‘The Bridge’

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Municipal Council of Antiparos, 24 January 2012

 

The Municipal Council convened in an extraordinary session on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall. 

The following Agenda Item was the only business put to discussion and vote:

‘The Position of the Municipal Council of Antiparos as part of the Public Deliberation Process regarding the Draft Plan of the Presidential Decree titled “Categories and Content concerning Land Use,” and more specifically regarding articles 14 & 16’.

The President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, called upon Mayor Ioannis Leventakis to introduce the aforementioned item and make any proposals. The Mayor took the floor and read aloud the following draft of a Municipal Council Decision on the subject at hand:

‘The Municipality ofAntiparos, taking the following into consideration:

1. The protection of the development of insular and mountainous areas, which is entrenched in the Constitution (The Constitution of the Hellenic Republic, Article 101, paragraph 4: “the common legislator and the Administration, when acting in a regulatory manner, are obliged to take into consideration the particular conditions of insular and mountainous areas, seeing to their development”);

2. The fact that the retention of Article 14 entails:

a. The abolition of residential construction outside of planned areas within settlements, which forms the backbone of economic development and preservation of population levels in rural areas.

b. The degradation of the property of rural residents.

c. The devastation of construction activity with its concomitant results of economic decay, higher unemployment and, finally, the clearance sale of land at the lowest possible price to speculative “investors”;

3. The wording of Article 16, which makes unclear the construction framework that will be in effect until the land use plan is implemented—the result being the halting of any construction activity for any use (tourist, agricultural, residential, etc), with the same adverse consequences as outlined above; and,

4. The need to safeguard the transactions and the lawful expectations of Greeks and non-Greeks concerning the construction of a residence on approved building plots that they own located outside of urban area plans, which, in the majority of cases, were purchased exclusively for this purpose (residential construction), at this a high price and with a high tax rate levied by the Greek state.

I propose to the Council that the following Decision be taken:

1. That we request the withdrawal of Article 14 of the Draft Plan of the Presidential Decree concerning “Categories and Content concerning Land Use,” for the aforementioned reasons;

2. That Article 16 be amended in order that it explicitly state that the laws, rules and regulations governing land use and construction, which are in place at present, shall remain in effect until the land use plan is completed;

3. That the text of the present Decision be posted on the relevant Public Deliberation website;

4. That the Mayor of Antiparos be authorized to communicate the Decision to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Minister of the Interior and the Regional Authority of the Region of the South Aegean; and,

5. That the Mayor of Antiparos be authorized to take any lawful action / recourse

aimed at defending the constitutionally entrenched rights of the residents of our island, in the event that the above are not accepted.’

Following this, Mr Nikos Marianos, the head of the largest Minority group, took the floor and proposed, among other things, that not only articles 14 and 16 be revoked, but that the whole of the draft plan of the Presidential Decree be withdrawn, since so many questions have arisen.

Speaking after Mr Marianos—in accordance with the set Council procedure—I stated that we agree with the complete revocation of the particular draft plan of the Presidential Decree—the fact that objections have also been voiced by politicians, parliamentary deputies (of which some 35 are, in fact, members of the ruling party), mayors and Municipal Councils in the Cyclades, makes it evident that the draft plan has great shortcomings—and I also expressed the view that we believe that there should be a requirement that any such plan in future should have to go through Parliament for debate, approval, etc, instead of taking the form of a Presidential Decree. I added that it is of paramount importance that an attempt be made to strike and maintain a balance; that is, we must strive to protect and take good care of our land and the environment, but at the same time must also seek to protect landowners and their rights.

The members of the Municipal Council unanimously agreed to pass the following Decision: ‘We request the complete withdrawal of the Draft Plan of the Presidential Decree titled “Categories and Content concerning Land Use,” in its entirety, as to its contents’.

 

A New Year, a New Start

I once worked for a national daily newspaper.

This paper had just been ‘modernised’ (technologically and stylistically), and quite a number of people had been hired to staff it following its makeover. It so happened that I was among these new recruits.

We hadn’t been working there for more than a couple of weeks, when, late one night, right in the thick of things, one of our newly-hired colleagues up and quit in protest, because the senior editors had not merely ‘softened’ one of his stories, but had surgically removed its political edge.

This guy wasn’t just a plain journalist—he happened to be the ‘Home News’ editor.

This unexpected development shook us all, and, being new to the business, we quickly found ourselves panic-stricken. How would we close the paper that night? What would we do without him? Who could possibly do his job, on the spot?

At that point, we approached the managing editor—a temperamental middle-aged man with decades of high-level experience in the newsroom—and voiced our concerns to him, pleading with him to find the guy, and talk him into coming back, so that things could return to ‘normal.’

Calm and composed, he looked us straight in the eye and philosophised:

‘No one is irreplaceable.’

He paused for a second, and then concluded: ‘The graveyard is full of “irreplaceable” people…’

 v v v

This story seems insignificant enough; but for me, however, it proved an important lesson in life. It reinforced within me the fact that we are all mortal, and thus are all equal—no one indeed is ‘irreplaceable’; we are all just passing through, no one is here, there or anywhere for long; and, we live our cycle, however long and in whatever way, and after it draws to a close for us life goes on for the next wave of ‘visitors.’ Consequently, this knowledge or realisation should perhaps help us strive to become more modest and humbler, less vain and self-centred, more patient and tolerant, more democratic, open-minded and just—for the rest of our time here.

Accepting our mortality is the first step closer to humanity—in all senses of the word. 

Such an acceptance leads to heightened self-awareness, to a thirst for sincerity and substance, to actions aimed at looking beyond one’s self and caring for the next person, then caring for the next generation—not only for one’s own children and their children, but for everyone’s children everywhere to come.

This brings with it a quest for equality and equal opportunities, for the best possible life for all, for a life complete, one replete with dignity, fulfillment and respect.

v v v

And it was on the basis of such thoughts—though unspoken—that our group came to be. It all just happened, spontaneously, and acquired a momentum and life of its own.

With us it has always been a case of the sum, or the whole, being so much greater than its constituent parts.

Our guiding principles were (and still are, of course) true democracy—in practice—, equality, respect not only for one another but for everyone, as much participation on the part of all in as many things as possible, honesty, sincerity and truth, dedication and devotion, acting with the sum of society’s best interests in mind, and, finally, adhering to our principles—never compromising on these, whatever the cost or temptation.     

v v v

In interviews to the media, I’ve repeatedly stated that it just happened to be me who has headed this truly brilliant team. All of us built this ‘vehicle’ together—the only thing I did was to turn the ignition key. Never for a moment have I felt that I am ‘above’ anyone (both within our group and without)—we are all people, with our own special talents and abilities in so many different fields—and for this reason it has been my firm and honest conviction, from the outset, that any one of our members could have been in my position. I have never even felt that I am the first among equals; I have felt all along that we are all equal, in every way. All along, I have always had the sense that I have acted and spoken on behalf of something that is much greater than I am, than any single person is—and that is a team. For all of these reasons and so many others I continue to say to this day that it just happened to be me…

v v v

Now the time has come for us to put our democratic and other convictions and principles into further practice.

I recently stepped aside, in order for another member of our team—Sotiris Skourtis (one of our island’s two state physicians, for those who may not know him)—to take over representing the group.

We all really do wish him every success!

It is our group’s hope and ambition that as many members as possible in future will find themselves in that special and rewarding position of being our representative, a position which provides everyone with the opportunity to contribute to local public affairs to the best of their abilities, to learn more about the place in which they live, about their fellow citizens, and, of course, about themselves.

There is not a single person—not only in our group, but in the whole of this or any society—who does not have something meaningful to contribute to his or her community and society—provided they are given the chance.

Our society, and the whole world today, are both in urgent need of more democratic, well-meaning citizen involvement, if we are to re-create life and society, and leave behind a truly better world for those to follow.

Though not ‘irreplaceable,’ we can all try to change things for the better, together, while we are here.

I would like to thank you all sincerely for all of your help and support, and for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I have enjoyed it immensely!

v v v

Best wishes to one and all for health and happiness in 2012,

Panayotis

 

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The Extraordinary Meeting of the Municipal Council, 20 December 2011

The Municipal Council convened in an Extraordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall. 

The following Agenda Items were to be discussed and put to vote:

  1. Amendment to the 2011 Financial Year Budget.
  2. Approval of a protocol of final quantitative and qualitative receipt of ‘procurement of wooden bus stop shelters.’

——–

Prior to the start of the meeting, Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority, as Vice-President of the Municipal Council (having replaced the President, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, who was absent, and having signed the Invitation owing to the President’s absence), in accordance with the set procedure called upon the Majority to explain the reasons why the Meeting had to be considered ‘extraordinary,’ and then, following this explanation, would invite Councillors to vote as to whether or not they agreed that the Extraordinary Meeting be held.

Mr Efthymios Haniotis, Special Advisor to Mayor Ioannis Leventakis, explained on behalf of the Majority that the Meeting was extraordinary for the following reasons: The year is drawing to a close very soon; insurance contributions must be settled; the sum of 50,000.00 euros must be transferred as starting capital for the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Antiparos (ΚΕΔΑ) under establishment; because during the last few days of the year many Municipal Councillors were expected to leave for the holidays; and, because at this time of the year every year a Meeting is held so as to address and settle the final items of the year.

Following this, the Municipal Councillors approved the reasons the ‘extraordinary’ reasons for this Meeting, and unanimously voted in favour of the Extraordinary Meeting taking place.

——–

  1. Amendment to the 2011 Financial Year Budget.

A brief presentation was made of the changes to some sums in the Budget and Councillors were informed about come other changes to the Budget; the Majority clarified any matters raised through the questions posed by the Councillors.

Approved by unanimous decision.

  1. Approval of a protocol of final quantitative and qualitative receipt of ‘procurement of wooden bus stop shelters.’

The Item concerned the actual receipt of the materials, and not of the ready project itself. As to the specific points along the road where the shelters are to be erected, these will be studied by Mr Theocharis Tsolakis, the Municipal engineer and Head of the Technical Department, along with Municipal bus driver Mr Theologos Kalargyros. A very useful observation was made by a citizen in attendance, who informed the Council that Police permission will also be required concerning the points where these are to be installed. The Council stated that this information provided by the citizen will be taken into consideration. (I think that this clearly illustrates why Council and Committee Meetings must always be open to the public and why citizen participation in local public affairs is important and must be encouraged. It reinforces democracy and the democratic process, and our local community can only benefit more through this).   

Approved by unanimous decision.

 ——–

After the Meeting ended, Mr Marianos suggested to the Mayor that he take any questions that the Councillors might have. The Mayor agreed. Only two were asked. I posed the first. I asked if there was any news regarding the drainage-sewage treatment project, as we are now at a time when it would be reasonable to expect that the Tender would be ready, as we paid the extra sum to have it issued earlier. The Mayor replied that the Tender has been prepared, and is now inSyros(at the competent department of the Regional Authority), in order to gain the final approval needed.

The second question was posed by Mr Nikos Marianos. He asked about recycling, and whether the Municipality is intending to do something concerning recycling. The Mayor responded that there is a Regional programme that the Municipality is attempting to include the island in, and we will have a better idea around February. The particular programme will help in regenerating the area of the former landfill here on our island, and in upgrading equipment involved in refuse collection. In addition, the Mayor stated that he visited the Recycling Company inAthens, talked to its representatives, and the possibility of cooperating with them is being explored. Mr Marianos then asked if a contract had been signed between the former Community of Antiparos and the Recycling Company. The Mayor answered that indeed a contract had been signed, and whoever so desired could pass by the Municipality and ask for a copy of the contact. At this point I asked: If this is the case, for what reason has the Mayor not responded to date to a Petition we submitted months ago asking for a copy of the recycling contract? In reply to my question, the Mayor asked me to pass by the Municipality the very next day in order to obtain a copy of the contract.

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The Meeting of the Financial Committee, 10 December 2011

The Financial Committee convened in a meeting on Saturday, 10 December 2011 at 11.00, at the Municipal Building (owing to special events taking place at the Kalouda Hall). As Mr Antonis Patelis, one of the two permanent members representing the Minority in the Financial Committee was absent, I was given his place and the opportunity to vote. But not without problem, this time…

Unexpectedly, immediately prior to the start of the Meeting, I was informed by Mayor Yiannis Leventakis and his Advisor Mr Efthymios Haniotis that they had been orally informed by the Regional Authority that henceforth I would not have the right to vote at Financial Committee Meetings in which there was a quorum, as in cases where a quorum is attained, a Permanent Member who is absent is not replaced by an Alternate Member (as I am).

They argued that this occurs with all committees, in accordance with the legislation in force. 

I replied that if that truly in the case, then it is reasonable to assume that all of the Decisions that have been taken by the Committee to date with my participation in the voting—including the vote that approved the Budget—must be invalid, the moment that there was already a quorum prior to me being given the right to vote.

Something else to consider is that on numerous occasions I have taken Mr Nikos Marianos’ place, in his absence, as the Minority representative from Antiparos at Paros-Antiparos Port Fund Meetings (Mr Marianos is a Permanent Member of the Port Fund, and I am an Alternate Member), and have voted as such. This has never been questioned by anyone on the Port Fund council.     

Further to this, let us take a look at another scenario, one that is hypothetical but surely possible: Let us assume that all of the Permanent Members of the Majority arrive at a Financial Committee meeting, and there is a quorum, but no Permanent Member from the Minority arrives—but I—the first Alternate Member of the Minority—am present. Will I not participate in the voting? Will the Minority not be represented? This is not logical. Let us assume, however, that this is what the law states. What does the Majority care more about—formalities or the democratic representation of all of the groups and all of the citizens of the island?

In the end, the Mayor and his Advisor allowed me to vote—this time—and would be looking into it more about the next time …

On my part, I stated that I will continue to participate with the right to vote in the same situations as those to date, until I receive a written notification from the Regional Authority, in which it will be explicitly stated that I will not have the right to vote at meetings where there is a quorum.

The issue, however, is deeper. If the Majority is interested in many voices being heard and in there being fair representation of all of the groups in all Municipal bodies and committees, then it must support this in practice and demonstrate it; it must not back whatever endangers democratic representation, the democratic process and the participation of all in public affairs on our island.   

The following Agenda Items were to be put to discussion and vote:

1) Approval of commitment and Vote on application of credits from the Municipality of Antiparos 2011 Financial Year Budget.

2) Approval of commitment and Vote on application of credits for the fees to be paid by the Municipality of Antiparos to the Paros-Antiparos Solid Waste Management Association for the year 2011. 

——–

1) Approval of commitment and Vote on application of credits from the Municipality of Antiparos 2011 Financial Year Budget.

The Mayor informed us that the Regional Authority notified us concerning the procedure being followed until now concerning the taking of decisions, and the many separate Decisions, which should be taken in larger groups.

The Financial Committee Clerk, Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou read aloud a list with all of the related Decisions of the Municipal Finance Department, and the codes, descriptions and sums involved. As she read the list the data was discussed and clarifications were provided by the Mayor. Following this, the latter asked of us to approve the commitment of budget credits and to vote in favour of the application of these credits.

One of the main questions I posed concerned the allocation of almost 20.000,00 euros for the repair of a Municipal vehicle; this, for two reasons: a) the sum is quite high; and, b) it is another expense brought before the Committee for approval after the fact, instead of prior to the repairs being made. The Majority defended this by saying that it was an emergency repair, and could not wait to come to the Committee first. 

Approved by unanimous decision.

According to the procedure involved, credit is given and the Mayor (up to a certain sum) is then responsible for seeking offers. The final selection and application are the responsibility of the Mayor, and are carried out through a relevant Mayoral Decision. 

2) Approval of commitment and Vote on application of credits for the fees to be paid by the Municipality of Antiparos to the Paros-Antiparos Solid Waste Management Association for the year 2011.

We were informed that for 2011, the sum that Antiparos must pay for our waste management onParosamounts to 39,542.46 euros (1,102.69 tonnes, times 35.86 euros per tonne). We can pay the sum in 12 equal monthly installments of 3,295.21 euros.

The Municipality pays this expense using the Municipal taxes that are paid by citizens through their ΔΕΗ electricity bills.

Approved by unanimous decision.

The aforementioned volume of refuse—and, consequently, the aforementioned sum—would be reduced greatly had a recycling programme been introduced on Antiparos.

In addition, the life of the Paros-Antiparos refuse site would be prolonged if we were recycling our rubbish.

As we have stated innumerable times now, our group has drafted a complete proposal for the introduction of recycling on our island. On 26 April 2011, we submitted a petition to the President of the Municipal Council (along with a copy of our proposal), requesting that it be included as an Agenda Item in the next Meeting, we have posted our proposal on the internet and have shared it with many, either via e-mail or delivering it in person by hand.

At this point I would like to reiterate, on behalf of all of the members of our team, that our proposal remains at the disposal of the Municipality, and it would be a great joy and pleasure for us to participate in the introduction of recycling on our island.  

