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Everything goes according to plan
- Sergey Alexandrovich, you took the post of mayor of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk relatively recently - in 2014. But you have already worked in the city executive power system for seven years. What does experience tell you, what changes are especially important for the city now?
- I came to the mayor's office from business, and this experience is very valuable to me. It allows for precise prioritization. In business, the result is important, therefore, for me in the management system of the municipality, one of the main tasks is to establish a planning system and personal responsibility of all employees of the city administration. At the same time, it is absolutely not my style to change something, as they say, breaking through the knee: I am a supporter of the evolutionary path of development and the corresponding methods of leadership. I think this is clearly shown by our action program - Strategy 2020, which continues the course towards the development of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The priorities in the development of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are the improvement of the city's transport system and the modernization of urban passenger transport, improvement of courtyards, comprehensive reconstruction of communal networks, greening of the city, housing and construction of social facilities. And what is especially important - the work on the "Strategy" went in close contact with the townspeople. More than 3 thousand proposals were received from them, most of which we took into account in the final document. Now all that remains is to follow it exactly.
And of course, the most important principle of the mayoralty's work should be its openness to the citizens. Only by communicating on an equal footing with the inhabitants, understanding and letting through their problems, together finding solutions, we can improve the quality of life of every South Sakhalin.
- Is there enough money for this? On what sources of additional financing, except for the budget of the city, you really can count?
The expenditure side of the budget is 20,9 billion rubles. These funds will be used to ensure all the social obligations of the city district - among them, the salaries of public sector employees and their accruals (taking into account the increase in rates from January 1), payments for utilities to municipal institutions, activities of the programs "Social support of the population" and "City without borders ", construction and overhaul of kindergartens (in 2015 we plan to hand over 5 kindergartens: in Dalny, Novo-Aleksandrovsk, Khomutovo, the 8th and 12th microdistricts of the city), provision of social benefits to citizens for housing construction, etc. ... Another equally important feature of the current budget is the high level of budget investments in the construction and reconstruction of municipal property. For these purposes, it is planned to direct about 40% of the total volume of all budget expenditures. For comparison: in 2014, 33% went for these purposes.
The government of the Sakhalin Region will provide us with tangible support. Due to the consolidation of funds from the regional and local budgets, it is planned to allocate 3,5 billion rubles for timely and high-quality entry into the heating season (as they say, "prepare the sled in the summer"), modernization and development of communal infrastructure systems, 2,4 billion rubles - for construction and reconstruction of city roads, repair of courtyards, etc. Another 1,7 billion rubles - for financial support of construction and assistance in purchasing housing for citizens, including state employees, young families, scientists, etc .; finally, 1,6 billion rubles - for the construction, reconstruction and purchase of kindergartens.
The amounts are impressive, and our task is to dispose of them as efficiently as possible, with the benefit for all of the South Sakhaliners.
- The Far East is one of the all-Russian priorities for economic development, and the Sakhalin Region has always been an advanced region. Now 95% of the regional budget is formed from its own resources. Investors are actively coming here - for example, in the energy sector. But does this not “overheat” prices and wages? And what about those who do not work in the energy complex?
- Let me remind you of one proverb: "it was smooth on paper, but they forgot about the ravines." The time is now not the best - the crisis. Will it not turn out that the regional budget will not be able to fulfill all its obligations, you will have to "sequester" expenses a little and the social situation will become sharply complicated? Many experts warn that the risk is high.
- I would not exaggerate so much. First of all, because I assess the situation soberly and with facts in hand, and not in the form of speculative "horror stories."
Analysis of the main economic indicators of the city for 2014 proves that for several years we have been demonstrating a trend towards sustainable development. Adverse factors, which intensified in the last quarter of last year, are also making themselves felt in early 2015. But we must also understand that the all-Russian "waves" (both positive and negative) reach Sakhalin with a slight delay. We must use this period of time in order to meet the crisis fully armed and with minimal losses. Perhaps we really need to adjust some charts. But there should be no global funding gaps.
We are already working on preemption in order to preserve the sustainable development of the city’s economy and social sphere. First of all, the costs of acquiring machinery, equipment, and capital repairs of institutions will be revised. We are ready to cut expenses that are not socially significant or vital for Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Even taking into account inflation, such savings will allow in full fulfillment of all our expenditure commitments, primarily in the social sphere and utilities.
This does not mean that everything will be smooth and simple. For example, a crisis always entails a price increase. In order to avoid sharp leaps, a mechanism has been developed and introduced in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk that provides food security for the population in the conditions of an economic recession and an increase in the prices of goods. In January 2015, the wholesale suppliers of products, local producers and owners of retail food networks signed a declaration, under which they pledged to establish a minimum trade margin for a specific list of twenty-five essential goods.
