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2015/10/23 13:03

Яременко БогданRecently, the Bila Trserkva city portal www.bc-like.com held a kind of stress-interviews with candidates for Bila Tserkva city mayor.

This time the readers asked the questions instead of journalists, so there was a very frank conversation. The candidate for Bila Tserkva city mayor, the head of the POWER OF PEOPLE Kyiv regional party unit Bohdan Yaremenko also gave his answers to the questions of Bila Tserkva citizens (author’s style of questions is unchanged):

If you have a business, why do you run for city mayor? With an aim to promote it?

I set up my business by my own in 2000 and worked by my own. A little later, I started to hire workers and in better days 80 people who received wages worked for me, and most of those who worked with me started their own business. Many of my former employees created their own advertising agencies due to the experience gained in my company. Now we are colleagues and develop the Bila Tserkva advertising market together. My advertising business doesn’t need to be lobbied by authorities.

Bohdan Batkovych, your election program is a real mystery. Only the fact that it is common for all candidates saves the situation. 

So, you are talking about fair tariffs. Do I understand you correctly that after you are elected as the city mayor, you are going to cancel fees for public services in general for 20 years due to large overpayments or return people the money for the last 20 years with indexation and compensation for moral harm? I saw checks but not the services for all these years.  

According to the Law of Ukraine “On local elections”, the election program of a candidate for city mayor is not a binding document. Most of candidates run for elections without such a document at all. We worked out our action plan for a city mayor and I believe, you will find answers to many questions there.

As for the tariffs, there are tariffs that we can’t influence on, because it is the ones set not by local authorities, and a city mayor together with a city council don’t have levers of influence on them: electricity, gas, water and sanitation, heating. However, public utility rates can be really changed by creating a condominium association, we also can influence the water and sanitation rates indirectly. Public utility charges also can be changed indirectly by contributing to the implementation of alternative heating sources through targeted programs in the city.

What do you think about this petition?

To my mind, mildly speaking, it is unreasonable. Many enterprises use this kind of advertisement to promote their products on the market, it provides a certain result, because if things were different, billboards would be empty. Nevertheless, I agree with the fact that we need to make outdoor advertising more civilized, it should organically fit the style of a particular street or district, but not to be an irritant to people.

Can you guarantee being the head of the municipal enterprise, which is responsible for the advertisement in the city, that there will be no violation of the law in terms of the election campaign timeline and that all advertisements will be removed from billboards in proper time?

I’m not a director of any municipal company! I own a private advertising business. Probably, you’ve got me mixed up with Yaroslav Yaremenko. People often confound me with him.

You are not afraid to communicate via comments! Respect! Probably, you were confused. I apologize, you know. The candidates have the same name and it is difficult to understand the political life of the city. 

It is true that I and the head of one of the municipal enterprises have the same name and I’m not afraid of hard questions. I believe that a dialogue is the best way to find common ground.

Mr.Bohdan is very lucky that at least two parties – Power of People and the Petro Poroshenko’s party “Solidarity” – support him at the same time. I drew this conclusion from the billboards one can see in Bila Tserkva. It would be great if you mentioned both those parties in your advertisement, because it can give a wrong impression that you are running from one party to another almost every day. Of course, it is your own business, but when such things happen during the election process, it looks bad.  

As Yuriy Anatolievich has already answered, it is my brother Yaroslav who represents the party Solidarity on billboards, I have the support of the Power of People party, the team of active and concerned Bila Tserkva citizens.

I want to believe that you will be a better city mayor than the previous one, resistant to troubles and temptations, and that you will work your term in the best possible manner for the people of our city. My question will be the following: will you report to the community, will your activities be covered (may be, via a website or in any other way)? Did you fill in an income declaration? If so, make it open to the public.

I published my income declaration and curriculum vitae in social networks and made it available to the public immediately when I got ID of a candidate for city mayor. I would like not only to make a website with reports, but I wish any person from Bila Tserkva to see every penny spent from the Bila Tserkva budget and at the expenses of municipal enterprises. I wish all Bila Tserkva citizens to participate in the discussion of important city issues. The community council should not only be on the paper, but also perform its control functions. I can’t do that alone, I’m not a Superman, but I am sure that we will do this with your help and the help of like-minded people.