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The Extraordinary Meeting of the Financial Committee, 2 December 2011

The Financial Committee convened in an extraordinary meeting on Friday, 2 December 2011 at 13.00, in the Kalouda Hall. As Mr Antonis Patelis, one of the two permanent members representing the Minority in the Financial Committee was absent, I was given his place and the opportunity to vote. 

The following Items were to be discussed and decided upon:

1) The taking of a decision concerning a) the appeal lodged by a competition entrant; and, b) concerning the awarding of the competition for the procurement of ‘Wooden bus stop shelters.’

2) The approval of the minutes and the awarding of the competition for the provision of fuel.

3) The approval and acceptance of a study, and the allocation of an expenditure credit for the procurement of ‘Christmas Decoration Materials.’

4)  The approval and allocation of a credit for a) the re-printing of promotional materials—maps of Antiparos; and, b) the re-printing of promotional materials—etchings of Antiparos.

——–

1) The taking of a decision concerning a) the appeal lodged by a competition entrant; and, b) concerning the awarding of the competition for the procurement of ‘Wooden bus stop shelters.’

Mr Theocharis Tsolakis, who is the Municipal engineer and Director of the Technical Service (and president of the committee for the particular competition for the procurement of ‘Wooden bus stop shelters’) informed the Members of the Financial Committee concerning the appeal lodged by one of the two competition entrants, and the results of the competition. The one bidder was from Korinthia, the other from Syros. In the end, the bidder from Korinthia revoked his appeal, and the bidder fromSyros won the competition. The budget had been set at 23,200.00 euros (including VAT), for 10 shelters. The offer from the bidder fromSyros was 19,720.00 euros (including VAT).  

Approved by unanimous decision.

I asked Mr Tsolakis if there was some deadline prior to which we had to take a decision, owing to the appeal. He replied that there was not.

At this point I asked the President (and Mayor) for the floor and received it, and I stated the following to the President:

As you know, in accordance with the related provisions of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’), in order for a Meeting to be considered ‘extraordinary’ or ‘emergency’ (and, consequently, for the obligation to be waived related to the requirement that Members be required to receive Invitations to meetings three full days in advance of the Meeting), the reasons justifying the urgent nature of the Meeting must be written on the invitation. I ask, therefore, that the urgent nature of today’s meeting be justified now, and henceforth that when extraordinary meetings are called the reasons justifying their urgency be written upon the invitations.

The Mayor replied that the first two items were urgent, and, furthermore, that Tuesday would be a holiday, and that everything generally would be pushed back if we were not to meet. For these reasons, this was an emergency meeting… At least he made a commitment to adopt the legally-stipulated approach, from here on in…

2) The approval of the minutes and the awarding of the competition for the provision of fuel.

Mr Tsolakis, as president of the committee overseeing this competition as well, informed Committee Members that the fuel station on Antiparos belonging to Mr Yiannis Lechouritis won the competition (no other fuel station expressed interest). The fuel station offered a ‘negative’ discount of 4% (the Municipality will be charged 4% higher than the average cost at that specific moment), and payment will be made 90 days after delivery. The results of the competition will be in effect for one year or for 35,000 litres (although the Municipality retains the right to hold a new competition whenever it so desires).

During the course of the briefing related to the competition results, Mr Tsolakis informed us that one of the basic criteria was that the fuel station be located close to the Municipality, because the latter does not possess fuel storage tanks. Upon hearing this for the first time, I emphasized to Mr Tsolakis that a short time ago, when he had informed us concerning the conditions of the competition (which we subsequently approved), he had not referred to this highly important criterion. I stressed that in future all conditions—without exception—must be made known to the members of the Financial Committee or the Municipal Council (according to the particular case), prior to their approval being sought. 

Approved by unanimous decision.

3) The approval and acceptance of a study, and the allocation of an expenditure credit for the procurement of ‘Christmas Decoration Materials.’

Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi and other members of the Majority informed us that the state of the Christmas decorations we possessed was not good, that many of these still had ‘Community’ written on them instead of ‘Municipality’ (those that could be corrected would, and would then be put up outside the village), that the new decorations would have LED lights, that we would not need to buy new ones for quite a few years to come, and that they would be stored in Municipality storage facilities. The Municipality had received offers for the supply of holiday decoration items, one of which contained especially low prices—the sum total amounting to 9,833.32 euros (including VAT), much lower than all of the other offers. Black-and-white photocopies of the items were shown, in order that Committee Members see the decorations proposed…  

Approved by majority vote. I was the only member to vote against the proposal. There were three reasons: 1) The cost: In these trying times, an expense in the range of 10,000.00 euros is not insignificant, we must be very careful, and the Municipality’s funds should go towards what is absolutely necessary, and this after much thought, discussion and researching; 2) The lack of offers: Although we were informed by the Majority that he Municipality had received a number of offers and had selected the best one (financially) among these, yet again Committee Members did nit have the offers before them. How was it possible for us to approve of such an expense, without even seeing the offers? (At this point, the Majority suggested to me, for practically the thousandth time, ‘Come by the Municipality on Monday to have a look at the offers’…to which I replied that—as everyone knows well by now on account of all I have said about the matter in the past, I am diametrically opposed to the rationale of ‘Vote for it now and come by tomorrow to have a look at the offers,’ and I have stated that I have no intention whatsoever of voting in favour of some proposal without first seeing the offers—however reasonable the sum and the aim might well be); and, 3) This financially difficult crossroads may well comprise an opportunity for all of us Antipariotes to come closer together. We could ask everyone for their help and participation, from children up to the elderly, in decorating our island. It is more than certain that everyone would like to help, and that they are eager to show their love towards their fellow citizens and their ‘land’; this, provided that we ask this of them, provided that we show them that we take them and their views into account. Without doubt the result would be excellent, the financial cost would not be particularly high for the Municipality, but most important of all there would be active participation on the part of the people, they would feel that we think of them and invite them to take part, that their ideas and their assistance are something invaluable and desirable for us.      

4)  The approval and allocation of a credit for a) the re-printing of promotional materials—maps of Antiparos; and, b) the re-printing of promotional materials—etchings of Antiparos.

It was asked of Committee Members to approve of sums towards the re-printing of maps and etchings, as we no longer had any of this promotional material on hand, since most of it was handed out at tourist fairs that the island participated in.

Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority stated that it was impossible for him to vote in favour of the re-printing of these materials, the second that he had not seen any of it to date. He did not see it before it was printed, nor afterwards, nor was there a sample to see now, prior to re-printing. I totally agreed with his view.

Approved by majority decision. Mr Marianos and I did not agree with the proposal for the aforementioned reason.

—-

As soon as the Meeting was adjourned, I asked again if I could have the floor, was given it, and I brought the following to the attention of the Mayor: Again, in accordance with the related provisions of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’), and as our group has stated in the past, the Financial Committee is obliged to present to the Municipal Council every quarter a report detailing Municipal income and expenditure, and containing any comments made by the Minority, and this must be posted on the Municipal website. Almost a year has elapsed and the Financial Committee has drafted no such report to date, nor has it presented it before the Municipal Council. Does he have anything to say on the matter? Does he intend to do it?

The Mayor replied that he noted the question, will examine the relevant legislation and will come back to me with an answer…   

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The Municipal Council Meeting of 30 November 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Wednesday 30 November 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, in order to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

  1. The taking of a decision related to the operation of a unit producing and dispensing potable water.
  2. The procurement of a unit producing and dispensing potable water, to be acquired with Municipal funds.
  3. The taking of a decision related to equipment to facilitate access to beaches for persons with special abilities.
  4. The results of the laboratory tests conducted on the public water supply.
  5. The acceptance and distribution of a sum for the maintenance and repair of the school buildings.
  6. The approval of the final account related to the ‘Development of theCaveofAntiparos, Phase 2, and Amendment of the Budget.’
  7. The application to extend the works related to the execution of the project ‘Re-construction of dangerous, defective road-surfacing works on the ‘Ring Road of Antiparos’ section of road, part of the project ‘Road-surfacing of roads of the Community of Antiparos.’
  8. Confirmation of financial lists related to use of public space for the year 2011.
  9. Amendment of the budget.
  10. Refund of overpaid sums.
  11. Procurement of two wreaths for the National Resistance event.

Prior to the discussion on and the taking of decisions related to the above Items, two Items were approved for discussion as Emergency Items:

1. The approval of transportation and accommodation expenses for the Mayor and his Advisor to and from the island of Syros.

2. Application for the Certification of the Municipality’s Administrative Competency.

—-

1. The approval of transportation and accommodation expenses for the Mayor and his Advisor to and from the island of Syros—

Mayor Yiannis Leventakis and his Advisor Efthymios Haniotis travelled to Syros and remained there from the 27ththrough the 29thof November, in order to be briefed by officials at the Regional Authority concerning the possibility of a conference centre being constructed on the island, and to receive information related to other matters pertaining to the Municipality.

Approved by unanimous decision.

2. Application for the Certification of the Municipality’s Administrative Competency —

The Municipality had assigned to the private firm Evolution Projects the task of drafting, on behalf of the Municipality, an Application (which included all of the required documents), in order that the Municipality’s Administrative Competency be certified. If indeed the Certification is granted, then it will provide the Municipality with the ability to undertake and carry out some technical and other projects.   

Approved by unanimous decision.

There followed a discussion related to the Agenda Items, and the taking of decisions concerning these.

The President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, requested that Item 9 be discussed and decided upon first, in order that the Budget be amended prior to discussion on related Items (5 and 6). The Municipal Councillors agreed.

9. Amendment of the budget.

The following amendments to the budget were proposed: That these sums be accepted and added to the budget: 1,500.00 euros (for the operating costs of the schools) and 1,800.00 euros (for their upkeep – both related to Item 5); 5,870.00 for the heliport, and 37,158.00 euros for the Cave (related to Item 6).

Approved by unanimous decision.

  1. The taking of a decision related to the operation of a unit producing and dispensing potable water.

The Mayor informed Council Members that during the course of a recent trip, he was informed by the Ministry of the Interior that the sum of 80,000.00 euros has been approved for Antiparos water supply-related matters. As for the particular Item under discussion, the Municipality received a document from the Regional Authority according to which the island is to receive a ‘unit producing and dispensing potable water.’ Antiparos is one of the 23 islands of the Region of the South Aegean slated to receive such a unit (or units), funded by the European Union’s 2007-2013 ‘ESPA’ programme (NSRF). The unit, valued at 20,000.00 euros, will be able to produce about 6,000 litres of potable water per day, will have a coin slot (the cost to consumers will be about 50 cents for 10 litres), and the operational and maintenance cost is estimated at 30 cents per litre. The document from the Regional Authority called upon the Municipal Council to take a Decision that it was willing to assume the obligation of operating the unit and caring for its maintenance, of upholding the health regulations and proceeding with the necessary laboratory tests, in accordance with the legislation in force. There followed a discussion related to the unit and its operation, its specifications, and its cost of maintenance, and to what extent it would cover the needs of the local population—particularly during the summer months.

Approved by unanimous decision.

  1. The procurement of a unit producing and dispensing potable water, to be acquired using municipal funds.

The Majority proposed that our Municipality obtain another unit like the one above, but using our own funds. As already noted, these units are priced at about 20,000 euros. I suggested that it would perhaps be preferable for us to wait to first receive the unit from the Regional Authority, see it in operation, so that it may be tested here on the island in local conditions, in order that we be in a better position to deem whether it is effective and that the purchase of a second unit is advisable. If it is proven in practice that some serious problems arise or that there are drawbacks, then we might decide not to spend the 20,000 euros (at this very difficult financial juncture) for the purchase of the unit, and find an alternative solution that would be more effective and advantageous to the Municipality and its finances, and for residents. If the unit turns out to be good in practice, I argued, then, on the basis of this experience and knowledge, we could decide to procure another. The Majority, however, insisted that the unit will be good, and that we will need a second one before summer arrives.    

Approved by unanimous decision.

  1. The taking of a decision related to equipment to facilitate access to beaches for persons with special abilities.

A document similar to the one in the first item above was sent by the Regional Authority, but this one concerned the creation of a track, the acquisition of two amphibian cars, the construction of changing rooms and toilets, in order that people with special abilities have good access to some of our beaches (the Municipality will deem which ones). The Municipality will assume the obligation to install, maintain and store the equipment in winter, and will also have to ensure the presence of a lifeguard or supervisor at the beaches where these will be installed, for the duration of the operation of this equipment.

Approved by unanimous decision.

  1. The results of the laboratory tests on the public water supply.

The quality of the public water supply and the state of the water supply network—an issue of the utmost importance—came before the Municipal Council following an initiative taken by our group, which approached the other Minority group and proposed that we jointly submit an application to the President of the Municipal Council asking that the matter be discussed. According to the petition, the two groups requested that the Municipal Council be convened immediately in order that there be a public discussion concerning the very important subject of the condition of the water supply and its network, and so that the residents of the island be officially informed by the local authority concerning the next steps it was planning to take prior to the necessary installation of a new water supply network (which is to take place as part of the project to construct the drainage-sewage treatment system).

The subject of laboratory testing and the sound state of the water supply is one that preoccupies all of us intensely and directly, and concerns not only all of the groups, but all residents and visitors. According to the Greek and European legislation in force, we all have the right to access to water of a good quality (which does not place public health in danger), and every municipality or community is obliged to provide and care for the provision of water of a good quality—something which the local authority ensures through regular checks and, following this, through the solving of any problem that may arise, and/or the construction of an appropriate infrastructure (or its repair), in order that good water quality be ensured (it goes without saying within the approved limits). Water is a serious subject, and a matter of public health.

It is not enough in itself for our Municipality to provide potable water, as seems to be ultimately planned through the acquisition of units like those mentioned above in the first two Items. The water of the entire network must not be dangerous (as it is now)–by taking a shower or bath using the unsuitable water circulating in the network, by brushing our teeth with it, washing our fruits and vegetables with it, washing our dishes with it, all put our health in danger. We might not drink it, but our bodies absorb it on a daily basis. We must consider the following: the water that leaves sources and tanks is already unsuitable. How much more dangerous it must become by the time it comes into our homes, as it passes through asbestos pipes and, in many cases, through earthen (non-watertight) septic tanks… Every municipality is required by law to care not only for the provision of potable water, but also for the suitable of the water in the network, in order that public health be ensured and safeguarded.  

On 10 February 2011, the Financial Committee decided that ELKEDE (the Greek Centre for Technology and Design) be commissioned the project of carrying out sample testing of the island’s water and, following this, the same organisation would be drafting a special report, which would include proposals on how the water could be made safe (following the results of the sample testing).

The very next day, the Municipal Council convened, and its Members were asked to approve the Decision of the Financial Committee. During the course of the discussion on the subject, Messrs Sotiris Skourtis and Spyros Tsibidis took the floor; they happen to be members of our group but spoke exclusively as interested scientists (the former being a doctor and the latter a pharmacist), in the first place, and as citizens, in the second. They identified the specific compounds (or substances) whose levels definitely had to be measured in the sample tests, and also stressed that there were reliable state laboratories where the tests could be conducted, and that for free (ELKEDE would be charging 4,800.00 euros plus VAT for the samples testing, and a further 1,700.00 euros plus VAT for the proposals it would make to make the water safe). The Majority reassured us all, insisting that the samples testing would examine all of the substances that would have to be checked, and, furthermore, that we were paying the extra sum to ELKEDE because they would be informing us of the steps we would have to take to make the water suitable. On the basis of the reassurances of the Majority, we all accepted the proposal—but we had our reservations.

At the beginning of the summer, during a meeting of the Financial Committee, the Mayor informed Committee Members orally, concisely and unofficially concerning the results of the water sample testing. As had been expected, the results were not good (we had all expected it, and for this reason had agreed with ELKEDE then providing us with proposals about how it can be addressed. We were informed that these proposals had not yet been completed). The mayor asked us not to disclose the tests in public, in view of the tourist season—an agreement which we kept—on the condition that we would be discussing the subject again as soon as the summer had ended, and by that point we perhaps would have received the ELKEDE recommendations.

The summer passed; however, we did not receive an invitation from the Mayor to discuss the matter.

On 30 September, Dr Skourtis submitted an official Application (Petition) to the Mayor requesting the official results, and information regarding the ELKEDE proposals we were expecting.

He did not receive a reply.

(The Mayor is required by law to answer Applications within 30 days.

Unfortunately, our group [and the other Minority group] have not received from the Mayor any official reply whatsoever to any of our Applications, months after submitting them, despite the fact that we have repeatedly drawn attention to this oversight concerning this obligation and duty on the part of the Mayor, and we have, in fact, found ourselves in the unpleasant position of referring to the above even on the radio. Despite this, however, to this day the Mayor has not demonstrated any desire whatsoever to change things and fulfill his obligation concerning the issuing of official replies to Applications that have been registered and submitted). 

