Promoting to the reporting of city mayors – one of the activities of the All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community” in the framework of the project “Roadmap for Government”. Thus, we found reports and analyzed what exactly city leaders did during 2017.
58% and 61% of citizens believe that the local deputy and the mayor, respectively, do not agree with their opinions. These data have been obtained from the All-Ukrainian study of the National Democratic Institute. Indeed, the authority is often confidential to the citizens, where the authorities say: “You have chosen us for 5 years. You should not interrupt our work now”. However, under such condition of distrust and secrecy, the development of cities cannot be built on. However, there is a number of local councils and mayors who have already chosen the path of publicity and openness, who report to the public and are ready for direct questions from residents. This happens thanks to the proposals that are brought to the heads of the cities of the district and a regional significance, where the activists of the All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community” come to instigate.
When analyzing trends, we have categorized reporting formats of heads of city councils as follow:
- The mayor is limited to release a report in the form of a document to be shared on the website of the city council and/or in the city newspaper. Not in a form of a dialogue.
- The mayor reports to the deputies, and thereafter he/she publishes a report on the website and/or in the newspaper.
- The mayor reports to residents with the subsequent publication of the report.
In our opinion, the last method is the most effective one, although such form does not reach the peak of its publicity. According to the model of the Movement “Chestno” The “Active Community” invites the mayors, in addition to the methods described above, to report on television or radio with the opportunity for citizens to ask questions live. An even better option is when there are activists or experts in the studio of the TV channel, who also can join the discussion.
For example, the report of the Drohobych mayor was held on the popular Drohobych radio “Your native radio”. During the broadcast, more than 500 citizens of Drohobych took part in the discussion, and on the whole, at least 5,100 people revised the report, which is 6.5% of the city’s population. That is a satisfactory result for a single broadcast.
Institute “Respublica” recommends that such reports should be made once a quarter of a year with the participation of either the mayor himself and/or authorized representatives of his team – deputies, heads of relevant departments, etc. Today, most reports of mayors are held once a year, in some cases – once every six months.
A good example of quarterly reporting was previously one of the practices in the city of the Yuzhne, Odesa region. Residents during a dialogue with the coordinator of the “Active Community” told that the previous mayor, once in a quarter used to do the public reports right in the courtyards of high-rise buildings. He came along with his deputies or heads of departments, spoke about the main achievements of the quarter, after which he also discussed the problems of the city with the residents.
Today, out of 12 campaign town, we were able to analyze 7 – from Bohuslav, Dobropillya, Drohobych, Zinkiv, Kramatorsk, Skadovsk, Yuzhne. The mayors of Drohobych and Skadovsk reported live on air. In the city of Yuzhne, the mayor reported at school to the residents, while other citizens could watch the live broadcast on the local television channel. Reports of other heads are taken from open sources.
According to the results of the analysis, experts from Institute “Respublica” grouped 5 areas of activities, where more work was done, in accordance with the reports of the mayors.
- Medicine – additional financing of expenses, payroll for medical workers, purchase of medicines and medical equipment.
- General and current renovation of street pavements, roads patching, street lighting.
- Pre-school, school, and extracurricular education – an optimization of educational networks, an improvement of material and technical equipment of educational institutions, an organization of nutrition options in schools, support for talented children, an inclusive education.
- Social programs – support for socially vulnerable groups of the population, social support for “ATO” (anti-terrorist operation) participants and their families, work with people with disabilities
- Improvement of recreation areas – a restoration of parks and squares, complex landscaping of the city.
Some mayors, speak not only about the achievements but also they indicated the failures in the reporting year. In particular, in Bohuslav, it was not possible to ensure the support of the governance of the district and the region in the matter of creating the Bohuslav united territorial community. In Skadovsk, the planned renovation work has not been completed and the city, neither the city development department, nor the city ritual service.
We have identified the following special achievements in these cities:
- The construction of a solar power station in the city has been extended to operate. It is planned that the operation of the station will be commissioned in 2018, and this will significantly increase budget revenues.
- The city has 50 eurocontainers for the collection of solid household waste.
- In 2017, significant attention was paid to the problem of legalizing advertising media. At the request of the public, an active struggle against a spontaneous trade in the central part of the city began.
- At the beginning of 2017, the city started the work of a city contact center, where residents can report any problem in the housing and communal services, using the software to track the timing and procedure of solving problems.
The main disadvantages of the reports
As for now, there is not a uniform model form, that is, reports of various sizes and different levels of detail. Also, bear in mind that in most reposts, there is no visualization – photographs or infographics. Only 2 of the 7 reports, in the text part, was attached a slide presentation. However, the visual material would ease the perception of the information that is in the report.
As a result
Now the reporting of elected representatives for 2017 continues. We are expecting reports from other mayors, and we are also starting to analyze the reports of deputies of local councils. We desire that our readers will increase their attention to their elected officials, and their curiosity. Ask your mayors, deputies about their report, about what was achieved in 2017 and suggest how you can improve your hometown. Only together we can build strong and developed cities!
Yulia Panchenko, Oleksandra Skyba
More information about the reports of mayors can be found here:
Bohuslav, Kiev region
Drohobych, Lviv region
Zinkiv, Poltava region
Kramatorsk, Donetsk region
Skadovsk, Kherson region
Yuzhne, Odessa region
It should be noted that the project “Roadmap for Government” is implemented in 30 cities. In terms of organizing public consultations – 18 regional centers and 12 small cities. In terms of promoting public accountability of mayors, the Institute “Respublica” collaborates in partnership with Centre UA.
Note. The project “Roadmap for Government” is being implemented with the support of the National Democratic Institute for International Relations (NDI).