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Oleg Kozhemyako gave himself two to three years

The head of Primorye summed up the results of the year at the post, and experts evaluated his statements

The governor of Primorsky Krai Oleg Kozhemyako held a press conference in late December to mark the year of his tenure. The leitmotif of the speech was to ensure stability and manageability of municipalities. What Oleg Kozhemyako had in mind and how experts evaluated the plans is in EastRussia material.

Oleg Kozhemyako gave himself two to three years

In conjunction with the municipality

Own governor vertical, as a guarantee of stability, was built in Primorye by the predecessors of Oleg Kozhemyako. The friendship and strife of the region’s heads with the municipalities was sometimes of interest, sometimes “of love”. For example, the second largest city in the region - Ussuriysk - since 2000 was ruled by Sergey Ruditsa. While Primorye was headed by Sergey Darkin, who had business interests in Ussuriysk, Ruditsa felt solid, but in 2014 under Vladimir Miklushevsky, he was prosecuted and resigned. For Vladivostok until recently, when Oleg Gumenyuk (a person from the Kozhemyako team) became the head, the opposition of the head to the regional administration was characteristic. The municipalities themselves are provided with legal protection from outside encroachments, are financially supported by local entrepreneurs and are truly independent. Any attempts by the Primorye leadership to tightly control the municipality over time came down to regulating financial handouts (the amount of subsidized territories) and agreements with the most negotiable representatives of local elites.        

Journalists were interested in whether there would be a return to the election of heads of municipalities in Primorye, which, incidentally, was one of Oleg Kozhemyako’s election promises. The head of the Primorsky Territory, in response, resorted to an elegant allegory: "When the plane begins to gain altitude, and at this time still makes a turn, it falls into pieces." In general, Primoryeans, “heated” by the previous political situation and the unstable coordinate system of the authorities, can react painfully against the background of a lack of full confidence in the authorities.

The governor explained that many problems, such as providing housing for orphans, attracting young specialists to budgetary institutions, disposing of land, are the powers of municipalities, but now, in fact, their region is solving them. The next two or three years, Oleg Kozhemyako intends to spend on putting things in order, creating a certain clear-cut management system, including the merger of urban and rural settlements in Primorye districts into municipal districts. In 2020, three of the 22 municipal districts will already be transformed into districts.   

“We will move step by step. When the municipal authorities work properly, we will achieve people's trust, a common understanding of goals and objectives, and return to the issue of direct elections. Vladivostok will also approach the election of the head, ”Oleg Kozhemyako assured.

The main problem of Primorye, as announced by the governor, is the lack of housing. It should be addressed through the development of Vladivostok to the north and the integrated development of Artem and the Nadezhda district. As Kozhemyako complained, the main difficulty in development issues is the lack of free land. The administration is trying to negotiate with the existing owners.

The leadership of the Vladivostok Duma also held a press conference, where the majority spoke in favor of the head of Oleg Gumeniuk as a completely effective and legitimate head of the city. Criticism from citizens and the media, in connection with the controversial success of the mayor in different directions, was accepted without emotion. The deputies reminded that parliamentarians took a direct part in the competitive selection process, the screenings were severe, therefore there should be no questions about the qualification of the winner. In this regard, the return of the city to the election of the head of the population is not so interesting. Chairman of the Duma Andrei Brik stressed that the law by which the head is elected by deputies was adopted by the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Territory.

“But, in my opinion, we have seen more than once how a mayor elected by people deals with their political issues, which is to the detriment of the city,” said Andrei Brik.

Only the chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy and Municipal Property of the City Duma, coordinator of the Primorsky branch of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vasily Vasilyev, in the most correct way noted that he personally and the liberal democrats in general, as the opposition, stand for the election of the mayor of the city.

In five directions

Another intrigue that the head of Primorye Oleg Kozhemyako “planted” during a press conference was his initiative to give greater autonomy to the regions of Vladivostok. Since the 1930s, the city has been divided into five districts (Leninsky, Frunzensky, Pervorechensky, Pervomaisky, Soviet), which once had a solid administration staff and their own budgets. At the turn of the 2000s, districts chose their own thoughts and tried to form, in fact, their own municipalities. In the course of the struggle against the "separatists", the mayor's office reduced the role of district administrations - now ATU (administrative-territorial administrations) to a minimum. And this does not suit the governor.