In an interview we gave to aParosradio station, we referred to the subject of water quality anew—after the Mayor had referred to it as ‘clean’ a few days before in an interview to the same radio station; however, in his next radio appearance, the Mayor ignored the water-related issues and concerns we had raised. The only thing he maintained on the radio related to the water issue was that at the Financial Committee meeting where he had informed us of the results, he had placed the results in my hand, and I had seen them. The truth, however, is very far from that: He read the results out to us, as he wished, and did not given them to us. What he said on the radio is untrue, and there are many eyewitnesses to this who know that no one saw the results at the meeting besides the Mayor. (We obtained the results much later, on 28 November, just two days before the Municipal Council Meeting, and that because the water issue was ‘forcibly’ placed on the Agenda, as shall be described at this point).

Having found all of the doors (discussions, applications, etc) closed, were led to the unpleasant (for us) position to demand, by way of the relevant provisions of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’), the convening of the Municipal Council (when the entire Minority requests it in writing, the Council must convene within six days, otherwise the Minority has the right to invite Councillors to a meeting at which the Item is discussed. The law has been created for these types of situations, in order that power be checked and the rights of the Minority be guaranteed).

The issue at stake for us was that we protect all of the citizens of Antiparos—nothing more, nothing less. Winter had arrived and the water issue had to be discussed urgently. We were not requesting that the results be discussed in detail; what we were asking was that the Municipal strategy in view of the results be discussed, that we be able to present and make known our positions and proposals, and through a constructive discussion between all groups that all of us together carve out a common approach and policy.

At the meeting of 30 November, in his opening remarks on the subject, the Mayor confirmed that ELKEDE had shut down from the Spring (even though, when he had been asked again a short time ago, he had stated that we were still awaiting the ELKEDE proposals on how to make the water safe). He stressed that the Municipality had not paid ELKEDE—nor was it intending to do so—thus, it had not cost the Municipality financially. (We shall not be examining here the relationship of the Mayor’s Advisor Mr Haniotis—as an ELKEDE employee—nor the subject of ELKEDE’s possession or not of the necessary certification to undertake and carry out such projects, nor whether or not the ELKEDE results are officially accepted by the state, or the fact that, ultimately, it turns out that the elements, substances and compounds that Messrs Skourtis and Tsibidis had stressed on 11 February had not been included in the testing.)

Perhaps the most unpleasant aspect of the entire affair was the stance adopted by the Majority—and in especially by the President of the Council—who, in order that such an important subject not be discussed, ‘clung onto’ one word in our Application—that is, concerning how it was phrased, regardless of the substance of the matter—and, also, according to the President, that whatever Item is presented before Council must necessarily be end up in a Vote and Decision. (According to this rationale then, Items like the Mayor officially briefing Council Members on a subject or Items of concern to the island being discussed cannot be put on the Agenda, as these do not lead to any Vote or Decision). Indeed, the President went as far as to remove any semblance of objectivity or neutrality by stating outright he had no intention of discussing the topic, and, in fact, urged Councillors to vote that it not be discussed.

The other Minority group, after presenting some of its arguments concerning why the subject must be discussed, and after repeatedly emphasizing that none of the members of the Minority had come to provoke or to acerbate tensions but, rather, to discuss such an important subject and see what we can do henceforth concerning the water issue, was forced, owing to the obstinacy and the refusal of the President and the Majority Councillors to discuss the item, to walk out of the Meeting in a show of protest.

I remained after they left because it was my turn to speak. After expressing our views in relation to some aspects of the issue, and after being treated by the entire Majority in the same negative fashion, I departed in a show of protest.

The unofficial discussion on whether the item should be discussed or not continued, unfortunately was taken to extremes—the Mayor himself making a personal, verbal attack on a citizen, and the President ejecting a citizen from the hall (though other citizens had behaved a lot worse—e.g. one of them appeared at the Meeting in a state of drunkenness, hurling threats and disturbing the Meeting, without, however, being ejected by the President).  

The Meeting continued in spite of our absence, and decisions were taken by the Majority alone on the remaining Items.

All of this could have been avoided through a better provision of information on the part of the Majority.

We had to wait almost a year in order to officially find out about the water.

We did not want to discuss the results of the water tests in detail; what we were asking was that there be a more general discussion about how all of us can help, in order that we have water in our taps that does not put our health and lives at risk.

It has been stated and argued by the Majority that the water has been unsuitable for many years now, and that they simply inherited the problem. To an extent, this view is true. However, from the moment it takes office as the Municipal Authority and sets into motion testing and proposals and attempts to make it safe, from the moment when almost a year goes by, then the Majority, too, also begins to bear some responsibility for the situation.

Simply sweeping the problem under the carpet and hoping it will go away do not help find a solution. The first step in attempting to solve any problem is to look at it square in the eye, and not ignore it and pretend that it is not there.

Above all else, it is a matter of public health. And if the Municipality and the Municipal Council do not provide for public health, then who will?

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The Municipal Council Meeting of 15 November 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 18.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

  1. Approval of the Internal Service Organisation of the Municipality of Antiparos.
  2. Establishment of the Public Benefit Municipal Enterprise.
  • ····

Prior to the start of the Meeting, the President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, asked the Council to approve a change in the order of Items, as the person who had conducted the Feasibility Study (related to the second Item) and would be presenting it had come from Paros, and if the Council were to reverse the order that person would be able to return earlier to our neighbouring island. The Council agreed; thus, the two Items were discussed in the reverse order.   

  1. Establishment of the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Antiparos:

Passed by Majority vote. I voted against the proposal. I stressed, however, that we agree with the general idea of the establishment of the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Antiparos (KEDA); after all, how could anyone disagree with the establishment of such an enterprise, one which deals almost exclusively with tourism—such an important sector for our island? With proper management and organisation, it is certain that it would be a profitable enterprise (in more ways than one).

The reason why we did not agree with the proposal, however, was because—yet again—a proper and satisfactory procedure was not adhered to, in our opinion.

In contrast to the other Agenda Item, we were not provided with even one document to study prior to the Meeting.

Instead, the person from Paros who undertook the Feasibility Study provided us with a PowerPoint presentation consisting of 32 pages—about half of which, however, were unreadable, unfortunately.

As mentioned, the presentation was a summary of the Feasibility Study, which had been conducted because it is a legal prerequisite if we are to then proceed to the stage of establishing the Enterprise (this, of course, assuming that the study show that the enterprise will be viable).

We were informed at the Meeting that the Study, which the Municipality commissioned and also paid for, contains some 1,400-plus pages. Unfortunately, the Municipality did not send it to us (electronically, in order that no additional expenditure be incurred), so that we would be provided with the opportunity to examine it prior to the Meeting and ask for any clarifications or pose any relevant questions that we may have had.

In addition, during the course of the discussion that followed, I asked whether the legally mandatory liquidation of KETPAA (the Community Enterprise for Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos—the predecessor of KEDA) had taken place, and received the answer that I was ‘off the topic at hand’—despite the fact that we were talking about the very enterprise that wοuld be succeeding KETPAA, and that it was reasonable to assume that the liquidation of KETPAA would have to precede the establishment of KEDA. I asked for an update as to the stage at which the KETPAA liquidation is at, but my question was ignored.

I also asked that it be clarified just what exactly the topic of discussion was, and what was to be decided and voted upon. Was it the presentation and approval of the Study? What did the word ‘Establishment,’ which was written in the Invitation to the Meeting, mean exactly? I, for one, have the impression that when we refer to the ‘Establishment’ of some body, we mean that we will be deciding upon whether or not the creation of some enterprise or association will be taking place, on the basis of a specific Charter. So I asked, so that all of us could understand: Is that what we were being called upon to do—to approve of the KEDA Charter? And, if yes, where is this Charter? We have not seen it, we have not studied it…How could it be possible for us to vote—responsibly—on the Item, bearing in mind that we do not have the slightest knowledge regarding the particular Item?

The answer I received was the Charter appearing instantly before me—delivered by the Mayor himself, who told me to read it there and then, if I so desired.

It is absurd—at best—for one to argue that we Councillors could read and adequately study a Founding Charter for an Enterprise during the course of a Municipal Council Meeting. This should have been given to us before the Meeting, considering that it was the main thing that we were being called upon to discuss and vote upon.

Nor do we agree with the rationale that goes ‘let’s just vote in favour of it now, and, if needed, we can amend it later,’ as was proposed at the Meeting. Is it not preferable for us to follow the correct and logical procedure from the outset, to make whatever necessary changes may be needed now, so as not to need to make any changes later? After the Charter is approved, it will be published in the Government Gazette. Whatever changes made after its publication will likely be time-consuming and costly—consequently, not as easy as suggested.

Unfortunately, the whole Item constitutes, in our opinion, yet another case illustrating a lack of seriousness and indicating off-handedness in relation to the organising and handling of an Item on the part of the Municipal leadership.

If the Majority are truly interested in having a substantial and sincere collaboration with all of the groups on the Council and in the local community, they have only to prove it by honestly seeking it.

Concerning the issue at hand, we believe that in the case of something as serious and important as the establishment of a Municipal Enterprise, it goes without saying that Municipal Councillors should have been provided with all of the related documents, and, above all the Charter, which we Councillors were being called upon to approve at the Meeting. Thus, each Councillor would have had the opportunity to examine the documents and the Charter, to study these; as a result, each Councillor would have formed an opinion and would have been able to express it at the Council Meeting, so that any Article of the Charter could have been amended—if needed—and then each Councilor could have voted responsibly.

Following this, I was asked at the Meeting why—since I cared so much about the subject—I had not gone to the effort of going to the Municipal Building in person to ask for the Charter.

Firstly, we were supplied with a packet concerning the first Item of the Meeting; this also included a Charter—that of the ISO (see Item below)—containing Articles, etc. And I ask: On the basis of what criteria was it decided that we be given the packet for the first Item, but not the Feasibility Study or the Charter related to the second Item?

Secondly, we have repeatedly asked that we be provided with all of the documents for all of the Items, as we are entitled to receive, in accordance with the law. Why do they not give all of these to us, supplying us instead with a selection of anything we are to receive (if we are to receive anything at all)? What are the criteria? I posed this question at the Council Meeting. Unfortunately, I was not provided with an answer to this question, as well.

What I do know is that each of us, in our everyday lives, when we really do seek cooperation, we take any actions necessary in order to achieve it. We seek the participation of everyone, and secure conditions so that this may be realised. However, when we do not truly and deeply want there to be cooperation, it is very easy to find a way, or an excuse, in order that it not be achieved.

I proposed to the Council that the Item be withdrawn, that Councillors be given an electronic copy of the Feasibility Study, the PowerPoint presentation of this, and the Charter, in order that we have a look at the aforementioned documents and study them, and that we re-convene in one week’s time, by that point in a position to responsibly discuss and decide upon the Item. Either way, I argued, we have waited eight months for KEDA to be established; it would not matter, there would not be any negative consequence, were we to wait one week more, if the job is to be done properly and responsibly. Unfortunately, my proposal did not meet with any response, and we were called to vote.

If the Majority truly value cooperation—as they continue to state now and then—the road leading to a substantial cooperation is both visible and wide open, on our part—so long as they truly want it to happen.

We call upon the Majority, once more, to prove it in practice, in the aim of attaining unity among the groups and residents of our island. If they demonstrate—substantially and in practice—that they are truly interested in achieving cooperation and unity, they can be certain that they will have us, at least, by their side. We have declared this innumerable times, and we are stating it anew here as well, at this very moment.

It is worth reminding that, after all, this is the exclusive reason why the members of our group decided to become more actively, methodically and systematically involved in public affairs on our island.

1. Approval of the Internal Service Organisation of theMunicipalityofAntiparos:

Mr Efthymios Haniotis, special advisor to Mayor Ioannis Leventakis, being the Municipality’s collaborator (link) with the competent body charged with drafting the Internal Service Organisation (ISO) for the Municipality of Antiparos, presented the ISO to the Council, and provided answers to the explanatory questions posed by some Municipal Councillors (including the writer of this text). We had gained knowledge of the issue a few days prior to the meeting, as the Municipality, as mentioned above, had made the effort and taken the time to distribute to Councillors the relevant documents (Introductory Report and Draft Plan—that is, the Charter).

The ISO includes many services that every Municipality is required to offer, in accordance with the provisions of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’). Replying to a related question I posed, Mr Haniotis explained that it is possible that some service be abolished and its activity transferred to another body, in the event of the establishment of a body having the same field of activity (e.g. for the Office for Water and Drainage to be abolished when the Municipal Enterprise for Water and Drainage is established). Simply put, all of the services mentioned in the ISO must be included in it, irrespective of whether or not they will ever be created. The same also applies in the case of employment positions—there is no ‘guarantee’ or ‘commitment’ that these positions must absolutely be filled (in other words, the same situation as today continues to exist, as far as the [non-]filling of positions is concerned, and the state approval needed for this). According to the new ISO, the employment positions (permanent and temporary or term) at the Municipality are doubled approximately. Today, there are 17 positions (of which six are seasonal), and these are projected to rise to 33 (of which 10 are seasonal).       

Passed by Unanimous vote. This fact amply demonstrates in practice that when the correct procedure is followed (as stipulated by law), when all of the Municipal Councillors have received all of the relevant and necessary documents prior to the Meeting, when a constructive discussion on the matter follows at the Meeting and satisfactory explanatory answers are provided to well-meaning questions that are posed, then there is no reason whatsoever for objections to be raised or for any good proposal to be voted against. As is clearly obvious, all of this stands in marked, direct contrast to everything stated above concerning the preceding item on the establishment of KEDA.

————————————–

The Municipal Council Meeting of 30 October 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Sunday, 30 October 2011 at 11.30, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

  1. Modification to the Composition of the Primary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with the Reg. No. 1374/2011 Document of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean.
  2. Modification to the Composition of the Secondary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with the Reg. No. 1375/2011 Document of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean.
  3. Organising of event to honour the memory of the late Christos Karayianniotis.

Prior to the discussion and taking of decisions concerning the Items above, one issue was discussed as an Urgent Item:

– Approval of the Decision of the Financial Committee (of 29-10-2011) concerning the ‘Approval for the 1st payment for the project “Reconstruction of dangerous and defective road paving works on the road section of the Antiparos Ring Road.”’ 

The Municipal Council was called upon to approve the Decision of the Financial Committee, which had been taken the previous day, and according to which the Municipality would pay the sum of 5,452.00 euros, the minimum sum required in order to open an account related to the repair project of the Ring Road.  

Passed by Majority vote. I voted against the proposal—as did the other four Members of the Minority. I agreed, along general lines, with all that Mr Nikos Marianos had argued at the Financial Committee Meeting of the previous day, as well as at the Municipal Council Meeting held that day. I also reiterated that we too had ascertained that in Paros these same contractors who had bid on the Antiparos project had vied for (and one had been awarded) theParosproject, a contract whose value was half of that of our project. InParosthese contenders had offered a discount of 35-40%, whilst for our project their discount was 1-2%.   

There followed a discussion on the Agenda Items and the taking of decisions concerning each of these.

  1. Modification to the Composition of the Primary Education School Committee of theMunicipalityofAntiparos, in accordance with the Reg. No. 1374/2011 Document of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean:

Reference to this matter was also made in a previous post of ‘The Bridge’ (related to the Meeting of 18 October 2011), in which a brief analysis of our positions concerning the matter was presented. At the Municipal Council Meeting of 30-10-2011, I presented our positions and took an official stance on the matter. The following is a related extract from that previous ‘Bridge’ post, as it summarises all that I argued in public at the Meeting as well:  

‘The Municipality received a document from the Regional Authority, bearing Reg. No. 1374 and dated 07-06-2011, which, in turn, the Municipality entered on its Register, on 31-08-2011, with Reg. No. 3817. The Regional Authority document concerned the ‘Modification of the 6383/10-09-1991 Decision of the Cyclades Prefect entitled “Establishment of the Antiparos Primary and Kindergarten School Committee”.’ By way of the aforementioned document, the Regional Authority had decided to modify the 1991 Decision, and consequently harmonise it with the provisions of Article 103 of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’).

The new Regional Decision stated that two changes be made: 1) A change in the official title of the School Committee from ‘Antiparos Primary and Kindergarten School Committee’ to ‘Municipality of Antiparos Primary Education School Committee’; and, 2) That the number of administrative council members be increased from five to nine, its permanent members and alternate members being elected by the Municipal Council (and the nine are: Four Municipal Councillors—at least two from the Minority—the two Principals [one from the Kindergarten and one from the Primary], and three citizens or residents).

The first change that the Regional Authority requested was a complete formality—the change in official title of the School Committee.

As for the second change, our Municipal Council, by way of its Decision No. 13/2011 (29-01-2011), in which it named the members of the School Committee, had already set the number of School Committee members to nine.

Consequently, the only changes that would have to be made to the composition of the members of the School Board was to the names of the Principals of the two schools (Kindergarten and Primary), owing to the recent change of Principal at both schools. There were already four Municipal Councillors—‘at least two from the Minority’ (from the Majority there was Ms Litsa Viazi, from the Minority there were Messrs Antonis Patelis, Damianos Palaiologos and Nikos Marianos [the Regional Authority document does not state that there must be a representative from the Parents and Guardians’ Association])—the two Principals [the two new individuals who would now be appointed] and three citizens or residents (Ms Maria Loufa—whom the Municipal Council had named President of the School Committee in its Decision 13/2011—, Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou, and Ms Katerina apokotou).

