included in the group were the Director of Public works, Arch. Rogelio Magaña, the Municipal Síndico lawyer Alejandro Fernandez Briseño and the Director of Human Settlements in the Municipality Eng. Erasmo Castañeda Alvarez; 

They, along with Arch. Rogelio shared with us the projected plans for several of the future projects that our community needs to provide greater diversity and added cultural aspects to our community. These are projected projects that will require broad support from all areas of the community with everyone cooperation and support. They brought with them a Large TV screen and computer that showed computer created videos of these projects.

Four projects in particular were highlighted in the meeting and can, along with other projects on the drawing boards, be viewed in greter detail at the Los Cabo City web site: https://www.Los Cabos.Gob.Mx 

1. A remodeling of the Central plaza at San José by adding an Arcade alongside the buildings E façade.  New landscape design utilizing various locally indigenous species. There currently is no existing landscape. A major change would be the relocation of current gazebo to the center of the area as well as adding a new fountains. 

2. A Marine Museum. This project would use the existing historical building at the N facade of the secondary plaza where Mi Casa Hotel is currently located at the E facade. 

3. Historical regional records building. This would be a facility where all records would be available to public.  They would be digitalize. Also this facility would be used for a career training area for office space for the curators of the data. 

4. A multiuse Theater, seating 700 people as part of the cultural upgrade for Cabo residents. It would require the demolition of the existing poor plan construction that exist in the current Cultural Center site.           

A question regarding water issue was raised a member.   Arch. Rogelio Magaña replied in general as follows.

The City has 12 wells within the potable water system.  Currently, only 6 are functioning and providing usable water.  He advised that he has personally gone to Mexico City in an attempt to acquire funds to repair the 6 unused wells, but to no avail.  It would appear that the Federal Government which controls the OMSTAPA has embarked upon a project creating another Desalination plant first.

Legislators greenlighted a public-private partnership contract for the 3.9bn-peso desalination plant in Los Cabos municipality and the 1.3bn-peso improvement of the water distribution system in Cabo San Lucas city, congress said in a statement on Thursday. 

The plant was estimated to cost US$50mn, but authorities updated the amount to around US$178mn, without providing a reason for the increase. Also, the original proposal did not include the water distribution improvement. 

 Completion of this project is projected to take approximately 2-3 years for completion.  In the meantime, a moratorium on NEW hotel, condominium and apartment planning or approval is in place.  Several large projects have already been approved, waiting for construction to begin.  These will be allowed to be built as they had been approved prior to the moratorium being put into place.

Bottom line?  We will be experiencing much larger water shortages over the next two years as smaller condominium, apartment and new home construction continues to grow rapidly.

Following breakfast services and some small group conversation, the meeting was closed at 10:40 AM.

The next breakfast meeting of the Knights of Cortez will take place on March 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM and once again at the New Cabo Bakery. Please RSVP your intentions when you receive the Evite.  Due to the governments  COVID 19 requirement placed on the restaurant, Please, we can not accept a “maybe” response.

knights of cortez meeting february 24, 2021

MEETING OF WEDNESDAY, FEBURARY 24, 2021

Following aa long stretch of enjoyable breakfast meetings at La Herato Farm to Table Restaurant, our meeting was called to order at 8:05 Am by Sir Bob.  We convened  our meeting at Marco’s   new Cabo Bakery Cochina which is located within the Pioneer Mall near downtown Cabo San Lucas. Even with many members absent due to the Covid 19 restrictions, we had a good turnout of 18 members and two guests.

This was our 323rd gathering and considering the Covid 19 pandemic situation, the meeting was well attended.  Several of our regulars have yet to come down for the season, and it appears that our nearly all of our Canadian friends may have to forgo their annual pilgrimage all together. In addition, six of our regular members have returned to the US to receive their COVID-19 Vaccine inoculations while another 4 are just completing their 28-day hiatus between shots and will be returning to join us soon.  

To begin the meeting, Sir Bob discussed the upcoming Mexican elections and how they might affect the expat community.  It was suggested that we perhaps soften the rules regarding politics and attempt to bring some of the mayoral candidates to our meetings over the next two month.  It may be advantages for us to learn how we could leverage our numbers and gain some influence within the system.  

To that end, Sir Bob with the assistance of Sir Sergio Arroyo, will arrange for the PAN Party mayoral candidate to attend out meeting of March 17th.   Prior to that, we will arrange with the assistance of Sir Alex Tapia, to invite some of the current municipal managers who hold key municipal positions to learn how the local system functions and how we might become more effectively involved in the process.

Sir Jeff Hackstaff suggested that the Knights might better serve the community and become more personally involved in assisting one or two of the more needy nonprofit organization in the Cobo areas.   It was noted that Sir Dan DeCamp and his wife Pattie, are currently very active with Feeding Los Cabo Kids, who currently have fully operational, 14 local kitchens in the Cabo and the San Jose community feeding in excess of 1400 meals to the needy every day.  

Sir Jeff will look into ways in which we might be able to raise some funds to assist that organization, without engaging in a large gathering. Again COVID-19 restrictions offer greater challenges in fund raising at  a time when the need is even greater.

The next meeting of the Knights of Cortez is scheduled for March 4, 2021 and will once again be at the Cabo Bakery Cocina, commencing at 8 :00 AM. Please RSVP to the evite due to go out on Sunday, March 1, 2021. We hope you can attend, and please, bring a friend who you think might add to the quality of our meetings.  

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