Pilsen has changed a lot in recent years, today it is a metropolis full of life, greenery, modern architecture, which, especially in the center, complements the historic, renovated. It’s a city that tries to inconvenience the people who live there as little as possible and wants to make their lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. We are a city that listens to the inhabitants and communicates with them. And we try to accommodate their wishes and listen to their feedback and do something with them. And that translates into topics that I have focused on as mayor, and that already have their results.
So what’s bothering the locals and what are you focusing on?
They are embarrassed by the feeling of security that they often evoke, especially in the city centre. In recent years, we have repaired the center of Pilsen for a considerable amount of money so that normal life can return there, so that people want to spend their free time there. The park circuit and the streets around the square are full of people from spring to autumn, a number of restaurants, cafes and front gardens have been established here, and the city has come to life very much. Unfortunately, it also comes with the negatives that we’ve probably all come across. The parks of the center have become a meeting place for various groups of people fortified by alcohol and who harass those around them. It’s not pleasant for anyone. This is why we have adopted a decree that limits the consumption of alcohol in these places. So that these people just stop going there and not bother others.
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The purpose of the decree is certainly not to punish honest people. The policeman can only warn them that they are not allowed to drink alcohol in the indicated place and that they can sit, for example, in the garden in front of the restaurant, where it is no problem . Of course, the decree also does not apply to markets, festivals or cultural events. The decree therefore primarily targets those who disturb the environment by their behavior, as I mentioned. This is one of the topics that I chose as a key question and now I have realized it.
What’s the next topic?
Another thing that has plagued the town for many years is the dissatisfaction with the area around the Construction Machinery junction, particularly the torso of the old Carimex building, which we have been trying to remove for many years. I think we will finally make a deal with its owner over the holidays and then the building will be demolished. And it’s the same with the water from the Bolevecký pond. Due to the drought, it has been in decline since 2015. Fortunately, we found a way to help Bolevák by bringing water from Berounka there. It was not so easy, in addition to pumping from the river to the pond, you also have to modify the water a little, but in March we started a company that will manage the construction, and in September I believe , the water will start flowing into Bolevák.
Of course, no one in the world would be grateful to everyone, but I try, and not only me, to move Pilsen forward and make people live well here.
Is it difficult to become the leader of a city in such a short time?
My advantage is that I have been in charge of the city since 2014, as a technical assistant. Thanks to this, I have an overview of practically all the areas and projects that the city has carried out and is in the process of carrying out. Moreover, three quarters of a year is not that short. The things I want to do, as I’ve described in previous answers, aren’t that small, but they will definitely get there. Of course, circumstances bring new tasks to the solution that you do not expect, but you have to manage. The conflict in Ukraine and the arrival of people who had fled to Pilsen before the war are probably the most striking example of this.
He tortured his girlfriend and daughter, the court ruled. The owner of the microbrewery received a condition
Will you be seeking re-election in the fall municipal elections?
The TOTAL coalition, ie the ODS, TOP09 and KDU coalition, will go to the elections in Pilsen. My main objective is for the TOTAL coalition to win the elections. And to defeat the alliance of Pirates and YES, which quietly emerged here in Pilsen in connection with the coup in the Pilsen region. It will be a duel, who of whom. Either ENSEMBLE or “PIRANO”. And what position I will be in the campaign or after the election, I do not consider the most important now.
So far, something has appeared – apart from the crisis in Ukraine – that surprised you in power that you did not expect, and now it is necessary to fix it?
I don’t know if it didn’t count, but what I consider important and what concerns me a great deal is the modification of the building law, which I am negotiating with the government, in particular the Ministry of regional development, but also with the mayors of other cities to find a compromise. For many people this is probably a bit of an abstract topic, but I’ll try to explain a bit more precisely why it’s important to all of us.
We are one of the few major cities to have a new approved and now updated zoning plan. It offers a vision of our city for at least the next ten years. It is in a situation where the previous government passed a new construction law, which removes the right of self-government to plan, build and decide on the territory almost a miracle. For example, Prague has been working on it for twenty years and still does not have it ready. Currently, there is a risk that we will have to rework the spatial plan, because the previous government, together with former minister Dostálová, approved for YES that all cities and municipalities have standardized zoning plans. But this is complete nonsense. It is clear to everyone that a city like Pilsen has completely different development needs and opportunities than, for example, a municipality with a thousand inhabitants. The entry into force of the building law must now be postponed and some gross errors corrected.
How prepared is Pilsen for the influx of Ukrainian refugees? How do you think he will go about it?
This is a situation that we could not prepare for in advance. It all happened within a few days, when the first refugees started arriving in Pilsen after the outbreak of the conflict. These people are fleeing war, and it is almost inconceivable for us to accept the situation where we would have to get together overnight and go to a foreign country, leave everything we have and start all over again, not knowing how long it take the last. Thanks to the coordination of the state, the region and the city, the aid works very well. My colleague, MP David Šlouf, is very grateful. It was he who, in the beginning, knew how to put in place everything necessary from practically nothing so that the help of those who needed it worked. But he set it up to work for the city and our people. The big wave of solidarity from the people of Pilsen is also important, it’s an incredible story, and I have to thank everyone for that.
PHOTO GALLERY: Kozel Castle welcomed the first visitors on Saturday
Do you think the influx of Ukrainians will have an impact on security in Pilsen?
These people who come here don’t come here to support two or five thousand people a month. Not even because they will be able to take free trams throughout the city. These people came here to save their lives and the lives of their children. It’s the most precious thing they have. In this relatively short period of time, you can see that they want to live a normal life here. So go to work, go to school like we lived at home and like most of us live. Of course, in every society there are people whose lives and values are defined differently. At home. Of course, we have to reckon with that. In any society, people are good and then less good. But I wouldn’t look for significant differences.
Has the city administration had to postpone a project because of the war in Ukraine?
The situation in general has been complicated for some time, in particular because of the war in Ukraine. Dramatically, the prices of absolutely everything, for example, in construction is no exception to double. We have to deal with this one way or another and so far we are doing so very successfully. The war in Ukraine has led to a downsizing, so we’ll see how long this fluctuation lasts. However, as far as the city is concerned, so far everything is going as it should. Also because we have always prepared a budget responsibly in recent years. We don’t live on debt. We are saving funds for longer term projects. At the same time, we are succeeding in capturing European subsidies.