It has never been stated in the law or any other relevant document that the President of the School Committee must be the Principal of the School, and it was on the basis of that the Mayor had nominated Ms Loufa for the position of President, and that the Municipal Council had approved his proposal at the Meeting of 29January 2011, in Decision 13/2011.

However, the Mayor, unfortunately, using as a pretext the very minor changes that had to take place with regard to the School Committee in accordance with the aforementioned Regional document, seized the opportunity to publicly announce the removal of Ms Loufa from the position of President, and to replace her with the new Principal of the Primary School—and all of this uncalled for (no one—not even the Council Members, as became evident—doubts Ms Loufa’s genuine concern and positive contribution to the Committee to date), and this occurred unexpectedly, at that, as the Mayor did not even bother to go to the effort of discussing the matter with Ms Loufa prior to his announcement, preferring instead to publicly remove her during the course of the Municipal Council Meeting.

The reason, according to the Mayor, was ‘clearly institutional,’ and he added that he intended to do the same with the President of the Secondary School Committee, Ms Filothei Marianou (who, however, also happens to be a Municipal Councillor belonging to his group).

In response to these unexpected developments, Ms Loufa stated she would like to tender her resignation from the School Committee. During the course of this long discussion on the subject of the changes to the School Committees, Minority Councillor Mr Nikos Marianos stated that he too would like to tender his resignation.

The Mayor asked them if they wished to recall their resignations, but both insisted upon submitting them.

The Mayor proposed that the item be removed, owing to the resignations of the two Committee members. (Since then, a third member—Ms Apokotou—has also resigned, owing to all that which transpired at the Municipal Council Meeting and in view of the new situation that is taking shape).’

At the meeting of 30-10-2011, the Majority proposed the following new composition of School Committee Members: Ms Maria Kontaratou (President–Primary School Principal), Ms Daniilidou (Kindergarten School Principal), Ms Filothei Marianou and Ms Litsa Viazi (Municipal Councillors from the Majority), Messrs Damianos Palaiologos and Antonis Patelis (Municipal Councillors from the Minority), Ms Maria Kalargyrou, Mr Konstantinos Manolikis and Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou (Citizens).

Passed by Majority vote. I voted against the proposal, disagreeing with the procedure followed from the outset, as well as with the politicisation of the School Committee. Messrs Nikos Marianos, Damianos Palaiologos and Ioannis Triantaphyllos (all Minority Members) abstained.

  1. Modification to the Composition of the Secondary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with the Reg. No. 1375/2011 Document of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean:

Reference to this matter was also made in a previous post of ‘The Bridge’ (related to the Meeting of 18 October 2011), in which a brief analysis of our positions concerning the matter was presented. At the Municipal Council Meeting of 30-10-2011, I presented our positions and took an official stance on the matter. The following is a related extract from that previous ‘Bridge’ post, as it summarises all that I argued in public at the Meeting as well:

‘The Municipality received a document from the Regional Authority, bearing Reg. No. 1375 and dated 07-06-2011, which, in turn, the Municipality entered on its register, on 10-06-2011, with Reg. No. 2752. The Regional Authority document concerned the ‘Modification of the 11498/19-09-1991 Decision of the Cyclades Prefect entitled “Establishment of the Antiparos Junior High School Committee”.’ By way of the aforementioned document, the Regional Authority decided to modify the 1991 Decision, and consequently harmonise it with the provisions of Article 103 of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’).

The new Regional Decision requested that two changes be made: 1) A change in the official title of the School Committee from ‘Antiparos Junior High School Committee’ to ‘Municipality of Antiparos Secondary Education School Committee’; and, 2) That the number of administrative council members be increased from five to nine, its permanent members and alternate members being elected by the Municipal Council (and the nine are: Five Municipal Councillors—at least two from the Minority—the Principal of the Junior High plus Grade 10 School, one representative from the Parents and Guardians’ Association, one representative from the student body and one citizen or resident).

The matter was discussed parallel to that of the changes to the Primary School Committee, but not in much depth.’

At the meeting of 30-10-2011, the Majority proposed the following new composition of School Committee Members: Ms Maria Venieri (President–Junior High and First Year of High School Principal), Ms Eleni Viazi, Ms Filothei Marianou and Ms Litsa Viazi (Municipal Councillors from the Majority), Messrs Damianos Palaiologos and Yiannis Triantaphyllos (Municipal Councillors from the Minority), Ms Katerina Apartoglou (Representative of the Parents and Guardians’ Association), Ms Evangelia Palaiologou (Representative of the Student Body) and Mr Nikos I. Marianos (Citizen).

Passed by Majority vote. I voted against the proposal, disagreeing with the procedure followed from the outset, as well as with the politicisation of the School Committee. Mr Nikos Marianos (Minority) abstained.

  1. Organising of event to honour the memory of the late Christos Karayianniotis:

The Item was withdrawn, in accordance with the wishes of the widow of the late Christos Karayianniotis.    

– At the end of the Meeting, I expressed our displeasure to the Mayor and the Members of the Municipal Council concerning the Meeting of the Financial Committee that had taken place the previous day. The reason was because although the start of the Financial Committee Meeting had been set for 11.00 (and I was present at 10.55), and despite the fact that there was a quorum at 11.10, with the required number of Members in attendance
[six Members are required—the Members already in attendance were the following:  a) Three Permanent Members—Ms Litsa Viazi and Mr Panayiotis Faroupos (of the Majority), Mr Nikos Marianos (of the Minority); and, b) Three Alternate Members—Ms Filothei Marianou and Mr Paraskevas Kouvaras (of the Majoity), and I (of the Minority)], after 11.10 the Mayor, who is also President of the Financial Committee, considered it appropriate and correct to personally make a telephone call to another two Permanent Members (Ms Eleni Viazi of the Majority and Mr Antonis Patelis of the Minority), to remind them that a Meeting was taking place. Following this, and despite the aforementioned fact that there was already a quorum at 11.10, the Meeting started at 11.30, after the two Permanent Members mentioned above, whom the Mayor himself had telephoned, arrived at the Meeting. The result was that our group was deprived of the right to vote at the Financial Committee Meeting. I stressed all of this to the Mayor at the Municipal Council Meeting, and asked that this not be repeated again—and I informed him that, in the event that it does occur in future, we shall be seeking recourse to the competent authority at the Regional level. I added that if the Mayor is truly interested in cooperation, many voices being heard, democracy and participation—as he has often stated—then he will have to prove it in practice as well, with such notions and principles not remaining just at a theoretical level as empty words.          

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The Financial Committee Meeting of 29 October 2011

The Financial Committee convened on Saturday, 29 October 2011 at 11.00, in the Kalouda Hall. As Messrs Nikos Marianos and Antonis Patelis of the Minority were both present at the meeting, I was not given the opportunity to participate in the voting on the items discussed.

1)      Approval for the publication of printed matter for the World Travel Market (London) and the ‘Philoxenia’ (Thessaloniki) tourism exhibitions.

2)      Commissioning for the printing of cloth carrier bags for the tourism exhibitions, as promotion material.

3)      The taking of a decision concerning the 2nd reprint of brochures for the Cave.

4)      Approval for the 1st payment for the project ‘Reconstruction of dangerous and defective road paving works on the road section of the Antiparos Ring Road.’

5)      Allotment and credit of expenditure for the renting of water tank vehicles.

Prior to the discussion and taking of decisions concerning the Items above, a further three Items were discussed as Urgent items:

1. Microphone system repair:

The Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Mr Ioannis Leventakis explained to the Committee Members that this concerned repairs that had been carried out on the microphone system of the Municipality. The repairs were made by Mr Ioannis Roussos, inParos. The total comes to 140.00 euros (plus VAT).      

Approved by unanimous vote.

2. Proclamation of the Competition for the procurement of fuels:

The terms and conditions of the Competition were discussed again. Such a Competition will be held once a year. The Competition Committee Members were named (all are Municipal employees): 1) Mr Theocharis Tsolakis; 2) Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou; and, 3) Ms Kyriaki Faroupou, and the Alternate Members are: 1) Mr Eleftherios Manolikis; 2) Mr Konstantinos Manolikis; and, 3) Ms Anna Palaiologou. The date of the Competition was determined—11-11-2011—and the relevant Committee will be responsible for setting the time.    

Approved by unanimous vote.

3. Renewal of insurance premium for the municipal bus:

Over the summer, the insurance policy for the Municipal bus was renewed, with Ethniki Asfalistiki (‘national insurance’). For the second half of 2011, for the sum of 1,125.00 euros.

Approved by unanimous vote.

There followed a discussion on the regular Agenda Items, and the taking of decisions concerning these.

1)      Approval for the publication of printed matter for the World Travel Market (London) and the ‘Philoxenia’ (Thessaloniki) tourism exhibitions.

The printed matter concerned two items—a map (3,000 units) and an engraving (2,000 units). Two offers were sought, one from Mr Dragatis in Paros and one from Mr Achilleopoulos inAthens. In both cases, Mr Achilleopoulos furnished the lowest offer—1,980.00 euros (plus VAT) for the maps (compared to the sum of 2,200.00 euros [plus VAT] asked for by Mr Dragatis), and 1,400.00 euros (plus VAT) for the gravures (Mr Dragatis’ offer was 1,500.00 euros plus VAT). 

Approved by unanimous vote.

2)      Commissioning for the printing of cloth carrier bags for the tourism exhibitions, as promotion material.

Only two offers were sought for this product as well. Both companies are located inAthens. The order is for 2,000 units. The quote given by the firm Morfopoulos Bros was 2,784.00 euros (including VAT; that is, 1.39 euros/item), while Mr Ioannis Argyropoulos asked for 1,624.00 euros (including VAT; that is, 0.81 euros/item).

Approved by unanimous vote.

3)      The taking of a decision concerning the 2nd reprint of brochures for the Cave.

The printing firm of Mr N. Ragoussis ofParoswas selected once again to reprint the printed matter distributed at the Cave (800.00 euros plus VAT for 10,000 pamphlets)

Approved by unanimous vote.

The above Items brought to the fore, yet again, the more general issue of the ‘absence’ of the Tourism Committee—i.e., how evident its lack of presence is, how necessary its re-establishment is, how significant concepts like organisation and programming are in general, the idea that we must finally overcome our off-handedness and move along a path where we can operate in a more organised and timely fashion and, finally, as far as the question of quotes and offers is concerned, we must ask for more of these and from a greater number of businesses as well (and perhaps even proclaim Competitions for the procurement of more goods or services).

4)      Approval for the 1st payment for the project ‘Reconstruction of dangerous and defective road paving works on the road section of the Antiparos Ring Road.’

It was proposed that the sum of 5,452.00 euros be approved, in order that an account be opened and the contractor who took on the road repair job begin to receive payment. The abovementioned sum is for the earthworks related to the road. The mayor also informed the Committee Members that samples of the road have been taken by our Municipality, the Regional Authority and the contractor.  

Approved by majority vote. Messrs N. Marianos and A. Patelis of the Minority did not approve the proposal, owing to information related to the corporate identity of the contractor, the low rate of discount that the contractor had offered, and the end result of the road repair project (the surface is bumpy in many sections). The reason we mention these is because, in general, we agree with these points.

5)      Allotment and credit of expenditure for the renting of water tank vehicles.

The Item concerned the payment of 1,500.00 euros (plus VAT) to Mr Athanasios Triantaphyllos, for services rendered this past summer in the area of Prophitis Ilias / Monastiria (Ayia Zoni), and another 1,500.00 euros (plus VAT) to Mr Theodoros Bizas, for services also rendered this past summer in the Cave area.

Approved by majority vote. Mr Marianos of the Minority abstained.

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The Municipal Council Meeting of 18 October 2011

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

  1. Approval of the terms of the Competition for the procurement of fuel for Municipal vehicles.
  2. Amendment to the 2011 Fiscal Year Budget.
  3. Preliminary approval for the granting of a license of establishment and operation to Ms Maria Marinatou for a traditional café in the area of Ayios Yeorgios.
  4. Ratification of Financial Committee Decision No. 96/18-08-2011 for the approval of an outlay for a share capital increase in the ΚΕΚ Kykladon.
  5. Ratification of Financial Committee Decision No. 112/18-08-2011 for the approval of the refunding of a sponsorship to the National Bank of Greece, in accordance with the related Auditing Committee Act No. 57/07-12-2010.
  6. Modification to the Composition of the Primary Education School Committee of the Municipality ofAntiparos.
  7. Modification to the Composition of the Secondary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos.
  8. Concerning the Petition of Mr Ioannis Mikelis for the regulation of a debt.
  9. Concerning the Petition of Mr Nikolaos Magalios for Seasonality status.
  10. Opinion of the Municipal Council concerning the granting of a license for a motorcycle rentals office, following the Petition lodged by Mr Konstantinos Rokonidas.
  11. Funding of School Committees: a) 3rd Allocation for 2011 for operating expenses, from the Regional Authority; and, b) from the Municipality’s own funds.
  12. Transportation of refuse collection vehicle and dump truck toAthensfor service.
  13. Approval of Statement of Accounts for the 2010 Fiscal Year.
  14. Refund of overpaid sums.
  15. Participation of the Municipality of Antiparos in tourism exhibitions:

Α) ‘World Travel Market’ in London on 07-10 November 2011.

Β) ‘Philoxenia’ in Thessaloniki on 17-20 November 2011.

16. Taking of a Decision by the Municipal Council on the retention of the reduced VAT scheme, following a Petition by the Merchants and Professionals Association of Paros and Antiparos.

17. Appointment of a specialist labour lawyer to examine the Internal Service Organisation of the Municipality of Antiparos, as well as that of the Public Benefit Municipal Enterprise.

18. Organisation of the 28th October 2011 celebration.

Please note:

1) Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Meeting, for medical reasons.

Fortunately, many members of our group were able to attend, and to take active part in the discussions that took place related to the items on the Agenda.

Today’s ‘Bridge’ report is based on the audio file we recorded of the Meeting.

2) During the course of the 25 September Financial Committee Meeting, I had made a comment to the effect that for many months now the Municipality has failed to provide—as it should—Municipal Councillors and Committee Members with the relevant official documents before each Meeting, concerning the Agenda Items to be discussed. I added that this ensures that everyone is informed prior to all Meetings and is not called upon to decide on unfamiliar issues, on the spot.

As a result, the Municipality took care before this Municipal Council Meeting to distribute the relevant documents for some of the issues that were to be discussed.

It is my hope that, from now on, this be repeated before each Meeting of both the Municipal Council and Financial Committee, and also that the relevant documents be distributed for all of the  Agenda Items.     

  1. Approval of the terms of the Competition for the procurement of fuel for Municipal vehicles:

The budget for the procurement of fuel amounts to 46,000.00 euros plus 16% VAT (7,360.00 euros), that is, a total of 53,360.00 euros. According to the terms and conditions of the Competition drawn up by the Municipal Authority, the quality of the fuel must be equal to that produced by state oil refineries. The Municipality reserves the right to send samples to the State General Laboratory or to some other certified laboratory for analysis. Recognised fuel providers registered with the Cyclades Chamber of Commerce are eligible to take part in the Competition, provided that they fulfil the prerequisites laid down by the Competition.

It was proposed that the terms and conditions of the Competition be approved, and, following that, the matter be referred to the Financial Committee, where the Competition will be formally announced and its date set.

The Competition concerns the year 2011.

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Amendment to the 2011 Fiscal Year Budget:

Ms Kyriaki Faroupou, Municipal employee responsible for the Municipality’s financial issues, read aloud a list of codes, descriptions and sums, and informed Councillors concerning the transfer of these sums between codes.   

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Preliminary approval for the granting of a license of establishment and operation to Ms Maria Marinatou for a traditional café in the area of Ayios Yeorgios:

Municipal Secretary Ms Anna Palaiologou informed Council Members that the applicant had submitted all of the required paperwork in order to receive the preliminary approval for her business.  

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Ratification of Financial Committee Decision No. 96/18-08-2011 for the approval of an outlay for a share capital increase in the ΚΕΚ Kykladon:

The matter had been approved by the Financial Committee, and the Committee Decision had to be ratified by the Municipal Council. The expenditure amounted to 740.77 euros (including VAT).

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Ratification of Financial Committee Decision No. 112/18-08-2011 for the approval of the refunding of a sponsorship to the National Bank of Greece, in accordance with the related Auditing Committee Act No. 57/07-12-2010:

The item had previously been approved by the Financial Committee, and now had to be ratified by the Municipal Council. As they had also informed us at the Financial Committee Meeting (I was present), the National Bank of Greece had given the then President of the Community of Antiparos Ms Varvara Faroupou-Maneta a sponsorship valued at 1,000.00 euros, to go towards the cost of the booklets (the bank would be advertised) that the former President would be printing to present at her Financial Report for the eight years she had been in power. The public event took place shortly before the end of her second and last term in office. Almost a month following this event, on 7 December 2010 the Auditing Committee of the National Bank ruled that it would be requesting the full return of the sponsorship, as it deemed that the money had been used for strictly personal reasons, for the self-promotion of the then President.

