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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

“The exiled mayor of Petrozavodsk Galina Shirshina: “I tried to stop being a pawn””


The Supreme court of Karelia upheld the decision on resignation of the head of Petrozavodsk, “the best mayor of Russia”, according to media reports, Galina Chisinau. 34-year-old woman, trapped in the power structure almost by accident, he did many things wrong, how made, how used: refused pompous Banquet after the inauguration, deprived functionaries of “Golden parachutes”…

It was removed. Loud and scandalous.

What happens to those who go against the system, in an interview with Galina Chisinau.


photo: RIA Novosti

In late December of last year deputies of the Petrograd Soviet gave Galina Chisinau notice of its intention to remove her from the post, with a list of complaints to her activities as much as 66 pages. Of the 28 MPs, only 3 voted against the resignation.

Karelia is not of Komi and Sakhalin, whose head is now spending time behind bars. But a few weeks ago, Putin reprimanded the local Governor Alexander Khudilainen. The reason of discontent of the President has called poor financial discipline and non-compliance with budgetary obligations, delayed resettlement Fund, all but the scandalous resignation of the mayor of Petrozavodsk Galina Chisinau.


photo: ru.wikipedia.org

The daughter of an army officer who came to Karelia from the frontier Kandalaksha. Teacher of the Karelian state pedagogical Academy, candidate of psychological Sciences — and suddenly became the head of a huge city. And now, after such a high-profile dismissal, and fighter for his rights.

Non-random selection?

In fact, she did not like the “bone in the throat” of the bureaucratic system. Low. Skinny. Some provincial open.

In the capital Galina brought the documents to the Supreme court, of last resort, which can reconstruct the position of mayor of Petrozavodsk.


photo: ru.wikipedia.org

— When they say that I did not expect to become a mayor, that’s not entirely true — I wasn’t going to become, — tells Galina Igorevna. — And suddenly the election. I’m going as an independent candidate. It was an educated decision. At some point, it became clear that the city, it is vital that the power had changed. Although then-mayor Nikolay Levin to be fit into the vertical, United Russia, agreed on all levels. But the opposition to his policy among the population has reached its limit.

And then literally out of nowhere appeared you?

— No, the main competitor Levin was Emilia Slabunov from “Apple”. But two weeks before the vote, the candidate Kabanovoy took off, supposedly in her employment record found a wrong entry. The supporters of the incumbent mayor had ordered a Banquet in honor of “victory”… But we, their opponents, have monitored the situation and refocused voters on voting for Sirsina. My rating began to grow. Before Shirshina was completely unknown. But nothing messed with. Of course, it was a protest vote. Sooner or later people get tired of the fact that they don’t. A week before the election I knew that Shirshina wins.

— Why about himself in the third person?

— I think that from the moment I became mayor, I no longer belong to myself. I am part of a team. My name is part of it, too. And put me including because of that that I was not alone. It was revenge for all of us.

But the Governor Hudilainen with a win you still then congratulated.

— Yes, handed a bouquet of flowers.

For him, probably, these results were unexpected?

— We were afraid they would cancel.

You even Banquet in honor of the inauguration refused.

— To abandon the Banquet is not heroic, why spend municipal money on a holiday for the elite? Later even had recommendations for other regions to limit spending on PR. Just in Petrozavodsk for the first time it happened.

You first demanded to deprive officials of their “Golden parachutes” at dismissal…

My predecessor as mayor Nikolay Levin had to give out more than a million rubles. This money was not. The budget of Petrozavodsk is 4 billion. 2 of them are obligatory payments. I’m really opposed to throw money away.

The price of victory

Two years Galina Shirshina opened five kindergartens, held a real public hearing on the issues of housing, gave regular video reports about their work. Across the country in 2014 she received the award in the category “Public people” with the words “For an open policy in the region, upholding the principles of local self-government, courage in decision making”.


photo: Ekaterina Sazhneva

— People you can wear on your hands after you have reduced the price for journey in public transport.

— It was not a populist decision, and practical. In our town survived only municipal trolleybus company, which was necessary to preserve at all costs. Otherwise, the municipality could not regulate the fares for veterans, pensioners, invalids.

Appeared in the city merchants began to duplicate municipal routes, drove for 15 rubles, while the ticket on a trolley bus cost 17. It was an artificially created situation, in which public trolleybus fleet was supposed to fall apart. And then the private owners dictate their terms.

The only way we could bring people back into the trolley, to reduce the ticket price to 10 roubles. At this price I can. And the next elected officials just do not give money for the discounted rate. Said that you cannot create a precedent, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for concessions.

— And the situation is dilapidated housing in Petrozavodsk, which almost got removed recently your Governor Judilynn?

When Putin declared reprimand to the Governor about the program on the resettlement of the emergency Fund to the city of Petrozavodsk claims were not. We have in the waiting list today 8 thousand people in need. Money for purchase of public housing is allocated about 10 million roubles a year. In such situation it is necessary to find extrabudgetary funds to settle the old and dilapidated housing. The obligation of a commercial developer before building, to resettle people from dilapidated Fund.


photo: ru.wikipedia.org

In Petrozavodsk there was. Although this program we delivered to the session of the Petrograd Soviet in early 2014. But deputies supported it only a year and a half.

— I understand that the budget of Petrozavodsk also say the deputies?

— Yes, they have the ability to enhance any item of expenditure, but only at the expense of something else. In the conditions of total deficiency occurs painful.

So, in the middle of the last financial year the regional authorities suddenly refused to pay the salary of non-teaching employees of the schools, janitors, cleaning ladies. And we had to urgently find somewhere 50 million rubles on it.

