"I understand the position of the rayon leaders, who want to maintain more powers and resources at their level. It is more customary, convenient and profitable for the officials themselves. And only where the welfare of people is considered as priority, there is active support for the formation of capable hromadas. The wise rayon executives saw the possibility of the reform to develop the territory and realise oneself,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during a working meeting on problematic issues of improving the administrative-territorial structure of the sub-regional level of the Odesa Oblast.
Representatives of the Bolgrad Rayon Council of the Odesa Oblast, present at the meeting, opposed the AH formation on their territory, as it seems to ruin the rayon, and therefore people will not have high-quality administrative, medical and other necessary services. Even more they are frightened by expert proposals for the rayon level reformatting. They are so frightened that the rayon council even appealed to the President and the Prime Minister... of another state. A little later – to the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine.
"The fact that you violate laws by your own appeals is bad, and other bodies will give appropriate conclusions to these actions. The worst thing for us is that for three years you have been telling these “horror stories” to the rayon residents, while hromadas could already develop and provide all services to people, much better than the rayon is currently doing. Moreover, hromada leaders seek to amalgamate since they see it as an opportunity for development. Preventing them, you harm people. And irrespective of nice slogans proclaimed like "save the rayon", "save culture", "save the village", etc. – they still hide an attempt to preserve the old, inefficient, malicious control system. You are well aware that amalgamated hromadas are capable of providing all services to people on their own, namely, they can bring life back to the village, and it is there, in villages and not in the rayon, that a genuine culture and traditions live together, and they should be developed by hromadas themselves,” noted Vyacheslav Nehoda addressing the rayon representatives.
During the meeting the heads of hromadas confirmed that they were ready to amalgamate even three years ago, but the rayon authorities in every way prevented this.
“It is sad that thousands of people in the Bolgrad Rayon have already lost three years. Instead of improving living standards, services, infrastructure, they only had promises and disappointments. I am sure that they do not see the true root of the problem, so they doubt the reasonability of the reform, they doubt the capacities of the heads of their hromadas. Unfortunately, there are many such examples in Ukraine, and they stimulate us to quickly complete the process of building a capable AH, even if we have to do it administratively. Hundreds of amalgamated hromadas have proved to everyone that they are effective, their experience is worth to be spread over the whole of Ukraine. And we cannot constantly put up with the fact that residents of non-amalgamated hromadas are losing the opportunity to live better because of the stance of officials, whom they did not even elect,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
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