At the Financial Committee Meeting, the Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Mr Ioannis Leventakis had declared that he intended to ask the National Bank to give the Municipality a new sponsorship, for the same amount, after the Municipality returns it to the Bank, and that this sponsorship be used for another purpose. Unfortunately, it appears that the Mayor has not proceeded with this from the day of that Financial Committee Meeting (18-08-2011) until today, as at the Municipal Council Meeting he simply repeated all that he had said then—that is, that he intends to ask the Bank to get it back.

In addition, I had proposed then at the Financial Committee meeting that, in the event that the Bank is unwilling to proceed with a new sponsorship for the same amount, it would perhaps be a good idea for the Municipality to ask of Ms Maneta to cover this sum, and in doing so to compensate the Municipality for the unanticipated expense of 1,000.00 euros, considering that the initial Bank sponsorship had been used by Ms Maneta for reasons of self-promotion. I continue to stand by my initial proposal.      

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Modification to the Composition of the Primary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos:

The Municipality received a document from the Regional Authority, bearing Reg. No. 1374 and dated 07-06-2011, which, in turn, the Municipality entered on its Register, on 31-08-2011, with Reg. No. 3817. The Regional Authority document concerned the ‘Modification of the 6383/10-09-1991 Decision of the Cyclades Prefect entitled “Establishment of the Antiparos Primary and Kindergarten School Committee”.’ By way of the aforementioned document, the Regional Authority had decided to modify the 1991 Decision, and consequently harmonise it with the provisions of Article 103 of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’).

The new Regional Decision stated that two changes be made: 1) A change in the official title of the School Committee from ‘Antiparos Primary and Kindergarten School Committee’ to ‘Municipality of Antiparos Primary Education School Committee’; and, 2) That the number of administrative council members be increased from five to nine, its permanent members and alternate members being elected by the Municipal Council (and the nine are: Four Municipal Councillors—at least two from the Minority—the two Principals [one from the Kindergarten and one from the Primary], and three citizens or residents).

The first change that the Regional Authority requested was a complete formality—the change in official title of the School Committee.

As for the second change, our Municipal Council, by way of its Decision No. 13/2011 (29-01-2011), in which it named the members of the School Committee, had already set the number of School Committee members to nine.

Consequently, the only changes that would have to be made to the composition of the members of the School Board was to the names of the Principals of the two schools (Kindergarten and Primary), owing to the recent change of Principal at both schools. There were already four Municipal Councillors—‘at least two from the Minority’ (from the Majority there was Ms Litsa Viazi, from the Minority there were Messrs Antonis Patelis, Damianos Palaiologos and Nikos Marianos [the Regional Authority document does not state that there must be a representative from the Parents and Guardians’ Association])—the two Principals [the two new individuals who would now be appointed] and three citizens or residents (Ms Maria Loufa—whom the Municipal Council had named President of the School Committee in its Decision 13/2011—, Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou, and Ms Katerina Apokotou).

It has never been stated in the law or any other relevant document that the President of the School Committee must be the Principal of the School, and it was on the basis of that the Mayor had nominated Ms Loufa for the position of President, and that the Municipal Council had approved his proposal at the Meeting of 29January 2011, in Decision 13/2011.

However, the Mayor, unfortunately, using as a pretext the very minor changes that had to take place with regard to the School Committee in accordance with the aforementioned Regional document, seized the opportunity to publicly announce the removal of Ms Loufa from the position of President, and to replace her with the new Principal of the Primary School—and all of this uncalled for (no one—not even the Council Members, as became evident—doubts Ms Loufa’s genuine concern and positive contribution to the Committee to date), and this occurred unexpectedly, at that, as the Mayor did not even bother to go to the effort of discussing the matter with Ms Loufa prior to his announcement, preferring instead to publicly remove her during the course of the Municipal Council Meeting.

The reason, according to the Mayor, was ‘clearly institutional,’ and he added that he intended to do the same with the President of the Secondary School Committee, Ms Filothei Marianou (who, however, also happens to be a Municipal Councillor belonging to his group).

In response to these unexpected developments, Ms Loufa stated she would like to tender her resignation from the School Committee. During the course of this long discussion on the subject of the changes to the School Committees, Minority Councillor Mr Nikos Marianos stated that he too would like to tender his resignation.

The Mayor asked them if they wished to recall their resignations, but both insisted upon submitting them.

The Mayor proposed that the item be removed, owing to the resignations of the two Committee members. (Since then, a third member—Ms Apokotou—has also resigned, owing to all that which transpired at the Municipal Council Meeting and in view of the new situation that is taking shape).

It was decided by majority vote that the item be removed, in order that it be discussed at a future meeting. The four members of the Minority in attendance voted against the proposal to withdraw the item.

  1. Modification to the Composition of the Secondary Education School Committee of the Municipality of Antiparos:

The Municipality received a document from the Regional Authority, bearing Reg. No. 1375 and dated 07-06-2011, which, in turn, the Municipality entered on its register, on 10-06-2011, with Reg. No. 2752. The Regional Authority document concerned the ‘Modification of the 11498/19-09-1991 Decision of the Cyclades Prefect entitled “Establishment of the Antiparos Junior High School Committee”.’ By way of the aforementioned document, the Regional Authority decided to modify the 1991 Decision, and consequently harmonise it with the provisions of Article 103 of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’).

The new Regional Decision requested that two changes be made: 1) A change in the official title of the School Committee from ‘Antiparos Junior High School Committee’ to ‘Municipality of Antiparos Secondary Education School Committee’; and, 2) That the number of administrative council members be increased from five to nine, its permanent members and alternate members being elected by the Municipal Council (and the nine are: Five Municipal Councillors—at least two from the Minority—the Principal of the Junior High plus Grade 10 School, one representative from the Parents and Guardians’ Association, one representative from the student body and one citizen or resident).

The matter was discussed parallel to that of the changes to the Primary School Committee, but not in much depth.

The Mayor proposed that the item be withdrawn, owing to the developments related to the Primary School Committee.

It was decided by majority vote that the item be removed, in order that it be discussed at a future meeting. The four members of the Minority in attendance voted against the motion to remove the item.

  1. Concerning the Petition of Mr Ioannis Mikelis for the regulation of a debt:

The applicant requested that his property tax debt to the Municipality be regulated; this debt had arisen from the fact that his house had a larger surface area than that which had been declared. He asked that he be able to repay the debt in monthly installments.

Passed by unanimous decision. The Municipal Council decided that the applicant be given the opportunity to pay off the debt in five installments.

  1. Concerning the Petition of Mr Nikolaos Magalios for Seasonality status:

The applicant is the owner of a furnished apartment rentals business in Ayios Yeorgios. He had submitted to the Municipality all of the paperwork required in order to be classified under this scheme.

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Opinion of the Municipal Council concerning the granting of a license for a motorcycle rentals office, following the Petition lodged by Mr Konstantinos Rokonidas:

The members of the Council were informed that the applicant has submitted all of the necessary documents. Through this Petition, he sought that the Municipal Council offer its official Opinion in order that this, in turn, be submitted to ΕΟΤ (the Greek Tourism Organization), along with all of the other required documents, so that EOT issue a license, as laid down in the relevant legislation. The applicant had informed the Council as to the area for which he sought the license to be issued, where his motorcycle rental agency would be operating, and also about the area where the 12 motorcycles and three four-wheelers (the maximum number of each permitted, according to the law) would be parked.        

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Funding of School Committees: a) 3rd Allocation for 2011 for operating expenses, from the Regional Authority; and, b) from the Municipality’s own funds:

The President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, informed the members of the Council that the Municipality had received, over the summer, the first two Allocations from the Regional Authority earmarked for covering the operational expenses of our schools. Now it had received the third. Each Allocation amounts to 1,801.51 euros net, and is for both schools together (primary and secondary). The Municipality proposed to increase this sum—as the previous local administrations had also done every time—giving an extra 1,000.00 euros to each school from its own funds.    

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Transportation of refuse collection vehicle and dump truck toAthensfor service:

The matter concerned only the transportation of the above vehicles (that is, the return vessel tickets, the cost of which is estimated at approximately 700.00 euros).

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Approval of Statement of Accounts for the 2010 Fiscal Year:

The matter had already been approved by the Financial Committee. It concerned the financial data up to and including 31December 2010, and had to be ratified by the Municipal Council.

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Refund of overpaid sums:

Petitions were lodged by 1) Mr Antonis Marianos (son of Petros); and, 2) Mr Anastasios Gikas. Both requested the return of sums that they had paid. The two applicants had paid to DEH (the electricity corporation) municipal taxes and property taxes for more square metres than their buildings had, and, in accordance with the law, they had the right to receive a refund for the difference, for the three previous years. Both had submitted to the Municipality all of the required paperwork in order to receive their refunds.

Passed by unanimous decision.

  1. Participation of theMunicipalityofAntiparosin tourism exhibitions:

Α) ‘World Travel Market’ in London on 07-10 November 2011.

Β) ‘Philoxenia’ in Thessaloniki on 17-20 November 2011:

Municipal Councillor Ms Litsa Viazi informed the Council that the Majority had selected the above two exhibitions for theMunicipalityofAntiparosto attend and participate in. At these fairs, the Regional Authority concedes only a small area within its exhibition space for each interested island, and does not cover any other expenses. Ms Viazi also briefed councillors on the organization of Antiparos’ presentation at these exhibitions, on printed/promotional matter, on travel and accommodation expenses, and the names of the individuals who would be travelling to these tourist fairs.

Throughout the course of the discussion that ensued, there was much talk about the delay and organisational ‘off-handedness’ on the part of the Municipality, and many references were made to the need for there to be an effective Tourism Committee, which would undertake the drawing-up of proposals related to exhibitions. In addition, the lack of (the much-needed) participation of island businesses in the exhibitions was evident and confirmed, a situation that had arisen owing to the failure on the part of the Municipal authority to invite local businesspeople to participate in the preparation and planning stages.

With reference to the subject of the re-establishment of the Tourism Committee, the Mayor proposed that he invite, in future, businesspersons and professionals to a gathering, at which these same individuals would submit their nominations and then choose amongst themselves who would be a member on the committee. His unofficial proposal was verbally (and theoretically) accepted by many in attendance.

The matter of the Municipality’s participation in these two exhibitions was passed by unanimous decision.

16. Taking of a Decision by the Municipal Council on the retention of the reduced VAT scheme, following a Petition by the Merchants and Professionals Association of Paros and Antiparos:

The above Association asked our Municipal Council to pass a motion in favour of maintaining the reduced VAT scheme (as it stands, it is 16% on the islands, compared to 23% for most of the rest of the country) and to communicate our resolution to the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Economy.   

Passed by unanimous decision.

17. Appointment of a specialist labour lawyer to examine the Internal Service Organisation of theMunicipalityofAntiparos, as well as that of the Public Benefit Municipal Enterprise:

The Majority proposed that specialist labour lawyer Mr Dionysios Kalamatianos, who is employed by the firm headed by the well-known specialist labour lawyer Alexis Mitropoulos, be retained in order to check the Municipality’s new Internal Service Organisation (a document containing internal regulations that set out how a body is organised), as well as that of the Public Benefit Municipal Enterprise being established, in an attempt to protect and safeguard the existing and planned employment positions at the Municipality and Enterprise, in view of developments related to the matter of job cuts and reserve lists in the greater public sector. The specialist lawyer’s fee for this work comes to 800.00 euros.

Passed by majority decision. Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority abstained from the voting.

18. Organisation of the 28th October 2011 celebration:

Mr Yiorgos Arkoulis inParosoffered the lowest price for the wreaths, Mr Petros Triantaphyllos the lowest for the pastries.

Passed by unanimous decision.

——————————————————

The Financial Committee Meeting of 25 September 2011

The Financial Committee met on Sunday, 25 September 2011 at 19.00, in the Mayor’s Office. Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority was absent; thus, as the first alternate member for the Minority, I was given the opportunity not only to participate in the discussions, but also to take part in the voting on the agenda items.

 The following items were to be discussed and put to vote:

 1)      Approval of the procurement of replacement parts for the water network

2)      Approval of the procurement of replacement parts for the cleaning department

3)      Approval of the procurement of painting supplies

4)      Vote concerning Statement of Financial Accounts for the 2010 Financial Year

5)      Approval of the study and commissioning of the project to install traffic barriers along the main road in the village of Antiparos, and appropriation and credit of expenditure for their procurement

6)      Acceptance of the study and determination of date of tender and of committee for the procurement of bus shelters

7)      Approval, appropriation of expenditure and commissioning for the conducting of a feasibility study for the Port Fund of Antiparos

8)      Approval of the procurement  of stationery for Municipal departments

9)      a) Approval of recommendations of vehicle committee

b) Approval of supplies and labour arising from the aforementioned recommendations of vehicle committee

10)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning of the construction project of a retaining wall constructed using reinforced concrete, in Ayios Yeorgios

11)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning of the construction project of two retaining walls in the area of Vathys Volos [in Ayios Yeorgios] constructed using stone

12)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning  of the construction project of a retaining wall constructed using reinforced concrete, at Sifneikos Yialos

13)  Approval of the procurement of 6 trophies for the Antiparos cycling race

14)  Approval of the procurement of fire extinguishing equipment for the municipal car park

15)   Approval of the procurement of a chainsaw for the needs of the Municipality ofAntiparos

16)  Approval  of the procurement of fire extinguishing hoses

17)  Approval of the procurement of flags for the 28th October event

18)  Approval of construction materials for the repair of roads owing to repairs to the water system

 At the start of the meeting, I asked—once more—of the Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Mr Ioannis Leventakis that the Financial Committee hold its meetings in the Kalouda Hall, for reasons of space and transparency. The meetings of the Financial Committee are public and open, there are a lot of citizens interested in attending, but they are discouraged from doing so by the fact that the Committee meets in the Mayor’s Office, which is a room measuring 15 sq.m. (if that). Many citizens had shown up at this meeting of 25 September in order to follow the proceedings, but did not fit in the room along with Committee members and others. The Mayor finally accepted my request (I had been pleading with him for nine months for this to happen), and pledged before all present that henceforth the Financial Committee would be meeting at Kalouda Hall.    

 Prior to the discussion of the regular Agenda Items and the taking of decisions concerning these, two items were brought up for discussion and to be voted upon:

 1. Insurance premiums for Municipal vehicles:

The Mayor informed the members of the Committee that the insurance coverage of the municipal vehicles would soon be expiring and would need to be renewed. Unfortunately, until the time of the meeting, the Municipality had received a quote from only one insurance firm. Consequently, the item would have to be removed until more quotes were received.      

 The item was removed owing to a lack of quotes.

 2. The Drainage/Sewage Treatment project:

The Mayor informed the members of the Committee that during a recent trip of his to Thessaloniki for the international exhibition held there, he met with representatives of the company Egnatia SA—which has been awarded our Drainage/Sewage Treatment project—in order to be briefed concerning the progress of the project. He was informed that, owing to the bad state of the economy, the personnel of the company had been reduced by 60%, and, as a result, there would be a delay of approximately two months for the issues of tender for the project to be prepared and made public. (Egnatia and the Mayor had initially announced that this would be taking place in October, but it was now being pushed back to December.)

 In addition—this also according to the Mayor—it was discovered by chance that the (old) study, which our Municipality had submitted as part of our application for the funding of the project, would now need to be modified, as the study that had been submitted was for a Drainage system for 6,000 residents, and a Sewage Treatment system for 3,000 residents. The Mayor stated that they had also informed him at that meeting that these two numbers had to agree—what would be desirable, he said, would be for both of these to stand at 6,000, but the property at Sifneiko where the Sewage Treatment facility is to be located is not large enough to accommodate a unit for 6,000 residents. Consequently, the Drainage system study would have to be reworked, in order that the two parts of the project be for 3,000 residents.       

 Following this news, the Mayor had asked the same Egnatia representatives whether there was some way to avoid the extra two-month delay and also to modify the study. They then had referred him to specialist engineers with whom they consulted on a regular basis, who, in turn, had informed the Mayor that the cost of these two projects (a. the issues of tender, and b. modification of the study) would amount to 20,000.00 euros plus VAT. (10,000.00 plus VAT apiece.)

 In order to guarantee that these projects would be carried out as soon as possible, the Mayor proposed that we insert a condition in the contracts with these two engineers, stipulating that they will not be paid their fees if they do not complete their projects within a 45-day period.

 Following a very long discussion (which took place in the presence of many members of our group, who actively and substantially participated in it), the proposal of the Mayor was passed by majority decision.

 I voted against the proposal because our group would have preferred that an open, public discussion first take place with the specialist engineers and with Egnatia representatives, related to the abovementioned projects and to the larger project more generally; after that—if necessary—any decisions would be taken concerning needed modifications to the studies or to the project. In addition, a member of our group who was in attendance at the Financial Committee meeting suggested to the Mayor that he bring the latter into contact with a specialist engineer he knows well who works at a large construction firm (specialising in major private and public infrastructure projects), who has much specialised knowledge and noteworthy experience in this specific field, in order that a neutral, objective opinion be obtained from a third-party individual employed with a large firm.

