Answer by the Mayor of Prijedor to citizens’ demands (Prijedor #2)

REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
TOWN PRIJEDOR
MAYOR OF PRIJEDOR
…………………………………
79 101 Prijedor, Liberation Square 1, Tel. +387 52 245 100, 245 101, fax +387 52 245 104, email: gradonacelnik@prijedorgrad.org, http://www.prijedorgrad.org

Number: 02-sl-3-14/14
Date: 13.2.2014

SUBJECT: ANSWER TO THE DEMANDS OF A GROUP OF CITIZENS

Based on the demands of a group of citizens from Prijedor which I received on the 10th February 2014, after the first analyses, and by agreement that I will on Friday 14th February give the answers to the questions that are possible to answer in such a short time-frame, I inform them about the following:

1. Directors of public institutions in Prijedor are elected  by competitions and they are appointed by the City assembly. Reports about the work of public institutions in Prijedor are reviewed annually when the work of the director is assessed too. Currently  there is a public competition  for directorial posts at the following institutions: “Gallery 96”, tourist organisations; “Health Centre”, “The City Pharmacy”, playgroup “Happiness” and “Centar for film screenings”. All appointments must be in accordance with the legislative demands. The public competition was open on the  30th January and following the procedure and the selection of  a short list of  candidates, it will be passed on to the City Assembly for assessment and appointing procedure. It would be excessive to replace current Directors without having assessed the quality of their work before that.

  • Your demand will be passed on to the City Assembly.

2. I have,  personally and together with other colleagues and many institutions and individuals, fought for a long time for the foundation of the Centre for Public Security in Prijedor. Finally we succeeded in opening it. The City Assembly and its institutions do not influence the selection of employers at the Municipal Police Administration [MUP], this is a matter for their own departments. Besides I have no reason to  distrust the management of the Police (MUP).

  • Your demand will be passed on to the Municipal Police Administration.

3. I am surprised by this question and in the same manner I could ask the writer of this sentence to apologise publicly because the town of Prijedor is one of the rare towns and municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina which has been functioning well for the past eight years,  has no debts, and it delivers all of its responsibilities on time. We have fought energetically to ensure that all that is publicly owned remains in public ownership, and for the large part we managed. This is just one of a few reasons why the writer of this demand should apologise to me.

4. The workers of the factories in Prijedor which have been destroyed through bankrupcy and liquidation are under the jurisdiction of Republika Srpska. Many of the workers who were affected by this, were given  assistance, some of them were even assisted by the Municipality, regardless of whose responsibility this was.  We will continue to do so.

  • We agree that we need to pay attention to old Ljubija Mines and together with you and the citizens of Prijedor we will energetically persevere and work on the re-opening  of the Mine “Ljubija”

5. The fight against crime and corruption, against nepotism, is a matter that can’t be solved with one act, and at once, but it is a matter that needs to be consistently worked on and requires everyone’s participation. I can assure you that at the departments  under my jurisdiction, there is no nepotism. I am of the opinion that father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister can not work in the same company and you are a witness that such a thing is not done. Respecting these laws is the best form of fighting against such occurrences.

  • I agree that the work of Inspection officials should be independent because this is how they are working now and as far as insisting on inspecting the quality of work [of inspectors and employees], I think that we share the same goals.

6. All those responsible for breaking the Law of Public Procurement Bosnia-Herzegovina should answer for it.

  • Reports from the inspections will be submitted to the Prosecutors Office or to the Police.

7. Achieving the workers rights and fight for workers rights is a matter of all public departments and institutions, especially  the Unions. All institutions that are either owned or are funded by the city have a Union organisation, for all the other institutions this is a matter for Unions and private owners.

  • We will submit your demand to the Union.

8. I belive that the old City Hall building  is not of a great value to prevent its demolition, and not to build a new one. Part of Regulation plan, which has already been adopted, predicts the demolition of the old Hall, and the building of a new object.

  • However, based on your demand we will open a debate about this and see what will be the outcome of that public debate.

9. Your request will be submitted to the City assembly which is the only responsible institution to take decision on amount of salaries. In my opinion the Municipality has in the past helped with the work of the soup kitchen in Prijedor and is still helping. It also opened a soup kitchen in Ljubija together with the non-governmental organisation “The Bread of Life”, and we cooperate exceptionally well. So far we have had no difficulties with financing the work of these public kitchens. On the contrary, we have more difficulties in finding larger spaces that can be of  benefit to more citizens, therefore the resources for that do not need to be taken from the members of parliament’s wages.

  • The demand will be submitted to the City Assembly.

10. This is not within the responsibilities of the municipality, but as a legal expert, I could not say that consequences should not be borne by those who have done something wrong, and least they have done nothing wrong, they ought not to bear consequences. It is not the responsibility of the Municipality to impose any sanctions or do anything else, and this we submit to the responsible institutions such as the police, the prosecution and other institutions.

  • The demand will be submitted to the Municipal police and the Prosecution

11. The space for young people in the city is the only available space we managed to obtain through playgrounds, the Summer garden, the object for the Youth Council and so on. All this space is available to young people. I cannot influence how they elect their Council.

  • I do agree that the space should be available to all Youth organisations and that no party members should be managing it.

12. Up until now all the media swear to you they are not under political influence, and I don’t understand therefore, why our local media would be influenced by politics. Since I have been the Mayor we have never replaced a member of staff or hired personnel with the purpose of satisfying some political decisions. The employees, who have worked in the local media, are still employed there and the city puts aside a large size of its budget to finance them.

  • In principle I agree with the cessation of political influence on media, but at the same time I inform you that we could work together towards this, because up until now I have not been aware of any political influence on media.

13. The health protection is regulated by law and abolishing all [financial] participation will, most likely, cause an enormous damage and will make it impossible for health institutions to survive.

  • The demand has been submitted to the Ministry for Health

14. The city gives a large amount of resources towards social help, and in 2013 for this cause, we gave 3.188.524 KM [convertible marks] (which included funds from the budget reserves) out of which the disbursement of social funds through the Centre for Social Work was 2.071.300KM. In the budget for 2014 we have earmarked 3.106.800KM (this does not include funds from the budget reserves, and those will be added later in the year). The rest of the funds which are marked directly from the City’s budget are used for pupils’ transport, financing of public kitchens, transport of pupils with special needs, expenses concerning the burial of disappeared and the homeless, a one-off financial help to the socially disadvantaged, grants for IVF, alternative accommodation, support for returns, and other social needs. Additionally, we emphasise that we are a rare City which so far has settled all of its financial obligations towards those users with rights to social welfare in our town, as well as towards the specialised institutions which are taking care of our citizens in our cities.

  • Should a need emerge for increasing social funds, I do agree with you, the funds will be increased.

15. The Dog Shelter on Kureva Street is managed by the Prijedor Council Services, financed through the common council expenditure and on the basis of the programme which is adopted by the City Assembly. The dog shelter exists since April 2010, and the following amount of money has been allocated for its work:
2010 – 68.731.86 KM
2011 – 103.948,73 KM
2012 – 117.923,57 KM
2013 – 126.845,52 KM
TOTAL 417,449,68 KM

  • Instructions were given to the responsible authorities to conduct a revision about expenses of budget resources.

We must all together, be aware that effort in resolving all of these issues, demands continuity and persistence, responsibility and a social control, and we will, regardless of the issues you have brought to us, always have this in mind.

The Mayor of Prijedor, Marko Pavic

Demands of the citizens of Prijedor can be read here.

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