I would like to ask a question regarding the railway crossing at the P.Zaporozhtsya St. Will this issue be resolved? It is like a thorn in the flesh for a large part of Bila Tserkva citizens. Another question relates to pavements (roads are maintained sometimes, especially before the elections, but nobody cares about the pavements). I have been living at Fadeev St. for more than 30 years and it is possible to walk along the so called pavement on the P.Zaporozhtsya St. only by wearing galoshes or boots (it is the same in summer and in winter). In addition, I would like to learn more about asphalt coating in the yards of residential buildings (especially, 107A, Fadeev St.). We live on the periphery, that’s why nobody sees us. You are talking about providing meals in schools. As for the school #23, we agree even to buy the food to have our children feed there.   

As for the railway crossing, it is the issue in the jurisdiction of Ukrzaliznytsya, if some mayor promised you to make it open, it would be a bare-faced lie. There is a letter to Ukrzaliznytsya saying that this railway crossing is dangerous, but what doesn’t allow to make the crossing safe? To my mind, we have to work on this issue and make it open.

Pavements and roads in the yards are a very sore point and it is usually raised from elections to elections, it not just sad, this is an outright inaction. Of course, often there are not enough funds in the budget to maintain or put asphalt, but not for 5-10 years. There should be a scheme to maintain roads worked out at the beginning of the year and the city mayor’s task is to make high-quality roads in the city for 5 years of his term.

Providing meals in schools became paid this year. However, the city council made a decision to allow parents to pay just a part of the cost of meals. I don’t know exactly the situation regarding the meals in the school #23, but if you have a page in Facebook, please, send me any additional information with a private message.

I really liked your booklet entitled “What should the mayor do for the development of our city?” If you are elected as our city mayor, how much time will you need to realize everything that is written there?  

Everything described in the booklet is the result of almost one year of work done by active Bila Tserkva citizens. Everyone has certain ideas or problems from time to time and we provided our vision of improvements in the city in this booklet. The timeline to implement certain points will be different. Some of them require only the political will of the authorities, while others openly require the long-term implementation and significant investments, and more specifically, it can be 10 or 20 years. I would like the community to take an active part in the discussion of points, which are described in this booklet, and their implementation.

We have the most difficult task – it is to put everything written into practice. The Power of People team decided that we would implement these points in any case. However, I believe that our representation in the government will allow us to realize everything in a more quick and efficient way.

Give your opinion about the work of the current mayor V.P.Savchuk

If I rate it according to the scale from 5 to 1, probably, it will be 2. V.P.Savchuk evaluated his work himself, when he refused to run for this election. To my mind, it is the most eloquent assessment of own work.

Is it possible to bring the city to a new level without global investments but only with the help of more qualified professionals in the administration of the city and public utility companies?

Changing executives won’t lead to anything without changing the system globally. The most important thing is that we need to change governance policies. It is necessary to restore the trust in the government and then attract investments.

When did you swim in the river Ros last time?

I did it as a child. But when we arranged the event to clean the Ros riverside on Vokzalna St. at the request of this district’s residents, I was impressed by the river’s state of neglect.

If yоu are elected as our city mayor, what things can you improve in the first half year of your governance?

  1. I will perform audit in public utilities companies and utility services.
  2. I will appoint capable leaders to the positions of directors and heads of public utility companies and utility services.
  3. We will work out and approve the city’s charter with all addenda.
  4. We will resume the work of the community council at the Bila Tserkva city council and make the activity of this body transparent and collective.
  5. We will establish a permanent competition of innovative ideas, implementation of which will improve the life in our city.
  6. We will establish a public and open competition for all positions – from a kindergarten teacher to a deputy mayor and directors of public utility companies.
  7. We will prohibit the city council deputies, executive committee members and their families to hold key positions in public utility companies, administrations, departments and city services.
  8. We will create the fully transparent Bila Tserkva city budget with free access to information on incomes and spending every penny from the city budget.
  9. We will launch the e-procurement system for everything purchased for public funds.
  10. We will ensure the fulfillment of guarantee obligations owed to the city and Bila Tserkva citizens.
  11. We will improve communication and interaction between the city executive committee and branch ministries along with departments.
  12. We will provide the online broadcast of city council sessions, executive committee meetings and city council standing committees.
  13. We will ensure the compliance with the Law of Ukraine on access to public information.

I believe that we need to start with these things in order to restore people’s trust in authorities.