 In our opinion, the issue of constructing a project that would be able to accommodate at least 6,000 residents had to be explored further, considering that, 1) the permanent population of the island has been rising steadily over the past few years, and we also have an increasing number of visitors each summer, and, 2) it is a costly and complex project, which will be built once and it will not be possible to modify it easily in the future, for many reasons; thus, the work will be called upon to cover the needs of the residents of the island and visitors for the next 20 years, at least.  

 I stressed that all of the above does not mean that we are opposed to the Drainage/Sewage Treatment project—anything but; as all Antipariotes, we too consider the project absolutely necessary, of the utmost importance and very much delayed—and precisely for these reasons we want the job to be done right from the outset, in order that it not require further changes and modifications in the future (which, as already noted above, will surely be time-consuming and costly). In our view, these are issues that must be examined and resolved in a timely and effective fashion. An open, public discussion with the aforementioned specialists prior to any change in the study and in the project might actually forestall any unpleasant and expensive situations that might otherwise arise in the future, and would also provide members of the local community with the opportunity to become better informed and to participate in a project that concerns them so much.    

 Following this, the regular Agenda Items were discussed and decided upon.

 1)      Approval of the procurement of replacement parts for the water network:

For repairs that took place over the summer. For the sum of 3,500.00 euros, from the shop of Ms Zafeiria Triantaphyllou.    

 Passed by majority decision. Mr Antonis Patelis of the Minority and I voted against. The reason why I could not approve this expenditure was that no other offers had been sought for these kinds of goods in general, and, in contrast to this, until now the Municipality had procured all such goods from the same business. In addition, we were presented with just a total figure, without having been provided with the related invoices, or at least with a detailed list containing what was supplied and how much it cost. 

 2)      Approval of the procurement of replacement parts for the cleaning department:

For hoes, shovels, brushes, etc, which had been used on the day of the tree-planting last spring, and elsewhere. For the sum of 1,600.00 euros, from the shop of Ms Zafeiria Triantaphyllou.

 Passed by majority decision. Mr Patelis and I voted against the proposal. Yet again, the reason why I could not approve this expenditure was that no other offers had been sought for these kinds of goods in general, and, in contrast to this, until now the Municipality had procured all such goods from the same business. In addition, we were presented with just a total figure, without having been provided with the related invoices, or at least with a detailed list containing what was supplied and how much it cost.

 3)      Approval of the procurement of painting supplies:

For paints, etc. For the sum of 1,607.30 euros, from the shop of Ms Zafeiria Triantaphyllou.

 Passed by majority decision. Mr Patelis and I voted against the proposal. Yet again, the reason why I could not approve this expenditure was that no other offers had been sought for these kinds of goods in general, and, in contrast to this, until now the Municipality had procured all such goods from the same business. In addition, we were presented with just a total figure, without having been provided with the related invoices, or at least with a detailed list containing what was supplied and how much it cost.

 4)      Vote concerning Statement of Financial Accounts for the 2010 Financial Year:

The item concerned the formal approval of financial data from 2010.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 5)      Approval of the study and commissioning of the project to install traffic barriers along the main road in the village of Antiparos, and appropriation and credit of expenditure for their procurement:

The Mayor presented three offers, and proposed that we accept the lowest—10,900.00 euros plus VAT. This sum does not include installation costs.

 Passed by majority decision. I voted against the proposal for many reasons: 1) Because, as I explained, in my opinion, there are Community Decisions in force (the most recent having been taken in 2007 and 2009), which classify the main road as a ‘pedestrianised road’ for the entire year and set out the service delivery times for the shops, and these Decisions must be respected. 2) The Police are obliged to enforce these Decisions. If local Police are unable to do so for any reason, then they/we are obliged to direct their/our efforts to the next level up on the Police hierarchy, and so forth. 3) We must make an effort to publicise the problem (by way of public gatherings, printed materials, media exposure, etc), in order to sensitise the public more to the issue. 4) It is incomprehensible that all of us are able to show the needed respect and required self-control concerning the relevant Decisions during the summer months, but cannot maintain the same situation in the winter as well, to everyone’s benefit. Is it so difficult for the 10-15 law-breakers to respect the law in winter as well, and, by doing so, not place the lives of all of us in danger, especially those of young children? 5) There are a lot of regular traffic roads running parallel to the pedestrianised main road along its entire length, and these are open to all vehicles—they can be used instead of the main road. 6) Since the 1980s, our village has officially been classified by the Greek state as a ‘traditional settlement,’ and the sight of traffic bars will surely be unattractive and contrary to any sense of tradition. 7) There is also a financial dimension, since, as all of us know, these days we must be very, very careful with Municipal funds, and all expenditures we make must be absolutely necessary (and these at the lowest possible cost). The quotes mentioned above are only for the basic equipment—they do not include installation costs, nor is there consideration of the money that will be required for maintenance, spare parts or repairs. 8) The bars will not be closing all of the sidestreets, thus, those who wish to will be able to continue driving on the main road, whenever they want. Mopeds and motorcycles will be able to go around the bars. 9) Lastly, it is a matter of principle: If we, as members of the Municipal Council, take Decisions and then do not try to enforce them—in short, if we do not support them, do not fight for them, do not respect them—if we simply accept any Decision as ‘non-enforceable,’ and if, as in the matter at hand, we decide to go ahead with the expense and the installation of unsightly bars, then this is equivalent to accepting defeat. It is the same as saying that we make Decisions, as a Municipal Council, but if there are a few people who wish to be above the law, we cannot stop them from being so. In my view, such a stance illustrates only defeatism, and creates dangerous precedents for future Decisions. I consider it a defeat for democracy itself, a defeat that nullifies the democratic process. We are allowing a minority of law-breakers to impose their will upon a majority of law-abiding citizens. Are we not obliged to protect democracy, to protect the Municipal Council, to protect the majority (who are law-abiding citizens)? Do a minority of law-breakers ultimately have more rights than the Local Authority? More rights than a majority of law-abiding citizens?    

 6)      Acceptance of the study and determination of date of tender and of committee for the procurement of bus shelters:

It was proposed that we approve the related study, which has been carried out by the Technical Service of the Municipality; that we agree with 10-10-2011 as the date of the auction for the project (for 10 shelters, at a cost of 2,000.00 euros plus VAT apiece); and, that we accept the following Municipal employees as members of the related committee: 1) Mr Theocharis Tsolakis [President]; 2) Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou; and, 3) Ms Kyriaki Faroupou).

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 7)      Approval, appropriation of expenditure and commissioning for the conducting of a feasibility study for the Port Fund of Antiparos:

The lowest of the three bids submitted was proposed—that being 7,000.00 euros plus VAT. The completed study is to be submitted within a 40-day period.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 8)      Approval of the procurement  of stationery for Municipal departments:

For the sum of 280.00 euros, from the bookshop of Ms Asimina Hadjipetrou.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 9)      a) Approval of recommendations of vehicle committee

b) Approval of supplies and labour arising from the aforementioned recommendations of vehicle committee:

The two parts were discussed and decided upon as a single item. The sums were 386.00, 125.00 και 100.00 euros, and the work was carried out by the petrol station/garage belonging to Mr Ioannis Lechouritis.

  Passed by unanimous decision.

 10)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning of the construction project of a retaining wall constructed using reinforced concrete, in Ayios Yeorgios:

The project was carried out by Mr Kimonas Kalargyros. The sum was 6,808.04 euros (including VAT). Two bids had been received, this being the lowest.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 11)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning of the construction project of two retaining walls in the area of Vathys Volos [in Ayios Yeorgios] constructed using stone:

The project was carried out by Mr Kimonas Kalargyros. The sum was 6,753.52 euros (including VAT). Two bids had been received, this being the lowest.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 12)  Approval of the technical description and commissioning  of the construction project of a retaining wall constructed using reinforced concrete, at Sifneikos Yialos:

The project was carried out by Mr Kimonas Kalargyros. The sum was 3,480.00 euros (including VAT).

 Passed by majority decision. Mr Patelis and I voted against the proposal. The reason why I could not give my approval to this expenditure was because new tenders were not requested for this specific project, the result being that this project, too, was commissioned to the same individual as the previous two. I stated that the Municipality should make its calls for tenders known to a wider audience (or, at least to ask for more quotes from a variety of individuals) for the projects it is interested in carrying out, thus giving the opportunity to a greater number of builders to express their interest in undertaking municipal projects. We are all well aware that it is a time of financial hardship for most, and surely there are many builders on the island who would be interested in submitting bids.  

 13)  Approval of the procurement of 6 trophies for the Antiparos cycling race:

The Municipal leadership stated that the lowest offer had been accepted, among the two it had received. The sum was 83.52 euros.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 14)  Approval of the procurement of fire extinguishing equipment for the municipal car park:

For the new municipal car park at Kaloudia. One bid, for 332.34 euros (including VAT), from Mr Barbarigos.

 Passed by majority decision. I voted against because, despite the fact that there is at least one other similar retailer onParos, only one quote was sought. It should also be noted that a member of our group, who was in attendance at the meeting that night, raised the issue of there not being similar fire extinguishing equipment at the other (older) municipal car park near Psaralyki, as perhaps should be for safety purposes.

15)   Approval of the procurement of a chainsaw for the needs of theMunicipalityofAntiparos:

One offer, for 478.57 euros (including VAT), from Gikas Bros.

 Passed by majority decision. I voted against because, even though there are many retailers of such tools/machinery on both Antiparos andParos, only one quote was sought.

16)  Approval  of the procurement of fire extinguishing hoses:

For the water tank vehicle, 60m in length, at a cost of 170.52 euros (including VAT). The lowest quote was offered by Mr Kontos. Mr Barbarigos had also provided a quote.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

17)  Approval of the procurement of flags for the 28th October event:

For four Greek and two Byzantine flags, each measuring 1.80 Χ 2.00m. The lowest price—305.80 euros (including VAT)—was offered by Mr Theodorou.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

18)  Approval of construction materials for the repair of roads owing to repairs to the water system:

For urgent repairs that were carried out over the summer. From the Kapoutsos construction materials company. The total was 379.02 euros (including VAT).

 Passed by unanimous decision.

———————————————

The Municipal Council Meeting of 23 August 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

  1. Ratification of the decision by the Financial Committee to issue water bills.
  2. The taking of a decision by the Municipal Council concerning the exploration of the dissolution of the Intermunicipal Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos and the commencement of the process to establish a Port Fund of Antiparos.        
  3. The establishment of a committee and the naming of members to the Council for Immigrant Integration, in accordance with Article 78 of Law 3852/2010.
  4. Petitions of residents to extend the area of public lighting.
  5. Mayor’s travel expenses.

Prior to the discussion on and taking of decisions regarding the planned Agenda Items above, two items were discussed and decided upon:

1)      Refund of sum paid following the submission of an application to be classified as a seasonal business.

2)      The selection of the Kouros statue found on Despotiko as the logo and emblem of the municipality.

1)  Refund of sum paid following the submission of an application to be classified as a seasonal business—

Mayor Yiannis Leventakis and the President of the Municipal Council Kostas Faroupos informed the members of the Council that on 02-04-10 Mr Yiannis Kalargyros (the owner of the ‘Camping’) had submitted a petition to have his business classified as a seasonal business (and thus pay municipal taxes for fewer months of the year), and that on 12-04-10 the then Community Council had approved his petition. However, the applicant had yet to receive the refund he was entitled to (1,079.63 ευρώ).

Unanimous decision to refund the aforementioned sum to Mr Kalargyros.

2) The selection of the Kouros statue found on Despotiko as the logo and emblem of the municipality—

The Majority proposed the Kouros found at the excavation site at Despotiko as logo and emblem for theMunicipality of Antriparos, and that actions be taken to establish it as a symbol of the Municipality.   

Passed by majority decision. I was the only Municipal Councillor to vote against the proposal, but I explained, however, that I was not taking a stand at that moment in favour of or against the selection of the Kouros as logo and emblem of our municipality. The reason I did not agree with the proposal was because—as the Majority informed me in response to a question I posed, that the item was not urgent, and that there was no deadline for a decision to be taken—consequently, in my opinion, it should not have been placed as an Urgent Item. I counter-proposed that it be placed as a regular Agenda Item at a forthcoming meeting, and, in this way, residents would be given the opportunity to submit proposals, and to participate in the taking of a decision related to which logo/emblem they would like to represent Antiparos and Antipariotes. It seems to me that it would be more correct and more democratic to take the views of our fellow citizens into consideration, and to encourage their participation in this and in as many decisions as possible of concern to all of us and our island.  

There followed a discussion on the Agenda Items, and the taking of decisions concerning these.

1. Ratification of the decision by the Financial Committee to issue water bills—

The recent unanimous decision of the Financial Committee concerning the issuing of a sum as a ‘down payment’ (21.00 euros for each unpaid year [2009-11] for homes and small businesses, and 100.00 euros for larger businesses for the same years), until the new water-meter system is installed, was brought before the Municipal Council for approval. 

Passed by majority decision. Mr Nikos Marianos of the Majority disagreed with the proposal—and with the other members of his group—arguing that water meters should be read instead. 

2. The taking of a decision by the Municipal Council concerning the exploration of the dissolution of the Intermunicipal Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos and the commencement of the process to establish a Port Fund of Antiparos—

Speaking on behalf of the Majority group, the mayor expressed his displeasure at the Port Fund’s failure to address the needs of Antiparos to date, and at the lack of projects carried out, as had been planned in the Port Fund’s budget and technical programme and had been approved by the members of the administrative board of the Port Fund. He then proposed that Antiparos’ representatives on that board, in a show of protest, walk out of the meeting of the Port Fund, which, as he informed us, was scheduled to take place two days later. Finally, he proposed that a Port Fund of Antiparos be established, which—in the opinion of the Majority—would be viable, would have income, and would carry out projects on the island.

[I expressed my surprise concerning the meeting of the Port Fund scheduled to take place, as—yet again—I had not received an invitation/notification from the administration of the Port Fund concerning the meeting, and I was learning about it by chance at a meeting of the Municipal Council of Antiparos. In the end, I did not attend that meeting, as Mr. Marianos, the permanent member for the Minority (I am an alternate member for the Minority), failed to inform me that he would not be attending, and thus did not ask me to attend in his place, as he had done at the previous meeting of the Port Fund—which I attended.]

As for the Majority proposal concerning ‘The taking of a decision by the Municipal Council concerning the exploration of the dissolution of the Intermunicipal Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos and the commencement of the process to establish a Port Fund of Antiparos’, I was astounded—as were the members from Mr Marianos’ group—at the off-handedness with which this proposal as well was being presented, one related to such an important issue: During the course of the discussion, figures were being tossed left and right, and everything was approximate, ‘or thereabouts’. We were puzzled; how could such a body as the Port Fund of Antiparos be established only with words, verbally, without studies, figures, indicators, analyses, forecasts, targets, without any programming or scheduling, etc?

The item was removed, owing to the Minority’s disagreement with the proposal. It was unanimously decided that the subject be sent to the Financial Committee for the commissioning of a study to examine the possibility of establishing the Port Fund of Antiparos. In addition, it was unanimously decided that a note of protest be drafted then and there by the Municipal Council addressed to the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos, over the non-materialisation of projects on our island, and this note be delivered to the Port Fund by the mayor.   

3. The establishment of a committee and the naming of members to the Council for Immigrant Integration, in accordance with Article 78 of Law 3852/2010—

According to the ‘Kallikratis’ law, a Council for Immigrant Integration must be established, and five members appointed: Two Municipal Councillors nominated by the Majority, one Municipal Councillor by the Minority, the fourth member a citizen, and the fifth an immigrant living on the island (the last two members are also nominated by the Majority). Unfortunately, the Majority proved unready to submit a complete proposal on the subject, as it had not come to any understanding in advance with persons who wished to be nominated for the positions of the four members of the council proposed by the Majority. It was asked of the Minority—which had not been provided with adequate knowledge concerning the matter prior to the meeting—to nominate a member for the Minority on the council. In my address to the members of the Municipal Council, I noted that this subject came to illustrate, once again, the problem that has arisen, many months now, concerning the lack of information provided to Municipal Councillors related to the items to be discussed at meetings. For some reason—unknown to us—the Majority has stopped preparing files containing the relevant documents and distributing them to us prior to every sitting, as it had done at the first meetings, so that we have the opportunity to prepare for the items to be discussed and decided upon. Unfortunately, the Majority failed to respond in any way to my comment, nor did it commit itself to providing us with the relevant documents before meetings, from now on.        

The item was removed.

4. Petitions of residents to extend the area of public lighting—

Petitions of residents were presented, and it was also proposed that DEH (the power corporation) be asked to extend lighting on existing poles along the length of the road leading to ‘La Luna’ (lights on four poles).

Passed by unanimous decision.

5. Mayor’s travel expenses—

The mayor’s recent travel expenses were presented.

