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Arranged in places

Far Eastern regions have chosen a wide range of models of local self-government (LSG)

Arranged in places

If in the Khabarovsk Territory the structure of local authorities practically does not change, then in the Kamchatka Krai and in the Magadan Region there will be a radical reformatting of administrations.

Measures against mayors

Back in 2011, Viktor Ishaev, the then presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, proposed to appoint city managers in large cities of the Far East. In his opinion, mayors show "excessive independence", and the system of appointees will make city authorities more manageable and accountable to higher authorities. This initiative did not meet with local response, and opposition parties organized a number of pickets in support of the election of mayors. By that time, the institution of city managers operated only in two Far Eastern regions - the Kamchatka Territory and the Amur Region, and hired managers worked not without scandals. In Blagoveshchensk, the mayor has been appointed since 2010, after the governor of the Amur Region, Oleg Kozhemyako, signed a decree to dismiss the mayor of Blagoveshchensk, Alexander Miguli. The formal reason for the dismissal was the violation by the mayor of the Federal Law on the organization of local self-government. After that, the deputies of the City Duma of Blagoveshchensk made changes to the charter of the city and divided the powers of the mayor between the head of the municipality. The head of the municipality was elected the speaker of the Duma Vladimir Kobelev, and the former head of the governor's apparatus Nikolai Nevedomsky was appointed the mayor. In 2011, Vladivostok almost took the same path, but the City Duma deputies did not support the proposal of their colleague from the local government committee Dmitry Penyaz. At the beginning of the same year, Vladislav Skvortsov voluntarily left the post of mayor of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, who had previously managed to spoil relations with the governor, be expelled from United Russia and became a defendant in a criminal case for abuse of power.

Since then, the work of city-management of two cities was accompanied by a series of political scandals. And in Kamchatka they were accompanied by a change of managers, often combined with criminal cases brought against them. Gordum of Blagoveshchensk decided to return to direct elections of the mayor in 2013 year, which it did. Working for three years as a city manager, Pavel Berezovsky himself launched this process, leaving his post at his own request, allegedly "because of constant contradictions with the Duma." However, his calculation for holding an early election of the mayor in the same year was not justified, and Mr. Berezovsky resigned from politics, never nominating himself as a candidate for the 2014 campaign. Kamchatka did not refuse the appointment of the mayor. City-management with different efficiency shares operates in a number of secondary towns of Primorsky Krai, the Sakhalin Region.

On May 26, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on local self-government (136-FZ), according to which each constituent entity of the Russian Federation is given six months to independently choose one of four possible options for the development of the local self-government system - direct elections of the mayor and city council deputies; appointing the mayor as the head of administration or city council; election of a mayor from the city council; division of cities into inner-city districts and election of a mayor from among the deputies from all inner-city districts. The local Legislative Assembly will choose its own version of the development of the local self-government system in each region of the Russian Federation. Local laws must be passed no later than November 26th. This law replaced the 2003-FZ adopted in 131.

The fact that most of the regional elites are not enthusiastic about the principles of the formation of local self-government, then set forth in the draft 136 of the federal law, became known at the beginning of the year. Thus, the principle of “two portfolios” proposed by the draft law, in which, for example, the mayor was elected by the city council from among deputies, and the administration was headed by a hired city manager, destroyed the balance between governors and mayors of capital cities in many subjects.

At the beginning of this year, when the active discussion of 136-FZ began, several Far Eastern mayors actively championed the principle of election. The head of Khabarovsk Alexander Sokolov, who was elected president of the Association of Siberian and Far Eastern Cities in July, said that there was no need to break down the system of functioning of local authorities that had developed over the years. On the contrary, it would be better to focus on a more competent redistribution in favor of municipalities of financial, land powers, as well as law enforcement practice on administrative violations. Vladivostok Mayor Igor Pushkarev stated that the practice of city managers is not so bad in itself and allows the professional manager to concentrate on solving immediate problems of settling the life of the city. However, he may be incompetent, will not feel responsible to the residents of the city, "will come off from the people who did not elect him." Therefore, in large cities, such a scheme can not be applied.

Conservative calculation

The head of Yakutia, Yegor Borisov, urged to proceed with caution to the changes proposed in the law, refrain from the universal introduction of the principle that representative bodies of municipal districts will be formed from the heads and deputies of the representative bodies of the settlements that make up the municipal district. In addition, he promised to maintain the principle of electivity of heads of municipalities, deputies of representative bodies of municipal districts and city districts. The head of the republic postponed the key issues, including the election of the head of Yakutsk before the autumn elections. Confirming 14 in September, Yegor Borisov reassured the regional elites, saying that the system of executive authorities would not change significantly, since "it fully meets today's requirements."