Under the city administration, a headquarters was set up for the operative monitoring of the state of the markets for agricultural products, raw materials and food (I am the chairman of this headquarters), and the prices of essential goods are monitored daily.
No doubt, this is not an easy time. But we must calmly and systematically prepare for all the risks, accept them, and moreover, extract the pluses from the minuses, make the fall take off.
- The budget is not bottomless and not rubbery, many projects can not be pulled without the help of raised funds. How actively do you call the business for social responsibility and do you find a response?
- Yes, today society expects more from business than just paying taxes honestly and creating jobs. And I must say that the sense of responsibility is not alien to our businessmen. They make a solid contribution to the development of the city. Thus, the business community is actively involved in social programs such as the Sakhalin Ribbon of Memory, St. George Ribbon, Rowan Alley, Hurry to Do Good, Help Get Ready for School, etc. In 2014, benefactors helped to reconstruct Asahikawa Square. The first stone was laid and work is underway to build a Russian-Japanese friendship park, the adjacent territory and a square in the village of Dalnee were landscaped, etc. Business representatives help a lot to schools, kindergartens, hospitals ... in 2004 - 3,6 million rubles, in 2013 - 615,5 million rubles, in 2014 - 237 million rubles). We do not leave such good deeds without attention and gratitude. For more than 10 years the city competition “Philanthropist of the Year of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk” has been held. The number of its participants is constantly growing. I believe that the social responsibility of business is not just a norm, but a measure of the health and adequacy of our society.
- Social responsibility is strong reciprocity. Can you tell us more about support programs for local producers? Among them there are many small and medium-sized businesses - the most vulnerable in economically unstable times. How is the city administration ready to help them?
We successfully have an advisory council under the city administration on the development and support of small and medium-sized businesses. Successful means with visible results. In 2015, the number of financial support mechanisms for small and medium-sized businesses was doubled (from 7 to 14). First of all, assistance was received by those involved in preschool education, passenger transportation by buses or cars, folk crafts or innovative projects. The crisis is a crisis, but this year we will increase the number of economic entities to which the city will provide assistance, from 50 to 60. We will in every possible way stimulate the business activity of small businesses and contribute to its popularity, various competitions, forums, city-scale conferences, the Day of Russian Entrepreneurship and etc. And naturally, various new forms of municipal-private partnership will be introduced into practice on the territory of the regional center. We already have experience in implementing large infrastructure projects on the basis of such a partnership.
As for local producers, the concept of creating an agro-industrial park within the city is focused on them (the project can be implemented with the involvement of foreign investors). With the financial support of the regional budget, the largest enterprises of the city district are being expanded and modernized. For example, the Ostrovnaya poultry farm (plans for the near future include the construction of a workshop for the production of broiler meat), the Teplichny state farm (this year it is planned to build new greenhouses as part of the enterprise modernization project, which will increase the production of fresh vegetables in greenhouses to 5440 tons by 2017 or 1,8 times), etc. A modern pig farm is being prepared for commissioning in the village of Taranay, Aniva District, bordering Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. At the end of this year, the enterprise will be able to provide Sakhalin residents with fresh meat. Farmers will also receive support. These efforts are not immediately noticeable - investments in agriculture rarely have an immediate effect. But the groundwork for the future is already good.
- What do you mean by the concept of "comfort"?
- The regime of maximum favor, including the simplification of all paper and bureaucratic procedures. To do this, we form a register of land plots that can be used in the implementation of investment projects, provide subsidies for reimbursement of interest rates on investment loans and leasing payments under financial lease (leasing) agreements, and provide preferential terms for using land and paying taxes.
In general, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk compares favorably with other cities of the Far East in terms of the "investment climate". It is well located and has strong twinning ties with many cities in the Asia-Pacific region (Japan, South Korea, China). But the main thing is that our city is the capital of the largest oil region in Russia, and that says it all. It is here that the offices of world-famous oil and gas companies are located. The implementation of offshore projects has just become the catalyst that brought the development of the city to a new level. Now it has become not only profitable, but also prestigious to invest in its infrastructure for private Russian and foreign investors. More and more often we have objects with the prefix "best" (the largest, the first, etc.) in the Far East. And here there is no boasting - a pure statement of fact. Suffice it to recall the City Mall and Mountain Air shopping malls, a new gymnasium (by the way, this is the most modern school in the Far Eastern Federal District), and much more. Over the past few years, private investments have built and commissioned more than 30 trade, consumer services, public catering, etc. Such changes have entailed the so-called multiplier effect: more and more new jobs are being created (which is important in the current economic situation ), the level of tax revenues to the city budget increases, the range of services provided to the population expands, and so on. Now we are on the verge of implementing the largest investment projects. One of them is a new airport, the commissioning of which in 2-3 years will also spur the development of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
- One of the areas in which the Far East began to pay increased attention is tourism. But even in the central regions of Russia, its development is not going smoothly. And what is far beyond the capitals and transport arteries of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk?