Passed by unanimous decision.

 

—————–

The Financial Committee Meeting of 18 August 2011

 

The Financial Committee convened on Thursday, 18 August 2011 at 19.00, at the Municipal Building.

The following items were on the agenda to be discussed and decided upon:

1) The taking of a decision concerning the issuing of water bills
2) The taking of measures to avert the threat of fire and to confront the issue of the uncontrolled disposal of waste in the Akonitos area of Antiparos
3) Approval of technical study and commissioning of works aimed at improving the existing road to Profitis Ilias
4) Approval of procurement of large water bottles and plastic cups for the Cave of Antiparos
5) Α) Approval of recommendations of vehicle committee
Β) Approval of repairs and procurements subsequent to the aforementioned recommendations of the vehicle committee
6) Approval of procurement of expendable items for Municipal services
7) Approval of procurement of 200 light bulbs for Municipal lighting
8) Approval of expenditure to increase share capital in ΚΕΚ Kykladon
9) Approval of procurement of cleaning supplies for Municipal services
10) Approval of procurement of water for the Municipality of Antiparos
11) Approval of technical study and allocation of funds for the construction of wooden walkway at Psaralyki A beach, for people with mobility difficulties
12) Approval of procurement and expenditure for the procurement of office supplies for Municipal services
13) Approval of expenditure for the servicing of air-conditioning unit of the Municipality
14) Approval of commitment of sum for the payment of the guard responsible for the heliport, based upon contract no. 4038/04-11-2010
15) Approval of procurement of printer for the Municipal office
16) Approval of procurement of ink for the Municipal printers
17) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to construct a stone support wall near Hostler Park
18) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to improve the surface of existing roads at Sifneikos Yialos and Ayios Yeorgios
19) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to excavate and lay the foundation for support walls at Ayios Yeorgios and Vathys Volos
20) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to construct a stone support wall at Sifneikos Yialos
21) Approval of procurement of pump for the bore at Ayios Yeorgios and for the installation of the pump
22) Taking of a decision concerning the renewal of the contract with Alfaware for the technical support for Municipal software programmes
23) Approval of procurement of milk for the personnel in the refuse department
24) Approval of refunding of sponsorship of the National Bank of Greece based on related decision 57/07-12-10 of the Auditing Board
25) Commissioning of drafting of refuse regulations and Municipal Council operating regulations

Prior to the discussion on and taking of decisions concerning the above items, three items were discussed as pre-Agenda Items:

1)  Proclamation of competition for the supply of fuel and for the drafting of a study for 2011: The Mayor and Chair of the Financial Committee Mr Yiannis Leventakis proposed to committee members that a competition be proclaimed calling for the supply of fuel for the needs of the municipality, and for the result to remain in effect until the end of 2011, or until the depletion of stocks.      

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

2) Placement of a door restricting access to Akonitos: It was proposed that a door be installed, measuring six metres in length and supported by two, two-metre concrete support columns on either side. The cost is 2,500.00 euros, plus VAT. The municipality and the driver of the septic tank would have keys to the door. The mayor proposed that the project for the door be commissioned to contractor Mr Paraskevas Kapoutsos, a municipal councillor belong to the Majority group.

When I took the floor, I touched on the issue of Akonitos in general, and emphasized that, despite the fact that the driver of the septic tank has held his permit for many, many years, unfortunately he has not fulfilled his obligation to create a special place for the contents of his vehicle and for their processing—as stipulated by law. The members of our group have stated publicly, as far back as during the pre-election period, that we consider it unfathomable and unacceptable that these contents continue to be placed—and, what is even worse, in a raw, unprocessed state—freely and unchecked in the natural environment of the Akonitos area and in other parts of the island, in addition to the construction rubble, non-functioning electrical and electronic goods and other household waste also being dumped widely throughout the island.

I also posed the question of whether there is a second permit for a septic tank vehicle, also held by the same driver, to which the mayor replied that there was no second permit. Following this, I asked for what reason then the municipality is not calling for tenders or the expression of interest for a second such permit, and the mayor maintained–without, of course, knowing for certain—that ‘not even one person would express interest’ for the permit. Unfortunately, the representative of the other Minority group who was in attendance agreed with the mayor.                  

Following a discussion on the item, the motion (to place a door) was passed by unanimous decision.

3) Replacement of motor at the bore at Parathyra: The motor cost 282.20 euros and procured from the Ghikas Bros. hardware store inParos, and the labour cost was 300.00 euros, provided by the electrician Mr S. Kafantaris.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

A discussion on the Agenda Items followed, and decisions were taken concerning these.

1) The taking of a decision concerning the issuing of water bills: The mayor informed the members of the committee that, until the near water consumption measuring system is installed, the municipality will need income to cover the maintenance costs, operating costs, etc, of the water supply network. He proposed that bills be issued to consumers as a type of ‘down payment’ against future bills, for every unpaid year (from the past three: 2009-2010-2011): 21.00 euros / year for each household and small business with low consumption, and 100.00 euros / year for businesses with a higher level of water consumption (e.g. hotels).     

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
2) The taking of measures to avert the threat of fire and to confront the issue of the uncontrolled disposal of waste in the Akonitos area of Antiparos: The mayor proposed the direct commissioning of the project—valued at 5,800.00 euros plus VAT—to the Paros company Christoforos Homatouryika (earthworks).

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
3) Approval of technical study and commissioning of works aimed at improving the existing road to Profitis Ilias: The mayor proposed the direct commissioning of the project–this one, too, valued at 5,800.00 euros plus VAT—again to the Paros company Christoforos Homatouryika. The total surface area is 4.5 kilometres.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

4) Approval of procurement of large water bottles and plastic cups for the Cave of Antiparos:  The cost of the water amounted to 591.20 euros (from Parian company Archilochos S.A.), and the cost of the plastic cups came to 96.00 euros, for 120 packs containing 50 cups (from Parian plastic goods/home cleaning supplies retailer Mr A. Dafereras).

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

5) Α) Approval of recommendations of vehicle committee [along with Item 5) B)]
Β) Approval of repairs and procurements subsequent to the aforementioned recommendations of the vehicle committee: A detailed presentation of the recommendations of the vehicle committee took place, and of the cost of repairs (labour and parts). All of the repairs took place at the filling station belonging to Mr Y. Lechouritis. The sums (in euros, including VAT) involved were the following:

411.23

1,200.00

386.00

55.00

655.00

20.00

840.00

95.00

386.00  

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
6) Approval of procurement of expendable items for Municipal services: For the sum of 158.60 (including VAT), from the computer goods shop of Mr A. Kyriakakis.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
7) Approval of procurement of 200 light bulbs for Municipal lighting: For the amount of 1,300.00 euros (plus VAT), from the electrical/electronic goods shop of Ms Ε. Pateli.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
8) Approval of expenditure to increase share capital in ΚΕΚ Kykladon: The municipality is obliged to pay the sum of 740.77 euros, as a member of KEK Kykladon, to increase its share capital.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
9) Approval of procurement of cleaning supplies for Municipal services: For the amount of 94.00 euros, from the supermarket of G. Marianos.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

10) Approval of procurement of water for the Municipalityof Antiparos: For the sum of 154.80 euros, from the supermarket of G. Marianos.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
11) Approval of technical study and allocation of funds for the construction of wooden walkway at Psaralyki A beach, for people with mobility difficulties: For the amount of 2,668.00 plus VAT, from D. Triantaphyllos (the sum includes a door installed near the church of Ayios Nikolaos at the square).

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
12) Approval of procurement and expenditure for the procurement of office supplies for Municipal services: For the sum of 125.70 euros, from the bookshop of Ms M. Hadjipetrou.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
13) Approval of expenditure for the servicing of air-conditioning unit of the Municipality: For the amount of 110.00 euros plus VAT, to Paros refrigeration technician Mr. Sakellaropoulos.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

14) Approval of commitment of sum for the payment of the guard responsible for the heliport, based upon contract no. 4038/04-11-2010: For the amount of 5,700.00 euros per year, to Mr D. Kapoutsos. His contract expires on 30/10/11. The mayor informed us that control of the heliport area was recently conceded to the municipality.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
15) Approval of procurement of printer for the Municipal office: For the amount of 375.37 euros plus VAT, from the computer shop of Mr. L. Skiadas of Paros.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
16) Approval of procurement of ink for the Municipal printers: For the needs of the Municipality and the KEP. For the sum of 637.95 euros, from the computer shop of Mr. L. Skiadas of Paros.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
17) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to construct a stone support wall near Hostler Park: For the sum of 6,753.52 euros, to contractor Mr K. Kalargyros.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
18) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to improve the surface of existing roads at Sifneikos Yialos and Ayios Yeorgios: For the amount of 4,408.00 euros, to the Paros company Christoforos Homatouryika.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
19) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to excavate and lay the foundation for support walls at Ayios Yeorgios and Vathys Volos: For the amount of 2,552.00 euros, to contractor Mr K. Kalargyros.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
20) Approval of technical study and allotment of expenditure for the project to construct a stone support wall at Sifneikos Yialos: For the amount of 5,916.00 euros, to contractor Mr K. Kalargyros.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
21) Approval of procurement of pump for the bore at Ayios Yeorgios and for the installation of the pump: The sum amounted to 572.00 euros, from Ghikas Bros. hardware store of Paros, and 300.00 euros (plus VAT) for labour provided by the electrician Mr S. Kafantaris.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
22) Taking of a decision concerning the renewal of the contract with Alfaware for the technical support for Municipal software programmes: The sum amounted to 5,584.24 euros for one year of support.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
23) Approval of procurement of milk for the personnel in the refuse department: The expenditure for the 1st through the 7th months of 2011 amounts to 720.00 euros, from the supermarket of G. Marianos.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
24) Approval of refunding of sponsorship of the National Bank of Greece based on related decision 57/07-12-10 of the Auditing Board: The Auditing Board of the bank requested the return of the bank’s sponsorship (of 1,000.00 euros), which had been given to the previous local administration. It deemed that the expenditure of the aforementioned sum could not be approved, as it argued that the sum had been spent on the printing of booklets used to present the results of the eight-year administration of the previous local authority, and, consequently, the sponsorship had gone towards attempts at self-promotion made by the previous administration.   

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.
25) Commissioning of drafting of refuse regulations and Municipal Council operating regulations: The project was commissioned to Mr. K. Grispos. The sum was 450.00 euros plus VAT, to cover the expenses of administrative support. As concerned our group, we pledged to place our proposal for recycling at the disposal of Mr Grispos–a proposal that we have officially requested—through an application we submitted on 26/04/11—to present before the Municipal Council at one of its meetings, but, unfortunately, we have not received any response to date concerning the status of our application—, and we also pledged to assist in the drafting of these regulations in any way we can.

Following a discussion on the item, the motion was passed by unanimous decision.

 

—————————–

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Municipal Council, 2 August 2011

 

The Municipal Council of the Municipality ofAntiparos convened in an extraordinary session on Tuesday, 2 August 2011 at 20.00, at theMunicipalBuilding, in order to discuss and decide upon the following sole Agenda Item:

1) Taking of decision concerning the issuing of music licenses in accordance with document No. 6600/07-07-2011 of the Decentralised Administration of theAegean.

There was also one pre-Agenda Item:

– Amendments to the Budget.

Amendments to the budget were proposed (transfer of funds between budget categories); these changes concerned the total sum of 21,500.00 euros.

The item was approved unanimously.

There followed a discussion and the taking of a decision concerning the Agenda Item:

1) Taking of decision concerning the issuing of music licenses in accordance with document No. 6600/07-07-2011 of the Decentralised Administration of theAegean.

The (administrative) Region of the South Aegeansent the Municipality a document, according to which it rejected the recent decision taken by the Municipal Council of Antiparos concerning the hours of music operation for establishments on the island. According to the law in effect, establishments like kafeneia, snack bars and cafes are obliged to close their doors at 01.00, and turn their music off at 03.00; grills, tavernas, restaurants, and the like must shut their music off at 02.00; and, clubs must stop playing music at 05.30.  

The item was approved unanimously.

Following this, Mayor Yiannis Leventakis briefed the members of the Council on the following matters:

–          Photovoltaic units will be placed on public buildings on the island (specifically, the Municipal Building, the Medical Unit, the Kindergarten, the Primary School and the Secondary School), which will be aimed at making these building energy self-sufficient. The expense will be covered by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF; ΕΣΠΑ in Greek) EU programme and the Region of theSouth Aegean.

–          As far as the drainage and wastewater treatment projects are concerned, the same contractor will be undertaking the construction of both public projects. At this moment, the tenders are being completed, and they will then be submitted to the Regional administration, a relevant decision will be issued, and this will be posted for a two-month period. Thus, these projects are expected to get underway at the end of 2011, and will require two years to be completed.

–          In reply to a question I posed at the meeting as to the status of the ring road repair project, the mayor stated that everything is ready for its repair, but that the local authority and the contractor had agreed to begin the project after 15 August, owing to the increased number of tourists on the island these days.      

———————–

The Financial Committee Meeting of 12 July 2011

The Financial Committee convened on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 20.00, at theMunicipalBuilding. Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority was absent, and I, being the first alternate member for the Minority, was thus provided with the opportunity to participate not only in the discussions on the Agenda Items, but also in the voting process concerning these.

The following items were to be put to discussion and vote:

1)      Approval of expenditure for the procurement of electrical equipment for the Cave, and for related installation work

2)      Approval of expenditure for the repair of security cameras at the Cave and for the installation of new ones

3)      Approval of expenditure for the replacement or repair of floodlights in the municipal parking area

4)      Approval of procurement of all-in-one fax machine / printer for the administrative support of the municipality

5)      Approval of procurement of fire extinguishing equipment for the Cave and municipal parking area

6)      Approval of procurement of consumable office supplies

7)      a) Approval of opinion reports drafted by the Vehicle Committee concerning municipal vehicles

b) Approval of expenditure for the work / supplies (parts) related to the opinion reports at a)

8)      Approval of procurement of information pamphlets concerning theCaveofAntiparos

9)      Approval of placing of printed advertisement in the magazine ‘Discover’

One matter was discussed and decided upon as an Urgent Item, prior to discussions and decisions on the regular Agenda Items:

–  Procurement of construction materials: The Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Ioannis Leventakis explained to committee members that this concerned repairs that had taken place to municipal storage areas. The construction materials needed for the repairs were provided by the Dimitrios and Nikolaos Kapoutsos company. The total came to 890.96 euros (including VAT).      

Passed by unanimous decision.

There followed a discussion on the Agenda Items, and the taking of decisions concerning these.

1)      Approval of expenditure for the procurement of electrical equipment for the Cave, and for related installation work

The mayor explained that lamps, bulbs, lights on the stairs of the Cave, spotlights current stabilizers for security cameras, waterproof boxes, waterproof outdoor sockets and other electrical equipment was out of order, and thus was replaced. The tender was submitted by the electrician Mr Stavros Kafantaris, and amounted to 1,826.00 euros (plus VAT—for parts and labour).

Passed by unanimous decision.

2)      Approval of expenditure for the repair of security cameras at the Cave and for the installation of new ones

The mayor informed committee members that Mr Nikos Sarris carried out the repair of cameras at the Cave and proceeded to install new ones, as Mr Sarris had installed the previous cameras at the Cave. The cost was 645.00 euros (including VAT). The mayor added that all six cameras are now in operation, while only three had been working prior to the repair.

Passed by unanimous decision.

3)      Approval of expenditure for the replacement or repair of floodlights in the municipal parking area

The mayor explained that some floodlights were not working in the parking area near Psaralyki. Floodlights, bulbs, waterproof boxes and other electrical items were replaced. The tender was submitted by electrician Mr Kafantaris, and amounted to 1,050.00 euros (plus VAT), for parts and labour.   

Passed by unanimous decision.

4)      Approval of procurement of all-in-one fax machine / printer for the administrative support of the municipality

The purchase of an all-in-one fax machine / printer for the administration office of the municipality was proposed, the same product as the one located in the mayor’s office (in order that they both use the same supplies and spare parts, according to the mayor). To be provided by Mr Loukas Skiadas ofParos, at a cost of 198.89 euros (plus VAT).

Passed by unanimous decision.

5)      Approval of procurement of fire extinguishing equipment for the Cave and municipal parking area

Related to the procurement of a wheeled, 25-kilogram dry powder fire extinguisher for the municipal parking area (262.50 euros, plus VAT), and a regular six-kilogram fire extinguisher for the Cave (29.00 euros, plus VAT). Tender from Mr Anastassios Barbarigos (fromParos).  

Passed by unanimous decision.

6)      Approval of procurement of consumable office supplies

Various consumable office supplies and document lamination for the municipality, from Ms Asimina Hadjipetrou, at a cost of 70.80 euros (including VAT).

Passed by unanimous decision.

7)      a) Approval of opinion reports drafted by the Vehicle Committee concerning municipal vehicles

b) Approval of expenditure for the work / supplies (parts) related to the opinion reports at a)

a) The Vehicle Committee offers proposals and issues opinion reports concerning issues related to municipal vehicles. At this meeting of the Financial Committee, recent Vehicle Committee opinion reports were presented and discussed. 

