Montes de Oca mayor tells employees to forget Christmas gifts

Santa Claus has clashed with anti-corruption policies in Montes de Oca.

The mayor, Fernando Trejos B., reminded municipal workers and the public Monday that soliciting informal Christmas bonuses is contrary to ethical rules.

There is a long tradition of municipal employees in Montes de Oca, which includes San Pedro, and other municipalities in the country, going house to house seeking Christmas cash.

The mayor on his statement said that sometimes the garbage truck drivers blow their horn to remind residents of their presence.

In fact, competing garbage crews have been known to poach into the territory of other crews. In addition, individuals appear claiming to have been cleaning the street all year.

A Montes de Oca directive says that the workers cannot ask for such presents. But the employee ethical manual says that they cannot receive them.

The mayor said that any public employees violating these rules will be subject to a disciplinary proceeding.

The mayor’s statements run counter to long tradition of giving presents of cash to trash collectors, street cleaners and others who handle the dirtier side of daily life.

Many residents have said that as long as there is not coercion, they are happy to brighten the life of lower-paid municipal workers.

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