Mariana Galea: We cannot speak about much autonomy at local level when budgets are small

Too much local autonomy and power of decision cannot exist when the budgets are very small. Nevertheless, owing to projects implemented with foreign funds, Moldova’s localities after the recent elections can see improvements at the local level. To ensure this, authentic and objective communication between the local council and the mayor is needed and the sides should combine forces, the mayor of Brătuleni village of Nisporeni district Mariana Galea stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.

Mariana Galea noted that when this is really wanted, nice cooperation relations can be established between the mayor and the local council even if there is no majority alliance or coalition in the council. The interests and needs of citizens should be in the focus and the law should be obeyed.

“It is believed that the mayor represents everything in a locality. In reality, the mayor is that entity that should put the law at the forefront. There are surely disadvantages because, as my mate said that the meetings in Nimoreni are held online and each citizen can penalize the councilors and the mayor for what they say and do or for what they discuss in the meetings, in Brătuleni something like this hasn’t been done. Respectively, from my experience, I can tell you that indeed, when there is particular interest, groups are formed or preliminary agreements about a decision or a draft decision are reached and there is a risk that those decisions will be detrimental to someone,” stated Mariana Galea.

The mayor considers that the political factor at the local level is less felt, but a majority in the council, which would support the mayor’s initiatives, can be both advantageous and detrimental to the locality. Everything depends on the intentions of the local elected officials and their good will. The councilors and the mayor should be competent persons so as to efficiently manage the local affairs.

“There are both advantages and disadvantages when you have a majority in the council. On the one side of the barricade, there is the mayor who comes up with nice initiatives and well-defined projects and has a view and a plan of action for a four-year period. On the other side of the barricade, there are those interest groups that place hindrances to what you do. I bank and lay considerable emphasis on communication and also on transparency. We have very good laws regarding decisional transparency, but these laws are misunderstood sometimes. That’s why communication and transparency should be the factors that will make us work legally every day,” said Mariana Galea.

The public debate entitled “Local elected officials after elections: Cooperation and competition for public interest” was staged by IPN News Agency in the framework of the project “Stimulation of discussion in the mass media about traditional particularities of local elections and the need for Europeanization” which is supported by Soros Foundation Moldova.

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