The structure of LSG in the Khabarovsk Territory will not change much. As explained by the head of the local self-government committee of the regional Duma Tatyana Movchan, following discussions and consultations with the regional government, it was decided to abandon the "two portfolios" system: the posts of the head of the municipal entity and the local administration are combined. Direct elections of mayors will continue in all cities. It is inappropriate to recognize the introduction of city okrugs with their own council of deputies and the administration. All heads of municipalities will be elected in municipal elections and head the local administration. The heads of the representative bodies of power of municipalities will be elected from the composition of the deputy corps, with the exception of a number of settlements, where the head heads the local administration and exercises the powers of the chairman of the representative body. In them, the heads of settlements will be nominated from among the deputies. The decisions made in the regional Duma are explained by the vast territory and financial weakness of the municipalities. "Our region is one of the largest regions, it is home to 21,7% of DFO residents or 1,34 million people. At the same time, 63,8% of the population lives in Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Of the 91 rural settlements in more than 60% the population does not exceed 1 thousand people, it is the least economically developed settlements, mainly in the northern regions, "she explained.

The head of the Legislative Assembly of the Jewish Autonomous Region Anatoly Tikhomirov noted that a mixed approach to the elections of heads of rural settlements and districts will be applied in the region. Prior to that, a serious discussion arose among the deputies about the possible abolition of the elections of the heads of rural settlements. As for the district administration, the authorities in the region still tend to the option of hired managers. In the year of Birobidzhan, the popular election of the mayor is considered the best option.
Direct elections of mayors will be retained in most of the municipal authorities of the Sakhalin region, this was announced at the end of the forum of representatives of the municipal authorities of the region, which was held on October 9 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Only in the Uglegorsk municipal district of the head is planned to elect a representative body from its composition. The representative body of the Uglegorsk District will be formed from the heads of the settlements comprising it, and from the deputies of the representative bodies of these settlements, elected in accordance with an equal representation rate, regardless of the population of the settlement. The reverse changes will take place in the Kurile and Tomarinsk urban districts, in the Mining town of Shakhtar, where the heads of municipalities were previously elected from the representative bodies.

"The two systems have pros and cons. The strongest side of the popular election of the head of a municipal formation is the availability of support from the population received during the elections and unity of command. As a minus can be attributed the risk of electing the mayor of a person who does not possess the necessary business and personal qualities. The advantage of the second system is the creation of a vertical of the executive power - from the regional to the municipal levels ", - the head of the region Alexander Horoshavin is quoted in the press service of the regional administration. It should, however, be noted that it is with the mayor of Uglegorsk, Alexander Fomin, that the governor has strained relations.

Consolidate and conquer

Most of all, the appearance of local authorities in the Magadan Region and the Kamchatka Territory will change. So, on Kolyma, the head of a city district with a population of more than 100 thousand people will be elected by the representative body of the city district from its composition and execute the powers of its chairman. These conditions are met only by Magadan, where 100,9 thousand people live or 67% of the population. Head of the city district of more than 5 thousand people, as well as the head of the municipal district will be elected in municipal elections. The city head will simultaneously be the chairman of the representative body of the municipal district.

The head of the urban settlement will be elected by the representative body of the urban settlement, the head of the rural settlement - the deputies of the rural settlement. In addition, in a part of the territory of a municipality (one or several settlements with a number of voters no more than 300 people), a public council and a headman may be elected. Moreover, by combining a number of settlements in Magadan, urban districts will be formed. “The changes will allow transferring the authority to provide people with heat and water to the level of the municipal district. At the settlement level, it is not always possible to assemble such a team. It is possible to do this by concentrating all professional forces at the level of the municipal district so that our housing and utilities system is reliable and provides quality services. This is probably the most important direction of reforming local self-government, and it should lead to an increase in the responsibility of officials, ”says Vladimir Pecheny, Governor of the Magadan Region.

A similar model was adopted by the Legislative Assembly of Kamchatka, with the only difference being that, in addition to the elected heads of municipal districts elected from the deputy corps, the heads of administrations will be appointed in the same districts on a contract basis. The changes concern only Palana and Ust-Bolsheretsky district, since the other nine municipal districts of Kamchatka are already working according to this scheme. From this spoke in the summer at a round table on local government, held in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Kamchatka Territory Valery Raenko. According to him, the practice of forming district representative bodies from the heads and deputies of the settlements and appointing the heads of administrations on a contract basis successfully operates in the region. In the region, more than 80% of territories are attributed to hard-to-reach and remote areas, there is an acute issue of lack of professional management personnel. With limited capacity of local budgets in sparsely populated areas, according to the law, it is necessary to create two administrations and two deputy corps at the level of the district and rural settlement, which causes unnecessary spending from the budget. Boris Chuev, Chairman of the Committee on State Building, Local Self-Government and Harmonization of Interethnic Relations of the Kamchatka Legislative Assembly, commented on the adoption of the new version of the Law on Local Self-Government that it is optimal for the region and will allow more efficient use of budget funds.

