Every first Monday of the month there are “Mayor’s Days”, where citizens can come to your office with their suggestions. What is people’s interest?
I would say the interest is probably what I expected. There is generally no overpressure, but citizens regularly make their suggestions or complaints. I think the biggest advantage of this day is that people know and are sure that they will catch me here. In addition, beautiful things have already developed from several stimuli – for example, we have repaired the playground. On the contrary, I can’t help with some things, because people often have unrealistic expectations and often come up with things we can’t handle. An example is complaints about certain bad interpersonal relationships, in which, however, the office cannot intervene in any way.
How has life in Chropyně changed during the pandemic?
This did not affect the functioning of the office as such. Although we have long aspired to digitization and a citizen portal, so that people can solve as many things as possible via the Internet, we still have a lot of people who are used to coming to the office in person. So even during the pandemic we tried to keep the door open and manage whatever people came up with.
As for the city as such, the coronavirus has affected our cultural events, which we had initially prepared. However, our contributory organization Services to Citizens of Chroypna (SLOCH) managed to prepare a few smaller or outdoor events despite the measures. But the mood in society has changed significantly – people often found me irritated, angry and sometimes even aggressive. It only started to improve recently, but unfortunately the war in Ukraine has come and gone.
Chropyně cultural center will be repaired for 40 million. What about roads, people ask?
The Zlín region has long been plagued by population decline. Do you see a similar trend in your country?
I wouldn’t see it so one-sided anymore. It is true that the number of permanent residents in our city is decreasing, but we do not feel that fewer people live here. At the moment, not a single city apartment is available, and if we talk about private apartments, then there are no vacancies either. We believe that many people live here without having a permanent residence in Chropyně.
What do you think?
We see it, for example, in kindergartens and schools, where we try to favor our fellow citizens in order to motivate those who do not have a permanent residence here to take care of it. It is also recognizable when we distribute subsidies for leisure activities for children and young people and children from other municipalities appear here. And I really don’t think children from distant villages and towns come here. Rather, they are those who live here but do not have a permanent residence here.
Is this a problem for the city?
On the one hand, it shouldn’t bother us at all, because these people fill our school and kindergarten. On the other hand, they also use, for example, our waste management system, for which they do not pay. Also, if we need to repair municipal property, we need to have money for it. But these depend on the population, which means that if you have fewer permanent residents, you have less tax revenue and less money. And this is carried away by practically all citizens of Chropyně.
What can you do?
At the end of last year, we announced an event such that we would give each newly registered Chropyňák three thousand crowns. Unfortunately, only twenty people signed up for us, which we regret, as we believe there are definitely more here. However, this is due to some reluctance of apartment owners to allow tenants to establish permanent residence there. Tenants can come to the office, and if they bring a tenancy agreement, we’ll sort out their permanent residency, because that doesn’t require landlord consent, but people often don’t want to talk to those landlords about it, so they don’t .
In honor of the native of Chropyně. The post office issues two stamps recalling Emil Filla
You’ve heard before that you don’t want to be mayor anymore. Is it always true?
I was in charge of the city for three terms. It’s a lot of work and time, often at the expense of my private life and my family. I think it is high time for a change. I’ll definitely run, but let’s wait for the final board breakdown after this year’s election. It will be in the hands of the electorate. Personally, I would welcome someone to replace me at the town hall.
If you had to assess your many years in the office, what is your greatest achievement?
We’ve managed many capital projects, but I don’t think it’s just my fault – it’s always been a collective decision of the board. I would rather say that I like the functioning of the office and that, for example, the municipal days that I set up serve to let citizens know that I am there for them. In other words, the style of communication and the culture in the office have changed.
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