Few months, like the rest of the municipalities of Karelia, we paid salaries to employees and for themselves, and for the government. Only from 2016 the Republic took over the funding and salary workers preschools, before in violation of the law these payments also were assigned to us. And I don’t want to talk about the compromises in working with the Governor, the compromise is that I have not filed a lawsuit against the government for such decisions.

Yes, I’ve done a lot of what I could not forgive. Did not coordinate the personnel policy. Removed the post of the first Deputy, which in fact was a protégé of the Governor. Tried to stop being a pawn.

To offend women is not recommended

First warning bell: when we started legal action against your colleagues?

First hurt my Deputy Eugene Sukhorukov. Against it brought criminal case for excess of powers of office. The Prosecutor argued that she should be behind bars, although Eugene in the hands of a small child.


photo: youtube.com

Then turned against Galina Egorovna Karasov, she manages the Petrozavodsk Council of veterans, really helped me in the mayoral election. She was accused of bribing voters.

But the most resonant case was of another fellow member, Olga Seletskoe. She was charged with selling at auction at the municipal building allegedly half the price of what it cost. Such transactions in the city are dozens, and they are not interesting to anyone. But here the court concluded that there was a conspiracy. Salesguy was arrested… I looked very carefully at the matter, it was important for me to understand what I could be charged, and concluded that the transaction was fair.

Against you also tried to initiate criminal proceedings?

— Yes, when preparing the legal grounds for my removal in resignation, it was said in the media that this ruling will be the basis for future criminal cases. Three or four times the national Prosecutor’s office sent to the Investigative Committee allegedly incriminating information, however, the SC found no grounds for investigation.

— Removed only 23 deputies. Thousandth percent of the number of voters.

— The 131st Federal law gives them that right. In connection with the failure by the mayor of his powers for three or more months can the deputies to fire him… to Prove that I was hitting my thumbs, I couldn’t. But it changed nothing. I heard that every one had to vote for my elimination, interviewed separately, people caught on their weaknesses. By the way, after my forced resignation on 23 inhabitant of Petrozavodsk have filed lawsuits about the withdrawal of those 23 members. But had been refused.

You showed as many as 12 charges…

In the end, the court left only 4. I’m not built until the end of 2015, treatment facilities for stormwater. It was necessary 7 billion and the entire budget of Petrozavodsk, as you remember, 4.

Accused that are not eliminated a waiting list for apartments that did not give shelter to orphans. But it powers completely Republican. How many apartments of money to give, so much to buy. To solve the problem with orphans, need 200 million rubles. Last year the Republic allocated for these purposes of 14 million, this — 7.

But the most important justification for my dismissal from agenda removed: say, I haven’t fulfilled the General plan of the city, built shopping centers, stadiums, utilities, communications… Although it is clear that neither the mayor to implement this ambitious plan could not.

The last of the elect

Galina Shirshina soon not only became man and servant, but also a symbol. No wonder her crowds came our and foreign journalists, asking the same question: is it really in Russia, though, is really possible honest government, responsible to their constituents?

When squeezed a white crow from the flock, the foreign body was eliminated by surgery, and the objectionable mayor was fired, the answer was found by itself.

Who came in your place?

— Still go to the courts, my duties are fulfilled Miroshnik Irina Yurievna, Deputy chief of staff of the Petrograd Soviet. By the way, just a few months before I left our MPs have made the cancellation of direct national elections of the mayor. Now the head of the capital of Karelia will be to nominate themselves.

— I wonder if Putin knows about the incident in Petrozavodsk?

— I don’t know. I think that he is aware of what is happening in the country. But it’s the relationship between the Federation and subordinate city. It’s not high politics. Although recently I got a call from Ella Panfilova, Ombudsperson for human rights. Panfilova confirmed that it was ready to help me.

— The Karelian people supports you?

— And how I should support the people?

— To go to the rally, for example.

Promotions for me were. From the standpoint of human, emotional, for me they are, of course, important. But that started riots, I’m not interested. I still represent the government. And your right I want to prove not on the street and in court.


photo: youtube.com

— You say that you tried to change power and attitude to the authorities in some Russian city. Rather the authorities that you changed?

— Relatives believe that I became tougher. I think I’ve always been straight. Although naive in some ways.

I just knew that would do nothing to make of it. But for some reason I was sure that everything would work out. Although now I understand that it is impossible for the snap of a finger to solve the problems that have been accumulating for decades. But something, hopefully, managed to do…

In the last two years has not been a day, so I slept off. Got up at six in the morning, walk the dog, then a quarter to eight have always been at your workplace…

Remained the last resort for you to recover, the Supreme court of the Russian Federation.

— Yes.

— And what will happen if you return?

— Suggest to review all the business transactions during my absence. If there are any new affiliates? Plan to restore the video reports on the work of the municipality. After my departure it was all eliminated.

— Don’t you think that you will once again step on the same rake?

— I believe that my resignation is a confirmation that I did everything right.

But the system is not giving up and looking for ways to prevent more in the power even by accident like me. No wonder in many parts of the people-elected mayors are gradually replaced by appointed city managers. They report to the governors and is completely dependent on them.

And I still believe that democracy in local government activities possible. Maybe I’m an idealist… But when you have the opportunity to communicate with real people, understand their problems, solve them, that’s great.

I think that must be so much work with the Governor that he only rejoiced that the municipalities take over some of his issues that he has a mayor, assistant, not an enemy. And this is, I think, the task of the Federal authorities to settle with the head of the region such moments.

What do have now? Victory-a Pyrrhic one. No, it’s not that the people in our city to live better, the problems with the roads, rates and places in kindergartens are not decided after my “care” themselves.

By the way, the price for journey in trolley Petrozavodsk after the resignation of Galina Chisinau again increased to 17 rubles.

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