A model in which the powers of the city manager and city head will be clearly delineated, is also adopted in Primorsky Krai. This decision is spurred by the forthcoming creation of the Vladivostok agglomeration, an agreement on this was signed by 28 October with the heads of Vladivostok, Artyom, Shkotovsky and Nadezhdinsky municipal districts. The agreement presupposes the creation of an intermunicipal council consisting of representatives of the executive power of the municipalities entering the agglomeration. From these municipalities to the regional level will be transferred to the authorities in the field of urban policy, land use and development rules, announced Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky. In early October, Mr. Miklushevsky appointed his first deputy chairman, Alexander Kostenko, curator of Vladivostok. The official was instructed to submit proposals regarding the distribution of powers between the municipality and the subject of the federation. The fact that Vladivostok's loss of direct elections of the mayor is a matter of time, indirectly says the position of the other members of the agglomeration, who spoke for the institution of city managers.

"Stop reforming"

Speaking at the end of October at the forum of the Association of Siberian and Far Eastern cities in Khabarovsk, the president of the ASDG and the mayor of Khabarovsk Alexander Sokolov called the reform of local self-government "a negative innovation." "We (members of the association - approx. auth.) already appealed to the federal government, to the State Duma with a simple request: "Stop reforming every year. Declare a moratorium on LSG reforms, except for those sound amendments that would improve the situation of local authorities. " Global reform is beginning to hurt. There is a loss of human resources, a set of initiatives that started working under one law, now the law has changed, and they do not work, "the mayor said. At the same time, he said, it is necessary to increase the pace of adoption of those decisions that would improve the effectiveness of existing laws and mechanisms. The process of delineation of powers between levels of power is largely controversial, contradictory and can not be considered complete. Unjustified are decisions on urban planning, attracting investments. "All of us are interested in the authority in the development of administrative practice and its application. We are losing 100 million rubles. a year on the fact that we do not have these powers. By maintaining the "Safe City" system, by organizing traffic management, we incur huge costs, which are not compensated to us by administrative fines. We badly need additional budget revenues. Certainly, land relations are important, in Khabarovsk they acquired an extraordinary sharpness. After making a decision to seize unrestricted land at the disposal of the region, the city is discarded from the level that it had on land relations for 10 years ago. And it's not just us. The initiative of the Moscow region to transfer these powers will have a detrimental effect on the cities and settlements of the region, this mistake will be evident to the whole municipal community of Russia in three to five years. We lose the budget, we lose our urban policy, we lose investors, "concluded Alexander Sokolov. According to him, despite the active position of municipalities and the willingness to assume maximum powers, the federal authorities demonstrate astonishing deafness. When discussing the first version of the municipal reform, which was enshrined in the 131 federal law, Khabarovsk gave 262 amendments, only three were adopted.

The head of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev, who was present at the meeting of ASDG, agrees with him: "Eleven years ago, while still deputy chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Primorsky Territory, I was present at the discussion of the 131-FZ in Khabarovsk with the participation of representatives of the federation. Practically all the speakers spoke out against it, and in the end they summed up and said: "Thank you for your support, the law will be adopted as we suggested." According to him, reforms are needed, and 11 years ago, when the 131-FZ was adopted, they were aimed at improving the life of municipal authorities. "But we need to stop, look at what we have already accepted, how it works. Of course, the key issue is financial, when we get an order of 10% of the taxes collected in the budget, and then we do not deny anything to these 10%. If a person received 10% of wages - how would he survive? And we have to survive with you! I have not heard a single positive example, when they took away the powers of the municipalities. " This also applies to the transfer to the regional management of the health care system - today there is a mass of negative messages from the population, the effectiveness of managing the city's medical care unit is lost, "although regional ministries report that the situation is improving." The positions are lost as medical aid, the hospitals are being closed.

"Right now we are discussing the issue of disposing of land in Primorsky Krai," Igor Pushkarev continued. - In fact, to give or not to give land - the edge decides, but all procedures for the town planning plan, public hearings are on the city. But from the first of January you need to make a decision - either you take everything, with all these difficulties and difficulties, and reconciliations, or you give everything. If we take these questions away, well, we still need to inform the population that now this is the province's issues. And how are we? You did not lose the place in the tram - the mayor is to blame. "

According to the deputy of the Duma of the Khabarovsk Territory Tatyana Movchan, the entry into force of 131-FZ next year will create a whole wave of legislative problems. Thus, within the framework of the redistribution of powers from rural settlements to districts, powers will be transferred on the most costly issues - road construction, gasification, housing and public utilities and other liabilities with a monetary volume of 90,7 billion rubles. This is 45% of all expenditures of the settlements, she cited the estimates of the Ministry of Finance. At the same time, in order to ensure the transfer of authority, it is necessary to make changes in more than 200 regulations, including federal laws. At the moment, the State Duma has not considered a single project to change the existing acts.