- The influx of tourists is, of course, important. But what about the ordinary, indigenous people? One of the main geopolitical tasks in the Far East, the Russian government called the fight against the outflow of the population. Is the city administration able to fight the demographic laws?
- I'll give the numbers again. Since 2008, we have had a natural population growth. In 2014, it amounted to 770 people, while the outflow surplus was 483 people (8538 decreased, 8055 arrived). Therefore, we are in the black, albeit small. Today the population of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is 199,8 thousand people. How do we attract and how do we keep people? The main factor is the successful implementation of those projects that we have already talked about. In addition, we consider young specialists to be our “main capital”. The future belongs to them. This means that we need to support and protect them. Therefore, the city provides service housing for young specialists working in the budgetary sphere (and from the regional budget, they pay lifting costs to those who move here and start working). But our most important task is to create a comfortable environment for thousands of townspeople so that they simply do not want to go anywhere. The city is growing. In recent years, several new residential neighborhoods have appeared, every year we build several kindergartens, last year a new gymnasium was erected, and this year we are continuing the construction of the Central Music School. We develop children's and mass sports. The plans - with the support of the regional government - are the construction of a biathlon stadium, sports complexes and much more.
Actually, this is the criterion of reasonableness of any budget expenditures: the city should become comfortable for people, so that they themselves feel tangible changes for the better. In the end, the authorities are working for this purpose.
- And how do you know the opinion of the townspeople about their work? Do the assistants report?
- Well, why. The feedback system should be simple and straightforward, otherwise it simply doesn't work. It is very important for me and the city administration that the dialogue with the residents of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is efficient and constant. We talked with them "on equal terms" when almost a year ago we created the Public Council at the City Hall. It included representatives of the public - people with a pronounced civic position, sharp, active, not indifferent to everything that happens in the city and what will happen to him next. Since the creation of the Council, 18 thematic round tables have been held with experts from among the citizens, heads of various enterprises and organizations of the city and 14 meetings of the Council as part of the work on updating the City Development Strategy. An Internet reception of the Public Council was also created (on the website "Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - the city at a glance", section Public Council), Where anyone can apply. We are open to dialogue with the public. Regularly, I myself and the heads of structural divisions of the city administration conduct receptions of citizens. Last year, more than 5 thousand different questions, complaints and proposals were submitted to the mayor's office from the townspeople. Personally, I spent the last year more than 100 meetings with South Sakhalin.
- What are you most often asked about or asked for?
- Most of all questions to the mayor at a personal reception - on problems with housing, improvement of courtyards, etc. We are trying to solve them to the best of our ability. Of course, it is not always possible to do it exactly the way our visitors want. But in any case, we act within the framework of the legal field and individually approach each specific case.
You see, everything we talked about today is daily, normal, routine work. Our task is to continue to do so that everything good in the life of the city is perceived as a norm, and not an exception or an achievement. People start talking about the work of the city authorities only when they are not satisfied with the result (remember the famous story about the boy who only started talking when “the soup was too salty”?) Therefore, we are ready to continue to do our job calmly, methodically, without noise and exclamations. We do not need extra salt and pepper, and we are ready to bear full responsibility for the quality of our administrative "cuisine".
For 10 years, in the territory of the urban district "City of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk" there has been an increase in the volume of industrial production in all types of economic activity (mining, manufacturing, production and distribution of electricity, gas and water, logging). In 2014, the production volume of large and medium-sized enterprises amounted to 45,4 billion rubles, or 123,3% to the level of 2013.
The total amount of investments in fixed assets for the period from 2004 to 2014 years amounted to more than 200,0 billion rubles, including 2014 billion for 26,0 year.
Over the past 10, wage levels have increased 3,6 times. Currently, the average monthly salary in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is 60,8 thousand rubles.
10 years ago, the unemployment rate in the city was 0,3% of the total economically active population. As of January 1 of this year - 0,2%. According to this indicator, the Sakhalin Region is the leader in the Russian Federation. In the region, the unemployment rate is 0,6%, while in general in the Far Eastern Federal District - 1,5%, in the Russian Federation - 5,6%. In 2005, 298 unemployed citizens were officially registered in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, as of January 1, 2015 - 170 people.
Data provided by the press service of the city administration.