By Miguel Cruz Tejada
NEW YORK._ After being recognized by President Luis Abinader during a meeting of elected officials of Dominican origin, the mayor of Lawrence in Massachusetts, Brian de Peña, announced Tuesday that he would convene an economic and unity conference with government officials.
The mayor, who led the group of Lawrence city councilors and officials who traveled to the Dominican Republic last week, said that the next meeting in Lawrence is to consolidate unity with its roots in the country. Caribbean, and the event will be held annually.
“They pleasantly decided to make this conference official yearly since they both understand the importance of strengthening unity among Dominicans,” explains the Lawrence mayor’s office.
Five councilors and numerous city officials were part of the group headed by the mayor on his trip to the Dominican Republic.
The group was in the Caribbean for a conference for elected officials in the United States of Dominican descent.
Photos of de Peña, the council members, and city officials in attendance were posted on social media throughout the week.
The mayor initially wanted that event to be held in Lawrence, and several months ago, he went to the Dominican Republic and invited Abinader and other officials to attend.
But the Dominican president proposed to hold the conference in his country, where Abinader said that the initiative fills us with pride and will help Dominican communities abroad to unite more around the nation’s development.
The conference highlighted the importance of community development and exchanges between political and business leaders, added to the mayor’s statement issued Sunday night after the delegation returned to the United States.
In a speech, de Peña highlighted the strong relationship between Lawrence and the Dominican Republic and formally announced an invitation to a different dinner to be held in that Massachusetts city to discuss future investments and projects that will benefit the Dominican Republic and the town. Who drives?
The mayor paid for his trip to the Dominican Republic, revealed his senior adviser, Octavian Spanner.
The adviser and two other employees of the mayor’s office submitted requests to the city for their airfare to the Caribbean country.
The Dominican Government paid for hotels and meals for the staff of the mayor and councilors.
The councilors who attended the conference were Gregory del Rosario, Stephany Infante, Ana Levy, Celina Reyes, and Jeovanny Rodriguez.
Each of the five council members filed disclosure forms with the Lawrence city clerk’s office, indicating they were paying $191 per night for hotel stays and $40 per day in food.
Spanner, Hoyos, and Castillo also submitted similar forms.
The conference was held from February 28 to March 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hotel Embajador in Santo Domingo.
Spanner submitted a travel and expense request to the city for $2,421 to reimburse airfare to the Dominican Republic for himself and Claudia Hoyos, an administrative assistant in the mayor’s office, according to the local Lawrence newspaper, the Eagle Tribune.
Castillo also requested a refund of $906.25 in airfare.
Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law requires public employees to submit public disclosure forms and allows reimbursement when such travel is for a legitimate general purpose.
NEW YORK._ The Dominican mayor of Lawrence (Massachusetts), recognized in the DR by President Abinader, announced that he will convene an annual economic and unity conference with the Dominican Republic. (External source).