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Mayor Palacios moves quickly to reorganize city government with an emphasis on efficiency

Following through on a campaign pledge to upgrade efficiency of Cuenca’s publicly owned utilities and service companies, new Mayor Pedro Palacios has appointed five managers with experience in private business.

Mayor Pedro Palacios

“I am looking for leaders with experience outside of the public sphere,” he said Thursday, discussing his new city hires. “We need specialists who have experience working under conditions that demand efficiency and adherence to timelines. We need new ways of approaching the delivery of services to public customers.”

Palacios also emphasized the need for publicly owned companies and city office to provide more efficient assistance to businesses. “Traditionally, entrepreneurs have faced an indifferent and sometimes unfriendly environment at city offices when they seek permissions and permitting to pursue work that would provide economic benefits to the community. We need to change that atmosphere.”

Palacios named José Luis Espinoza to head the city’s largest public company, ETAPA, and said Espinoza faces a “high challenge” in improving the utility provider’s organization. In 2018, ETAPA reported a $50 million loss. “The main objectives for the organization are streamlining financial services and labor management systems and ultimately improving the bottom line,” Palacios said.

Espinoza was a colleague of Palacios at Cuenca appliance manufacturer Indurama.

The mayor also appointed new directors to the city’s telecommunictions, traffic control and marketing departments in his first full day in office.

In other actions, Palacios announced the reorganization of several city servicds. Among the changes, the traffic control agency EMOV is being moved from public transportation to the municipal traffic department.

Palacios said he will make several more appointments over the weekend and early next week.