“The district administrations in Vladivostok were almost eliminated. Today, the district, where 150 to 200 thousand people live, serves 12 people who can’t decide anything. I say to the head Oleg Gumenyuk: "Quietly, we need to pump up the districts with finances and opportunities, because in places it is more visible where to make which square, a path, a ladder." When we delegated the city authorities to the city, we allocated 300 million for social projects. Please direct to the improvement of areas. Those will prepare plans, accept people, ”said Kozhemyako.

Decisions "on a doom"

However, the governor Oleg Kozhemyako is aware that the situation is far from ideal, and, as is the case with politicians, speaks about the prospects.

“Those laws that we pass are not a fact in the same form that will reach people. For all this, as a single system to work, it will take time - two to three years, ”said the head of Primorye.

Political analyst Viktor Burlakov explains that the issue of control at the municipal level is a multi-layered one. In fact, now it is available, and how much control should be voluminous is a moot point.

“Apparently, we are talking about the creation by the governor of his own power vertical, and, in fact, the elimination of local self-government,” the political scientist believes.

According to Viktor Burlakov, it is important to understand the motives for making decisions. If the head of Primorye establishes control over the entire management vertical, uploading with the last janitor, then he assumes one hundred percent responsibility for all the processes taking place in the region, essentially for every yard, landfill.

“In this situation, if Vladivostok gets stuck in traffic due to snow that the city administration does not clean (sooner or later this situation will happen), with simple jokes about the fact that he walks, the governor will not get off. To say that the mayor is to blame, the deputies will not work, ”Burlakov notes.

The head of the Center for Social Innovation "Black Cube" Yuri Kolomeytsev believes that Oleg Kozhemyako, first of all, strengthens the vertical of his own power in Primorye, despite the fact that there are practically no legal mechanisms for influencing municipalities - the local government is not subordinate to state power

“As people sat at the municipal level and did nothing, they don’t do anything. Why look for some new people, invent something? Stability in our conditions is equivalent to a “swamp”, stagnation. It is not clear what is meant by "order", which the governor is constantly talking about. For Kozhemyako this is one thing, for me, probably something else. I see that the Vladivostok administration loses disputes in arbitration courts, no less than it wins; I see that the city administration forbids entrepreneurs to hang banners and do business. Shopping raids are organized, officials look at how big the signs are. For violations, huge fines, for example, 120 thousand rubles. Personally, I have three children, but we did not receive the land in Vladivostok, ”said Yuri Kolomeytsev.

In his opinion, Kozhemyako can achieve control over the use of money and optimize costs. Then the question arises, what is the best way: to maintain an adequate administration of the municipality, which can solve all the issues on the spot and has the appropriate authority, or for each little thing, consult the region and report on each ruble?

“To drown in a sea of ​​bureaucracy and do nothing, or to give municipalities freedom of action? I think the governor is very mistaken if he thinks that millions are being stolen on the ground, if only municipal employees are given a little independence. There are counting chambers, law enforcement agencies, and deputies to counter crime. When the head of the municipality doesn’t give a damn what’s happening on the territory, it doesn’t matter whether he reports directly to the governor or is independent - he’ll steal anyway, ”the expert said.

According to him, the current administration of the region, like the previous one, solves political issues, negotiating with local clans. According to the expert, there is no need to come to an agreement, since problems of this level are not being resolved.

“To the real development of territories, this has no development. There is a law that municipalities must comply with, otherwise, please go to jail. Perhaps this is what Oleg Kozhemyako has in mind when he talks about building a "control system." But how will the formation of the system occur: based on consensus or authoritarian? We need some kind of program document, where values ​​and goals are indicated - "I, the head of the region, will do this and that, we are moving in this direction." So far, no one wants to build a clear management system based on the law, and the rules of the game - once and for all. After all, most likely there will be many dissatisfied, ”says Yuri Kolomeytsev.

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