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Monday 19.02.2018 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna
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An average Ventspils resident: cakes lose their sweet taste if you make them every day

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You don’t make cakes every day; otherwise their festive taste goes away. The same principle applies to festive events, believes a Ventspils resident Dzintars Kantsons. He wrote a letter to BNN, in which he expresses the opinion of an average Ventspils resident about everything that is happening in the city.

“Thanks to an aggressive marketing strategy, Ventspils is now well-known in Latvia and other countries. Thousands of tourists from Lithuania, Russia and other countries visit Ventspils every year. Many guests of the city believe Ventspils is a paradise – it is clean, beautiful, often houses different cultural events, and has a lively sport life. Traditions become richer every year, and we should be proud and thankful to the City Council and its officials for this,” – says Kantsons. However, he adds that all this should be viewed from a different perspective as well.

“The City Council pays notable amounts of money to different advertisement agencies and festival organizers every year, so that the whole of Europe would discuss the achievements of the city’s management. To say something like – our city is the very best, the most beautiful and so on, and so on in every aspect. But do we really need this pompousness? Are Ventspils residents truly at piece, knowing that their paid taxes are being used in such a way? The Venstpils City Council earns nothing on its own. The city’s entire income comes from taxes – residents and businessmen.”

The author of the letter notes that the head of the city was very happy and proud about the fact that the city’s real estate property is being bought by foreigners a year ago. Shortly after this, real estate prices went up. “Who benefits from this? Maybe a few local residents that successfully managed to sell apartments, but for several hundred residents this turned out to be a catastrophe – they had to wait for prices to go down, so that they would be able to purchase apartments.”

“When I was a child, my grandmother told me that you don’t make cakes every day – they lose their festively sweet taste otherwise. Is it not the same with festive events? We all like to celebrate, we like fireworks and other entertainment, but if you do it every day, it becomes routine. Many do not understand as to why the Bridge festival needs to be celebrated during Christmas, which has a different meaning in Christian and Ancient Baltic traditions. Many people also do not understand why the festive fireworks need to be fired up at some Ventspils specific time, which ruins the “magical moment” for children, because they rarely stay up late. Looking at all the colourful fireworks and all kinds of festivals, a question comes to mind – why are we [Ventspils] are so quiet on November 18? And what do we, Ventspils residents, gain from all this? Additional revenue for cafes and guest houses, many countries know about us – fact. But if we think carefully and hold fewer festivals in Ventspils, we would be able to afford supporting Ventspils residents – free public transport services for the duration of the festival or offer financial support to poor residents,“ – believes the average Ventspils resident.

He adds that he understood many years ago, when working at a municipal institution, that the culmination of festivals in Ventspils is organized in a way that would have something to celebrate in Ventspils just on the eve of municipal elections. “And believe me, it is not planned to raise the welfare and spirits of Ventspils residents, but to convince us that we live in Ventspils better than other people elsewhere. Yes, our city is beautiful and clean, but not because it is full of plastic cows. It is great because we are located near the sea and surrounded by forests, lakes. We have Venta flowing through our city – that is our greatest treasure.

But the time has come for the city’s authorities to think about its residents – to reduce unemployment, to secure adequate remuneration, to make sure payments for utilities would not grow because of suspicious thievery and inability to realize development projects. Now is the time to resolve the air pollution issue. Unfortunately, the list can go on and on. It also includes quite a few achievements that have definitely made life easier for residents and were made during the term of the current mayor,” – says the author of the letter.

According to him, not all opportunities of Ventspils port were used in the last 20 years, all because of the “leader’s” greed. It reduced the port’s level of prestige on a global level; many investors have left. If everything is all right in Ventspils, I doubt we need the money of EU taxpayers to manage municipality’s owned houses and infrastructure. Ventpils residents can do this using their own money. Some money would even remain, enough for other Latvian cities to use.

“Unfortunately, the current situation is not too good. The number of shops that trade is used clothing and pawnshops increases. People leave Ventspils to try their luck in other countries. Most working residents receive minimum wages, which is not enough to cover everyday necessities. There is a rich Ventspils – and its poor residents…,” – says Kantsons. He calls all Ventspils residents to participate in municipal elections and vote for change in Ventspils. He believes it is important not to give in to different benefits and false festivals and other marketing tricks, but make sure Ventspils becomes a city with a tomorrow not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.

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