"Vertical, uncontrollable to the population"

As Vice President of ASDG, Doctor of Economic Sciences, professor of Kemerovo State University Roald Baboon stated, 131-FZ "has been subjected to repeated changes from the very moment of adoption, we counted about 500". These changes are reflected in more than 90 other federal laws, "but still the basic concept of local government has not changed." Current changes in scale and depth overpowered all that was done in the previous 10 years. Why, in whose interests did the new reforms require, the economist asks the question?

"When the Constitution of Russia was adopted in 1993, one of the most controversial points was the 12 article, which says that local government bodies do not belong to public authorities. This point then fell into the project, then disappeared, the article then included, then removed. It still remained, and this was the main obstacle for those who would like to command local self-government. With this, the governor's corps never resigned itself in the first place, repeated attempts were made to integrate local self-government bodies into the power vertical of the state. Unfortunately for them, 12-I article is in the first part of the Constitution to change it, it is necessary to collect the Constitutional Assembly, to perform the most complicated procedures that make these changes unrealistic. Therefore, all the time there are intrigues - how, without touching the constitution, to build local self-government in the state authorities, "- argues the vice president of ASDG.

According to him, the development of local authorities as independent and unshakeable institutions was hampered by the lack of a clear concept of their development and understanding of future prospects. As a result, there are still unresolved problems with finances, land, territorial organization, the delimitation of competence. "There is no understanding of the place of LSG in the government and in the general public." All these objective problems were superimposed by subjective factors - the opposition of the governors and mayors of capital cities, whose financial resources account for up to half or more of the total revenues of the consolidated budgets of the subjects:

"Figuratively speaking, the following occurs. The president of the country tells the governors - you are responsible for everything that happens in your territories. The governors answer - we can not be responsible for everything, because there are local self-government bodies that are not part of the system of state power bodies, which have huge powers, financial resources, huge assets ... Give us a tool to manage this property and these finances, otherwise we we can not be responsible for the state of affairs in our territories! This situation arose by the time the 136-FZ was adopted. "

Of course, even today the governors have the opportunity to remove unwanted mayors, especially those elected by direct vote, the expert continued. These are financial violations and the most insignificant reasons, such as the mayor of Blagoveshchensk was removed from office. approx. auth.).

This, in the opinion of Roald Babun, ultimately prompted the president to intervene, but he did not propose any kind of unified scheme, but suggested that municipalities and governors sit at the negotiating table. However, already in December, a report of the pro-Kremlin organization, ISEPI (Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies - approx. auth.), where a cardinal reform of local self-government was assumed. It consisted in eliminating this self-government at the level of urban districts and municipal districts, and transforming them into territorial bodies of state power of the subjects. Then the mayor of the city, the head of the district would be appointed by the governor, only in settlements and small towns local government remained, the article of the constitution 12 would not be violated. “Criticism was the toughest. But the very appearance of this document spoke about what they think in the presidential administration. This attack was repulsed. ”

The second attempt was made in February this year as a draft of the deputy group in the State Duma: "This is more serious than the report of ISEPI." The most odious proposals of the report - on the abolition of LSG in cities and districts were removed, but only one model was proposed-appointed city-managers and the head of the city, elected by deputies. In the commission for the election of the head of administration 50% of votes belong to the governor. And in this case, in fact 12 article is not violated.

The second attempt also repulsed. And finally, the third - which gave us 136-FZ. The federal government was forced to retreat and abandon the frontal attacks, the economist concluded. The advantage of the existing law is that there is a substantial decentralization of power, the variability of models - after all, the situation on the ground is very different. “But a lot of powers were transferred from the federal government to the regions, and at the junction with the regional authorities with the municipalities it turned out the other way around,” said the vice-president of the SDGs. The subjects of the federation received powerful levers of power from the federation. The most striking example is that the list of powers transferred to local authorities is determined by the subjects of the federation. Previously, the bodies of the subjects could regulate 32 positions in the field of activity of municipalities by their regional laws, now 56 positions. The structure of LSG bodies is also determined by the region. In the case of adopting a model of city managers, a vertical is established in the structure of executive bodies that is not controlled by the population. In this case, the law does not affect the finances, land powers.

"As a result: 136-FZ does not have a system character, it focuses on the division of power functions and does not solve the issues on which people's lives on the ground depend - finance and land. Actual implementation of the law will require a consensus between the heads of regions and municipalities, and this can not be achieved everywhere, "the expert concluded.

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