The Institution of City Council Is Well-Established despite the Mayor’s Dominant Position
14.01.2015
12:00
Though the institution of city council is already well-established, it fails to fully balance and monitor the city mayor’s activities.

Official statistics indirectly state the given fact: in 2014 the city administration initiated 90 percent of projects, with 10 percent being proposed by the City Council.  

The Media Center held a panel discussion on the activities of Yerevan City Council in 2014. The panelists included: Natalya Lapauri, Member of the Republican Party of Armenia Factionof Yerevan City Council; Tamara Poghosyan, Head of the Prosperous Armenia Faction of Yerevan City Council; Anahit Bakhshyan, Head of the Barev Yerevan Faction of Yerevan City Council; Gagik Baghdasaryan,Advisor to Yerevan Mayor; Arthur Drampyan, local governance expert;and Vardan Geravetyan, Member of the Our City Initiative.

“Yerevan has a distinct system of local governance. The City Council has a special status, with a more parliamentary type of governance than the local authorities in the other 900 communities. Here elections are with proportional representation systems and this is what makes governance in Yerevan different,” said Arthur Drampyan.

Tamara Poghosyan described 2014 as a year full of events. The institution of city council has become well-established, Poghosyan believes. She added that Yerevan faces an issue of physically and morally worn-out housing stock. “The next issue in Yerevan is waste collection. It was included in our election program and we have drafted a concept for solving the problem,” said Poghosyan.

Anahit Bakhshyan and Vardan Geravetyan disagreed. The city Council is still too weak and the Mayor plays the decisive role, they believe. “Decisions are made by the Mayor because he is part of the governing team, and the Republicans comprise the majority in the Council. All the city administration does to help citizens is done under pressure,” said Vardan Geravetyan.

“Yes, the Mayor decides everything. He enacts his team’s decisions and cannot go against the team,” said Anahit Bakhshyan. The speaker urged citizens to more actively participate in governing the city.

Anastas Mikoyan’s Statue

With respect to Anastas Mikoyan’s monument and public resistance following the decision to erect it in Yerevan, Gagik Baghdasaryan said it is not the City Council that made a decision over Mikoyan’s monument.

“The Council received the proposal and initially agreed. But when it will be erected or it will be erected at all, the Council cannot say,” noted Baghdasaryan.

Yerevan Budget

“The budget increased by four points. It is an achievement in our opinion since not all communities may boast budget increase,” stated Natalya Lapauri.

The Yerevan budget amounts to 71 billion drams only 20 billion drams out of which are incurred from the city’s profits, with the rest being allocated by the Government.

With regard to the allocation of 70 million drams for travel expenses, Lapauri said, “These visits are aimed at promoting Yerevan abroad and attracting more investments.”

The speaker pointed out only waste collection as a field which was invested in during 2014.

 

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