The Governor of Moscow region Andrei Vorobyov conducting a large-scale municipal reform. Areas that include urban and rural settlements with their independent heads and deputies, is converted into a city district with a unified administration and Assembly representatives. The head of the region sets up an experiment on integration of local government, the Constitution is not included in the system of state power, in the power structure and grass roots abolishes settlement municipalities. The reform, which causes an outcry from residents, continues a nationwide policy on the abolition of the country local self-government, which does not fit vertical.
Forests become the city
In Russia, as a rule, have little interest in reforms in the system of government — the cancellation and return of gubernatorial elections, state Duma deputies in single-mandate constituencies, the abolition of mayoral elections. Against this background, the situation in the suburbs, where the Governor Andrei Vorobyov holds municipal reform, looks amazing. In several areas residents oppose the change, go to rallies and actively participate in public hearings. It can not be considered parochial opposition — at a meeting of the presidential Council on human rights, his Deputy Yevgeny Bobrov asked Vladimir Putin to deal with the legality in the suburbs of reform, and the state Duma Committee on local self-government called them illegal.
The essence of changes consists in the transformation of the suburban municipal districts into the urban district. Now every suburban area there are several settlements (urban or rural) with his power — administration, which is headed by an elected mayor or nominated contract officer, and the Board of deputies. However pathetic it may sound, these people are from residents on arm’s length: at least at the level that you can meet the mayor or head of village and tell him just what I think.
District leadership in the Affairs of the settlements can intervene in so far as the powers of the different authorities. The district is financing the establishment of education and health care, provides residents with transport and management on land not owned by the settlements. Local improvement engaged in the city and the village. Previously, the municipalities had town planning and land authority, but they became the responsibility of the regional government.
In the case of a city district settlement the level of government abolished all controls of a single district administration, watching her uniform on all district Council of deputies. According to the regional law of the Moscow region all heads of city districts shall be appointed by the competition: half of the Commission on selection of candidates for delegates, the Governor, half by the local Council.
Moscow region authorities have formatted several areas in the last year. Now this process continues, but it causes resistance from local residents in the Taldom, Naro-Fominsk and Lyuberetskiy districts. In the Taldom district and settlement authorities support the protests; in Naro-Fominsk and Lyubertsy, on the contrary, condemn. Despite the dissatisfaction of citizens, the reform goes, the public hearings have only a recommendatory value, the final decision for parliamentary advice: if the meeting is at least one settlement against the Association, to carry it illegally. Such deputies were in Taldom and Serpukhov.
Andrei Vorobyov, their plans does not hide — districts of all districts of the region. The official version of the merger is as follows: reduced expenses for officials of urban and rural administrations and deputies. Realistic goals are also clear: the suburbs — the well-off region. If in other regions the land taxes that go to the local budget, is not as great in the Moscow region is sensitive revenues: the total budget settlements is 50 billion rubles. The regional government wants to control these flows.
Now this prevents the granularity of municipalities: local elections can win and often win the opposition. In Taldom the mayor put forward the Communist party, the Council of deputies headed by spywares; elections of the head of Naro-Fominsk won the Communist. Campaign for nearly three hundred municipalities is difficult to control, and in 29 districts (as in the suburbs areas) to concentrate efforts on the election of loyal deputies to the Governor is quite simple.
Such a Union seems absurd from the point of view of logic and traditions of local self-government in Europe and the United States. If in Moscow suburbs settlements often border and merging at least as something you can explain, in remote areas, the distance between settlements can be 30-40 kilometres (from Naro-Fominsk to Vereya 44 kilometers from taldoma to Zaprudny — 30 kilometers). Most of the territory of these “urban districts” occupied by forests and fields.
In addition, the first residents of separate towns and villages are losing representation in the form of deputies and heads of independent municipal budgets. Instead of an elected Council with all the rights and opportunities they will have at best one Deputy in the Assembly of the city district, which at all desire hardly will be able to defend their interests (or Playground or the renovation of the school in a particular village).
Centralization will lead to the fact that first of independent towns and villages, people will begin to leave in the center of the County do not have to drive over every piece of paper a few tens of kilometers. For comparison: the number of communes in France, which may elect its Council of deputies starts with a hundred people, small communes can join forces to address specific issues. Most European capitals are surrounded by passing each other cities, which merge into a single municipality, no one is going.
Mayors become superfluous
Action Andrei Vorobyov became possible due to Federal municipal reform 2014. It began with good purposes: Vladimir Putin said that local government needs greater autonomy, including financial. The effect was reversed. To the President’s promises, the residents at least in theory, could influence the formation of municipal authorities. The law on LSG was provided for the direct election of mayors or the appointment of the city Manager.
In European countries and the US system of appointments works well: the people elect deputies, and they are looking for a decent Manager. In the Russian reality system city of managersto was a step in the direction vertical to the deputies easier to influence, to push the necessary Governor administrator than to hold its mayoral candidate through the election.
The letter of the law, all was well: the structure of local government was chosen by the municipal Assembly. In case of refusal from direct elections of the head they belonged to two thirds of the votes in the competition Commission by appointment of city Manager. In 2014 everything has changed — the scheme of formation of local authorities to determine legislative Assembly, they also received the right to dispose of the powers of the municipalities. The composition of the tender commissions, local MPs got only half the seats, and the rest appointed by the Governor. Innovations have led to the fact that the legislative Assembly has begun to cancel the elections of mayors of cities, heads of areas and settlements and to redistribute powers in favor of the municipalities.
Municipalities almost fit into the vertical. However, the management schemes was one drawback — the city Manager, appointed by the patronage of the regional authorities, influenced the economic levers and financial flows, but the formal heads of municipalities were the speakers of the parliamentary counsel. Sometimes they tried to pursue an independent policy — so, for example, has occurred in Ulyanovsk. Conflict biceps eliminated in 2015 — legislative Assembly had the opportunity to enter the office of a single appointed under the competition Chapter.
Innovations have caused protest — reform appealed to the constitutional court the Communists. The court made an interesting decision — the impact of legislatures on the formation of government in urban districts and areas, he upheld, as the government there takes the of the urban authority. Advice settlement level, the right to dispose of their charters, the constitutional court returned. Settlement, incidentally, are different — this Lyubertsy near Moscow, where he lives 190 thousand people, and the village in the Outback.
Now the level of settlements prescribed in the law on local government gives local government fully fit vertical. For the Federal government in the future, it may become less of a problem than it is for Andrei Vorobyov. In the suburbs the independence of the settlements and their desire to subjugate felt more acutely — they have a fairly large resources. But the shortfall in the Federal budget and a protest vote at the local level will be forced to refer to submission to municipalities and other governors, and the Kremlin itself.
In the suburbs tried to find the way to solve the problem, abolishing settlement altogether. Now the regional administration proposed to provide in the legislation a new format — “municipal district” to be called the integrated rural areas “urban districts.” In the Federation Council the idea interested. The law on LSG can and does strike settlement, the initial level of the municipalities and to keep the status of municipal districts in rural and urban districts for major settlements, administer all of this will be appointees of governors. However, from the government in this case in Russia a little that remains.