Building Community Awareness
Comment
Building Community Awareness
17. 7. 2017

I met the mayor of a medium-sized city, who charmed me by his approach to his mission, his people and the town he stands for and has lived in from early childhood. His political pedigree ensues from a small local citizens’ group which it would be foolish to call a political party or movement. They are rather a club of active local citizens that has organized public, cultural and sports projects in their urban environment. By virtue of their involvement thee persuaded the public to vote them in and give them the power to steer the city. For two election periods the city’s statutory head had been a person supported by a national political party, linked with corruption-prone and business-oriented circles. But in the first two years of new management, the mismanaged and grossly neglected city started turning for the better. Sidewalks were repaired, the nursery school expanded, the local swimming-pool reopened, the townhall started projects for the public, transport problems started to be tackled and the city’s economic situation started to improve. But most importantly, in my opinion, the city emerged as an assertive business partner for the contractors and business groups that until then always managed to coerce the former mayor to put their profit above the public interest.

I met the mayor of a medium-sized city, who charmed me by his approach to his mission, his people and the town he stands for and has lived in from early childhood. His political pedigree ensues from a small local citizens’ group which it would be foolish to call a political party or movement. They are rather a club of active local citizens that has organized public, cultural and sports projects in their urban environment. By virtue of their involvement thee persuaded the public to vote them in and give them the power to steer the city. For two election periods the city’s statutory head had been a person supported by a national political party, linked with corruption-prone and business-oriented circles. But in the first two years of new management, the mismanaged and grossly neglected city started turning for the better. Sidewalks were repaired, the nursery school expanded, the local swimming-pool reopened, the townhall started projects for the public, transport problems started to be tackled and the city’s economic situation started to improve. But most importantly, in my opinion, the city emerged as an assertive business partner for the contractors and business groups that until then always managed to coerce the former mayor to put their profit above the public interest.

Our organization has examined the record of a business corporation that for a long time coordinated public procurement contracts on behalf of several towns and organizations in the Liberec Region, as an external consultant. Most principals had for years used their own employees to manage routine contracts. However, when “bigger mouthfuls” were involved, this company always stepped in the game and the same old people always won public contracts. Importantly, this consulting firm nurtured close ties with the political party that ran the region. But this party emerged considerably weakened from the 2014 local elections and the regional polls in 2016. Consequently, the consulting company also started losing its mettle. And who would promote it, considering that people associated with the former ruling party are no longer at the helm of local administration? But they cling to their positions where party nominees are still strong, such as in regional hospitals.

In the regional capital, that party is in the opposition now, and the external consultant’s days are numbered. The city hall came alive with people like the proactive mayor I talked about. Active citizens, mostly professionals in their fields, had entered politics not because they were after lucrative political jobs, but because they wanted to improve the lives of their families and the city at large. Public contracts are awarded by public officials and businesspeople are treated as equals.

Local patriots and their determination thus prove more helpful to cities and municipalities than the logo and apparat of a traditional national political party. The golden rule is: nothing is for free and the less so the nominations and support of a big party in local politics. Modern-day politicians owe their fortune to the public, which holds political parties at bay.

 

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Cases

Intervention in Zlin T. Bata hospital. Police investigating fraud management

12.10. 2016

Police confirmed that the Bata Regional Hospital intervened because of suspicion of fraud management. Provided evidence when investigating possible criminal offenses. (in Czech only)


Labour Ministry Case - Šiška Sentenced to Six Years

30.9. 2016

The Prague City Court sentenced ex-Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs V. Šiška behind bars for his role in manipulating a welfare allowance payment contract. (in Czech only)


Rittig failed the Constitutional Court

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The Constitutional Court rejected the complaint against Ivo Rittig Municipal Court in Prague, which allow him to extend his action to the Endowment Fund Against Corruption. (in Czech only)

 

 

 

 

 

News
  • 17. 7. 2017
    I met the mayor of a medium-sized city, who charmed me by his approach to his mission, his people and the town he stands for and has lived in from early childhood.
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