Mayor Marcelo Cabrera handed over control of the Cuenca municipal government last night, admitting that his five-year term of mayor was the most difficult period of his 20 years of public service.
“My term began with the inheritance of the tram and that dominated my time in office,” Cabrera says. “I had some objections in the beginning but the project was irreversible when I became mayor and had to be completed. I am relieved that it is finally in operation and that it will soon open to the public.”
He added: “I am happy to say that it will no longer ruin my day.”
In his last official act on Tuesday, Cabrera inaugurated the $100 milion-plus Tixán potable water plant. “In any other mayorship, this would have been the crowning achievement. Cuenca has the best drinking water in South America and I am proud to help perpetuate the reputation. Tixán assures that the people of Cuenca will have good water for decades to come.”
Cabrera says he is also proud of the expansion of the city park system during his years in office. Shortly after he became mayor, the United Nations reported that Cuenca had a per capita deficit of green space. “Since then, we have gone from 3.5 to 9.1 square meters of green area per inhabitant with the addition of new parks,” he said. “Today, we are well above average in green areas.”
The outgoing mayor also expressed pride in building 600 low-income homes. “I hoped to build 5,000 but I came to office at the time oil prices collapsed and the money promised from the central government was never delivered,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera said he looks forward to spending time with his a family and paying attention to his health. “Many things are neglected when you are in public service and now I will have time for some of them.”