A meeting held on March 26th at the ASADA Surfside Office, to resolve an issue regarding who was to sign the official Books for the Surfside ASADA General Election held in January.

The issue was raised by the incoming Board simply seeking to determine whether the outgoing Secretary and President signs the minutes recognizing the newly elected Board, or whether the newly elected Board Members sign.

The lawyer, Lic. Andrea Chacon from San Jose representing the Legal Department of AYA, determined that the new Secretary and President would sign the Book, and added that the outgoing Secretary could not enter her minutes because the New Board takes effect immediately following the election. This ruling contradicts both the Surfside ASADA Bylaws and Law 218. She clarified that there was another law that applied in this case which was unknown to anyone at AyA or any ASADA until 3 days prior to our meeting.

The Secretary requested to have the ruling in writing and to be able to confirm with his lawyer that this authorized him to sign the official Books, noting that the minutes were not written by either Secretary and were not approved by the Board. He was asked to sign the ruling letter and told by the translator for AyA that this meant he accepted it, which he could not agree to until consulting with his lawyer.

The AyA lawyer then instructed the incoming President, Lourdes Valverde, that she could assign someone to fill the position of Secretary, since he was refusing her ruling and since it was over 60 days since the election. The incoming Board had made several inquiries prior to this meeting and received written rulings from AyA in Liberia that the outgoing Secretary was to sign. She further stated that she could call a new election for the position of Secretary.

Without any further debate or consultation with the Community Members of the ASADA, an Extraordinary Meeting was called on April 13th, where a new Secretary was elected.

The duties of Secretary are an important component of any Board, since that person is responsible for recording the actions of the Board and making them available to the Members. It is the only way the Members know what the Board of Directors agree to at their meetings and what actions the Board takes on behalf of the Membership they represent. Allowing others to take that responsibility away diminishes both the authority of the Board and the Association Members.

Removing an elected representative is a serious matter, and members of any organization should be concerned whenever governmental agencies make decisions that go against the wishes of the majority.

The positive note is there is a new Board of Directors representing the interests of the Surfside Community and their ASADA. We urge all members to get involved and stay informed. It is both your right and your obligation as Members.

We all need water.

 

 

 

 

ASADA Membership

The ASADA Surfside is a non-profit organization that manages and protects the community water supply. Las Asociaciones Operadoras de Sistemas de Acueductos y Alcantarillados Sanitario aka the ASADA's responsibilities include the administration and maintenance of the wells, distribution system, infrastructure and financal maanagement of the organization. The ASADA is also involved in protecting the enviroment, and working with the community to promote water conservation and resource sustainablity.

The Members of the ASADA are comprised of those property and home and business owners who have a water connection to the ASADA Surfside water supply system. Many homeowners and property owners are unaware that they need to apply to become members of the local ASADA. It is a simple process that requires submitting a completed application form. The owner of the property can be named as the Member. If the property has multiple owners only one can become a Member.

Every two years, Members decide who will represent them on the Board of Directors, who in turn manage the operations of the ASADA. Members are also have a voice in decisions that affect the infrastructure, and management of the system as a whole.

There are over 1800 similar communal organizations who administer rural aqueducts in Costa Rica, all operating as non-profits, under the legal framework of the Law on Associations (Law 218).

Responsibility for water and sanitation policy is shared by the Ministry of Health (MINSALUD) and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET). Other Ministries also have a role in the sector, sometimes with overlapping functions and responsibilities.

The economic regulation of the major service providers - AyA and ASADAS - is the responsibility of the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (ARESEP), which is responsible for setting tariffs, implementing technical regulations, and monitoring the compliance with these regulations.

The Costa Rican Water and Sanitation Institute or AyA has an important indirect policy and regulatory role since it monitors the compliance with technical specifications, can take over failing systems and advises the Ministry in the development of the sector. This double role implies a conflict of interest however it is expected that this will only lead to improvements to the preservation of the aquifer and the access to potable water.

AyA is responsible for providing support to water and sanitation associations in rural communities outside of AyA's service area and monitoring their compliance with technical norms. AyA can assume the operation of failing systems in order to guarantee the continuity of provision of services. The Rural Works Department within AyA is responsible for the planning, design, financing and construction of rural water supply and sanitation systems and the provision of technical assistance to the ASADAS.

It is important for all owners with a existing water connection, who are not yet registered as an ASADA Member, complete their Membership Application and submit it to the ASADA office or email a copy to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will then be notified of future meetings and can particpate in programs to help us keep our water supply safe and reliable.