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Monday 25.03.2019 | Name days: Māra, Marita, Mārīte
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How the rulers of Ventspils divided the budget

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘The 2014 budget of Ventspils City Council was approved quietly by politicians of For Latvia and Ventspils with help from Harmony Centre deputy Vitaly Trusevich January 24, 2014. As usual, the primary goal of the budget is satisfying the growing needs of those in charge of Ventpils, the smaller needs of those who run with them. The insignificant needs of the city’s residents are to be considered only if there is anything left of the budget after the satisfaction of the aforementioned greater needs,’ – as the budget division process is described by opposition deputies Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis in their open letter.

BNN publishes the whole letter:

In order to have this priority-lacking budget approved, those who rule Ventspils did everything they could from day one to not allow any people who could have potentially opposed the ‘priorities’ of the rulers of Ventspils to access the budget formation process.

We are not surprised with the budget creators’ inability to answer a single one of our questions. The rulers of Ventspils could not recall the simplest things: how much money is to be diverted for marketing activities and publicity, especially regarding financial support for Ventas Balss newspaper? Will the municipal budget keep financing maintenance and repairs of the vehicles owned by high-rank officials of Ventspils City Council? Why doesn’t the budget include funding to provide pensioners free public transport services within city limits? Why can’t we adequately support social activities through non-governmental organizations like ‘Žēlsirdības māja’ (House of mercy) and ‘Cimdiņš’ or any other organization that provides support and cares for children invalids and other unfortunate souls? Why isn’t the municipal budget reinforced by an additional amount of approximately EUR 1.6 million from the total of EUR 26 million worth of assets at Ventspils Freeport? Why does this happen year after year? Why do we support different guest artists and athletes so generously while our own people (children, invalids, pensioners and employed people) have to make due with a constant lack of financial support?

Aivars Lembergs and Co refused to answer any of these questions and many other questions. Even our proposal to reduce unnecessary administrative expenses to divert money for social needs was not deemed worthy to discuss. This is why we believe it necessary to inform Ventspils residents about topics Ventas Balss does not write about. The majority of the city council also prefers to remain silent about these topics.

The message of Ventspils City Council deputies Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis to the deputies of Ventspils City Council who approve the 2014 Ventspils budget:

Colleagues!

We stated it multiple times in the past that it is unacceptable to have such an important document be developed without discussions and have only representatives of the ruling party – For Latvia and Ventspils – participate in the development process.

We remind that:

-in direct breach of the Law on Municipalities, deputies of the For Latvia and Ventspils and Vitaly Trusevich of Harmony Centre had declined our right, as the second largest political force in Ventspils, to become part of the city council’s committees and councils, including the Economic and Budget Committee on multiple occasions in the past;

-deputies of For Latvia and Ventspils along with Vitaly Trusevich had made sure that meetings of Ventspils City Council are not broadcasted live, so that their minutes, audio and video recordings are not made available to Ventpils residents;

-For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre declined our requests to be provided with any information related to the formation of the budget. Our requests to access documents and minutes of the Economy and Budget Committee were declined multiple times;

-our submitted initiative to be allowed to observe Ventspils city budget formation talks during meetings of Ventspils City Council (which would have city council deputies to communicate with their voters and be able to make proposals that defend their interests) was declined by For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre;

-finally, the political majority of Ventspils City Council (For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre) have also declined our proposal to reinforce Ventspils City Council’s budget with revenue gained from assets provided to Ventspils Freeport.

We remind that the total worth of the assets provided to the Freeport is estimated at EUR 26 million. The money Ventspils City Council loses every year because of not requesting relevant payments from the Freeport is estimated at EUR 1.6 million.

All of the aforementioned actions of the ruling parties of Ventspils City Council show that For Latvia and Ventspils and Vitaly Trusevich (HC) are afraid of showing residents of Ventspils their developed budget plan. They understand perfectly well that the plans that were developed by them in secret are likely to be disapproved by residents of Ventspils. We are certain that the majority of the population of Ventspils would find it rather questionable to learn that Ventpils City Council spends significant resources to advertise the ruling political party, its image, financing the needs of ‘the right’ people and denies funding to:

social activities – House of Mercy;

pensioners – free public transport services and benefits;

children – events, sports clubs and needs of general education, art and music schools;

culture, healthcare, education and adequate evaluation of the people who work for them.

The offer to allow Ventspils City Council to authorize the Chairman of Ventspils City Council to approve budgets of municipal institutions and dictate the volume of municipal funding for municipal enterprises and Ventspils University College seems especially odd. It is unacceptable to allow individual officials to freely manage funds of the municipal budget reserve fund.

Colleagues!

Residents have granted us, not the Chairman of Ventspils City Council or any of its structures, the functions to manage our fair city. This is why we need to take full responsibility and strengthen the budget of the municipality, its sub-structures, enterprises and associations related to them. And we have to inform residents of our initiatives, so that no one would have any doubts about the budget’s quality and justifications behind any and all budget fund division priorities.

The document we see today does not provide these things.

This is why we offer you to have a look at our plan:

OFFERED PROJECT:

1.Take into consideration the approval of the offered Ventspils City municipal budget for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 1), Ventspils city special budget (funds intended for special goals) for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 2), Ventspils City municipality’s gifts and donations budget for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 3);

2.Secure the following for Ventspils City Council Executive Director and Ventspils City Council’s Finance Department:

2.1.Increase of Ventspils City municipal budget’s increase by EUR 1.6 million by leasing assets owned by Ventspils City Council at Ventspils Freeport;

2.2.Increase of Ventspils City budget’s expenses by the amount mentioned in the previous point (EUR 1.6 million). Reduce the funding proposed for marketing, advertisement and publicity by EUR 0.3 million and divert the remaining amount for the following goals:

free public transport services for pensioners within limits of Ventspils city;

funding of social events through non-governmental organizations – ‘House of Mercy’, ‘Cimdiņš’ and others;

provide activities for youth and children within the city’s infrastructure (sports clubs and school, various interest groups which provide general education, art, music school, cultural centres and others);

promotion of cultural, sports and social events for Ventspils residents.

3.Allow the review of ‘Ventspils City municipal budget for 2014′ for Ventspils City Council’s Finance Department in three readings:

3.1.deputies of Ventspils City Council are given no less than 10 work days to develop and submit written proposals;

3.2.voting for Ventspils City Council deputies’ proposals is to be held on the next city council meeting that includes the review of regulations for Ventspils city budget for 2014 with participation of specialists who will decide whether or not budget proposals are to be approved;

3.3.deputies of Ventspils City Council are to be presented with the budget project at least 10 days prior to review at Ventspils City Council in full volume and edition as it is accepted by the Economy and Budget Committee.

It should also be added that our (Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis) proposed project was declined by the ruling parties as they have the majority of votes. The following deputies of Ventspils City Council voted AGAINST our project: Aivars Lembergs, Jānis Vītoliņš, Didzis Ošenieks, Ilze Buņķe, Dainis Gīlis, Andris Grigalis, Aigo Gūtmanis, Aldis Savinskis, Vitālijs Trusevičs.

ABSTAINED: Dace Korna.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Guntis Blumbergs.

P.S.

Vitaly Trusevich, who was elected from Harmony Centre in spite of failed promises to provide pensioners with free public transport services. He opposed the proposal to allocate adequate funding for “Cimdiņš” and “Home of Mercy” and other initiatives.

King regards

Deputies of Ventspils City Council

Aivis Landmanis

Vladislav Shafranskis


Leave a reply

  1. El Curio says:

    Does Lembergs ever stop smiling?

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