Passed by unanimous decision.

b) The tenders related to the above opinion reports were presented; these were all submitted by the fuel station owned by Mr Yiannis Lehouritis (the mayor explained that the owner of the other fuel station, Ms Maria Pateli, informed him that she would not proceed to submit tenders, because the municipal payment procedure required a period of about two months in order to be completed).    

The tenders concerned the following vehicles: The Mercedes, the Iveco, the RAM Europe, the excavator, the water tank vehicle, the container lifter (Mercedes), the crane (Mercedes), and also the chainsaw. The total cost of the parts and service came to approximately 2,500.00 euros.    

Passed by unanimous decision.

8)      Approval of procurement of information pamphlets concerning the Cave of Antiparos

The lowest tender came from the print shop inParosbelonging to Mr Nikos Ragoussis. The cost for 5,000 pamphlets providing information on the Cave is 420.00 euros (plus VAT).

Passed by unanimous decision.

9)      Approval of placing of printed advertisement in the magazine ‘Discover’

The mayor explained that the magazine / tourist guide—which is published by Mr N. Ragoussis—is aimed at tourists visiting Paros, distributed free of charge to hotels and other tourism-related businesses on the neighbouring island, and has a run of 25,000 copies. The publisher proposed that the municipality ‘issue an invitation’ to visitors to Paros—through the pages of the magazine—to visit Antiparos as well. It is offering the two-page centre spread for the price of 700.00 euros (plus VAT; the cost of the ad layout work is included in the price).

Passed by unanimous decision.

———————

The Meeting of the Municipal Council, 11 July 2011

The Municipal Council of Municipality of Antiparos convened on Monday, 11 July 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items:

1)      Organisation of the three-day Ayia Marina cultural events festival programme.

2)      Approval of record of proceedings of auction for rental of beach space.

3)      Approval of permits to occupy communal public space.

Prior to the discussion of and the taking of decisions concerning the above items, three issues were discussed as Urgent Items:

1)      Receipt of water tank vehicle, with a capacity of five cubic metres.

2)      Private citizen petitions for refreshment stands / kiosks on beaches.

3)      The Life+ programme (desalination).

1)      Receipt of water tank vehicle, with a capacity of five cubic metres—Some technical modifications / repairs were carried out on the water tank vehicle, which was purchased in 2010 by the then Community of Antiparos for the sum of 93,598.00 euros. The work was done on the vehicle in order for it to fulfill certain requirements / specifications. I asked whether the municipality was called upon to pay any sum for this work, and Mayor Yiannis Leventakis replied that the municipality did not have to pay anything for the work that was carried out.

The motion was passed unanimously.

2)      Private citizen petitions for refreshment stands / kiosks on beaches—Ms Mavra Tsoukala and Mr Damianos Viazis submitted petitions requesting permits to place prefabricated canteens on the beaches of Vathys Volos (in Ayios Yeorgios) and Glyfa respectively (having acquired the right to rent the aforementioned beaches following the auction of 24 June 2011). A discussion on the matter ensued, during which I expressed the reservations held by the members of our group, stating that it is very difficult for us to support such a proposal, considering that the municipal council had decided only on the renting of some beaches, and now, all of a sudden, we were faced with a new set of facts and a different situation. Before taking any decision on such matters, all of the members of the council (and, it goes without saying, this in the presence of residents and alongside other interested parties) must decide just what kind of tourism we would like to have in the next five, 10, 15 years. The word ‘development’ is a subjective term: For one person, perhaps it means to fill all of the beaches on the island with chaises longues, umbrellas, refreshment stands, and the like; for someone else, this same word may mean beaches remaining in their original, natural condition, without human intervention of this kind; and, for another, something between these two proposals could perhaps be considered a desirable solution. Be that as it may, it is our contention that we must ‘all sit down at the table,’ put forth proposals and after discussing these issues proceed to make decisions—but not just for this year. We are in need of a complete and integrated strategy and policy that will lead us in making decisions in and for the years to come. The way things are at the moment, we have little idea about what we should decide if someone else lodges a petition, in the days to come, requesting a permit for a refreshment stand on some other beach (irrespective of whether or not that individual has leased the beach). Should we approve this person’s petition or not? All of these matters must be examined in detail. Until a strategy, a policy, a well-organised plan are formulated, our group cannot support such petitions. The Majority proposed that these refreshment stands occupy a space of eight square metres.

Passed by majority vote. I voted against the proposal, as did Messrs Nikos Marianos and Antonis Patelis from the Minority, while Mr Yiannis Triantaphyllos of the Minority voted in favour. Finally, Ms Litsa Viazi abstained, as she is the sister of Mr Damianos Viazis. Mr Damianos Palaiologos, of the Minority, was absent.

3)      The Life+ programme (desalination)—The mayor informed the municipal council that the research centre atDemocritusUniversitysent our island a proposal to participate in the European Union (EU) programme Life+. Antiparos was chosen on the basis of its low population and small area. The ground-breaking hybrid geothermal desalination system will provide not only high-quality potable water, but also free heating and cooling for local residents. The two desalination units will produce approximately 600 cubic metres of water (300 cubic m. each) per 24-hour period. The budget for the project is estimated at about two million euros. The municipal contribution to this will amount to only 120,000 euros approximately, and 50% of this sum will be paid by the EU. The mayor told us that the studies carried out by the previous local administration are suitable for use in this project and, following minor adjustments, are now ready to be submitted along with the rest of the municipal application for consideration for the project. Our group stressed the need for coordination of this particular project with those of the drainage system and the water network system, in order that work on these three projects coincide—as much as possible—and also that the technical specifications match between the three public works projects (in order that the desalination project—which will be last—come to ‘latch onto’ that of the drainage system). To this end, we proposed that the municipality inform Egnatia SA (the firm handling the drainage system project) concerning the desalination project, in order that it take into consideration this project in its plan for the drainage system.

The motion was passed unanimously.

Following the vote, the mayor informed the members of the council that he recently sent the Regional authority documentation related to the competition for the repair of the ring road, and received written approval of the procedure that had been followed to select a contractor.

Subsequent to this, a discussion on the regular Agenda Items took place, and decisions were taken concerning these.

1)      Organisation of the three-day Ayia Marina cultural events festival programme —Ms Litsa Viazi, the councillor responsible for municipal cultural matters and events, read a list containing the lowest bids received for the event, and gave a briefing on the celebration programme for the three-day festival.

The motion was passed unanimously.

2)      Approval of record of proceedings of auction for rental of beach space—The auction for the beaches of Α’ and Β’ Psaralyki, Glyfa and Vathys Volos in Ayios Yeorgios was held on 24 June last at the municipal building. The results were as follows:

1) A section of Α’ Psaralyki was rented to Ms Eleftheria Viazi for the sum of 5.200 euros (100 sq. m.).

2) A section of Α’ Psaralyki was rented to Mr Konstantinos Viazis for the sum of 520.00 euros (10 sq. m.).

3) A section of Β’ Psaralyki was rented to Mr Yiannis Marianos for the sum of 5,200.00 euros (100 sq. m.).

4) A section of Β’ Psaralyki was rented to Y. Prountzos & Co for the sum of 2,000.00 euros (30 sq. m.).

5) A section of thebeachofGlyfawas rented to Mr Damianos Viazis for the sum of 1,500.00 euros (50 sq. m.).

6) A section of thebeachofVathys Volosin Ayios Yeorgios was rented to Ms Mavra Tsoukala for the sum of 2,600.00 euros (50 sq. m.). 

The motion was passed unanimously.

3)      Approval of permits to occupy communal public space—Some petitions and other matters related to communal public space, mainly along the pedestrianised main road, were discussed. The mayor stated that an increase in revenue from the annual leasing of communal public space is expected, in the range of 45,000 euros more than in 2010. This year, it will be the first time that the municipality will be collecting the fees for sidewalk tables and chairs along the waterfront road, instead of these sums going to theParosand Antiparos Port Fund. The mayor proposed that no permit be given for the placement of tables and chairs along the sidestreets adjacent to the pedestrianised main road, and also that this road be ‘opened up’ wherever the minimum free space has not been maintained for emergency vehicles, as stipulated by law.       

The motion was passed unanimously.

During the course of the Municipal Council meeting, I stated that our view concerning all of the aforementioned matters—irrespective of whether one is referring to the rental of beach space, beach refreshment stands or communal public space—is that as a council we mustn’t just decide on matters and then simply leave things at that. It is equally (if not more) important for us to uphold the terms and conditions of the decisions we take and to actively seek their implementation (and this at regular intervals).

 ————————-

The Extraordinary  Meeting of the Financial Committee, 28 June 2011,
and the Extraordinary Meeting of the Municipal Council, 28 June 2011

The Financial Committee convened in an extraordinary session on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 19.00, at the MunicipalBuilding.

The following item was the only one to be put to discussion and decision:

1) Approval of the results of the bidding auction concerning the construction project entitled ‘Reconstruction of dangerous and defective road paving works in the road section “The Ring Road of Antiparos,” which comprises part of the project “Paving of Roads of the Community of Antiparos.”’

The President of the Financial Committee and Mayor of Antiparos Mr Ioannis Leventakis, along with the head of the Municipal Technical Service Mr Theocharis Tsolakis, explained to the members of the Committee that on 14 June 2011, the Competition Committee examined the Bids and issued an official, signed Record of their meeting, concerning the issue of the repair of the Ring Road.

According to the Record, only one construction firm (Stamatelos Argyrios, son of Dionysios) submitted a valid bid (owing to the fact that this firm appeared at the auction), as two other firms (Tsakonas Ioannis, son of Vassileios, and Α. Ph. Kopanitsanos & Co Ltd. Partnership) posted their bids, but failed to appear at the competition, in violation of the set procedure, and consequently were disqualified from the competition.

On 14 June, the bid was examined, and the President of the Competition Committee announced that the bid submitted by the Stamatelos firm had been deemed the lowest of the competition. Stamatelos offered a discount of 2% (the other two companies had offered a discount of 1%, but their bids were invalid in any event, and thus were disqualified).

The total cost of the project, according to the bid submitted by the winning company, amounts to 82,793.10 euros, plus VAT.

Following a discussion on the matter, the item was passed unanimously.

——

The Municipal Council convened in an extraordinary session on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 21.00, at the Kalouda Hall.

The following item was the only one to be put to discussion and decision:

1) Approval of the results of the bidding auction concerning the construction project entitled ‘Reconstruction of dangerous and defective road paving works in the road section “The Ring Road of Antiparos,” which comprises part of the project “Paving of Roads of the Community of Antiparos.”’

This extraordinary session of the Municipal Council was, in essence, very similar to the extraordinary meeting of the Financial Committee detailed above, as a very short period of time separated the two meetings, which had exactly the same single item on their agendas. 

The only difference was that, instead of the Mayor, the President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, was called upon, along with Mr Tsolakis, to brief the members of the Council concerning developments related to the Competition.

Following a discussion, the Item was passed unanimously, as had also been decided by the members of the Financial Committee.

In reply to questions that I posed at the aforementioned meetings, the Mayor stated that the road projected is expected to begin shortly, and, according to discussions held with the winning contractor, the project will need 15-20 days to be completed. In addition, a guarantee will be provided by the contractor for the quality of the completed project.

—————————-

The Financial Committee Meeting of 18 June 2011

The Financial Committee convened on Saturday, 18 June 2011 at 19.00, at the Municipal Building. (I was absent.)

The following Agenda Items were scheduled to be put to discussion and vote:

1)      Assignment of the drawing up of a business plan for theMunicipalityofAntiparos.

2)      Assignment of the project to establish the Municipal Water and Drainage Enterprise of Antiparos.

3)      Assignment of the provision of 1½ tonnes of refuse bags.

4)      Assignment of the repair of the air conditioning unit at the KEP of Antiparos.

5)      Assignment of the provision of an air conditioning unit for the Mayor’s Office.

6)      Assignment of the provision of bars intended to prohibit motor vehicle traffic, to be installed at the main entrance point to the village and at other entrance points along the perimeter of the village. 

7)      Assignment of a road repair project in the Soros area.

8)      Beach rental space.

9)      Assignment of the provision of consumable goods for theCaveofAntiparos.

10) Assignment of the provision of a cash register for theCaveofAntiparos.

Prior to the discussion on the above Items and the taking of decisions relative to these, two other Emergency (Pre-Agenda) Items were discussed:

1)  Road repair in Ayios Yeorgios: The Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Mr Ioannis Leventakis explained to the Members of the Committee that this project concerns the repair of the dirt road that leads down towards accommodation providers ‘Delfini’ and ‘Oliaros,’ and then on to the waterfront road as far as the tavernas, in order that the Municipal bus be able to service these areas. The Municipal Technical Service has prepared a study for the project. A road grader and steamroller will repair the road bed along the aforementioned route, which has a length of 1,450 metres and a width of 6 metres, and the cement section at the top of the road will also be repaired. The Technical Service has also prepared the budget for the project, in accordance with the rates issued by the competent Ministry, and this amounts to the sum of 5,800.00 euros, plus VAT (5,800 square metres, at one euro per metre), including all materials. The Parian company ‘Christoforos Homatourgika’ (Christoforos earth works) submitted a tender of 5,800.00 euros plus VAT. According to the Mayor, this is the sole company in the Antiparos /Parosarea that possesses the machinery and equipment required to undertake the project.      

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

2) Repair to the dirt road on the bend opposite the first petrol station (as one leaves the village): The Mayor explained that this concerns the dirt road as far as the point where it reaches the paved road. This has a length of 540 metres, and a width of 4 metres. The budget for the project has been set at 2,400.00 euros plus VAT, and it, too, has been calculated in accordance with the Ministry rates. Only ‘Christoforos Homatourgika’ submitted a tender (2,400.00 euros plus VAT), and is the only company that can undertake such projects, as noted above.    

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

The Mayor stated that he estimates that these two projects will begin during the month of June, after the relevant contracts with the contractor have been signed.

There followed a discussion of the Agenda Items, and the taking of decisions on these Items.

1)      Assignment of the drawing up of a business plan for theMunicipalityofAntiparos.

The Mayor explained that the aforementioned study is obligatory, as laid down by Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’), and a business plan for at least the next three-year period will be drawn up. Three tenders were submitted—ranging from 22,000.00 to 24,000.00 euros—the lowest of which was offered by the University of the Aegean, at 22,000.00 euros (including VAT), which was also the one proposed by the Mayor.

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

2)      Assignment of the project to establish the Municipal Water and Drainage Enterprise of Antiparos.

The Mayor proposed that the tender submitted by the University of theAegeanbe approved. This offer stands at 31,980.00 euros (including VAT).

[During the course of the discussion on this item, the Mayor declared that he estimated that the drainage (sewage) project would commence at the end of October / early November, basing this on what was stated recently by a representative of the firm ‘Egnatia.’]

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by majority vote (Mr. Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against the proposal).

3)      Assignment of the provision of 1½ tonnes of refuse bags.

The Mayor stated that 1½ tonnes would be enough to cover the summer season and even longer, and that the Municipality received two tenders—both from Parian businesses: 1) From Mr Α. Dafereras (1,740.00 euros, including VAT); and, 2) From Mr Y. Barbaris (1,600.00 euros, including VAT). These prices are per tonne. The Mayor proposed that the lowest tender be accepted.   

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

4)      Assignment of the repair of the air conditioning unit at the KEP of Antiparos.

According to the Mayor, ‘the technician’ examined the air conditioning unit at the KEP (citizens’ service centre) of Antiparos and ‘said that the circuit board is burnt out,’ and that the cost of the repair is 700.00 euros. However, the Item was removed, as the technician had failed to submit a tender up until the time of the meeting.

5)      Assignment of the provision of an air conditioning unit for the Mayor’s Office.

Two tenders were submitted for a 12,000 BTU air conditioning unit: 1) From MrCh.Mostratos (630.00 euros, including VAT) ofParos; and, 2) From Mr Ν. Patelis (597.40 euros, including VAT), of Antiparos. The Mayor proposed that the lowest tender be accepted.

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

6)      Assignment of the provision of bars intended to prohibit motor vehicle traffic, to be installed at the main entrance point to the village and at other entrance points along the perimeter of the village.

The special ‘smart’ system is sold by businesses outside the Antiparos /Parosarea. Three tenders were submitted for the exact same system: 1) 10,900.00 euros plus VAT; 2) 12,500.00 euros plus VAT; and, 3) 11,900.00 euros plus VAT. The Mayor proposed that the lowest tender be accepted, since all three offers concern the same system.   

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

7)      Assignment of a road repair project in the Soros area.

The repair concerns three sections of the road in the vicinity of the ‘Permataki’ taverna. The budget for the project comes to 2,000.00 euros, plus VAT. The Mayor proposed ‘Christoforos Homatourgika’ for this particular project as well, for the abovementioned reasons.

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

8)      Beach rental space.

The Mayor proposed that a special Committee be set up, in order to carry out the auctioning of beach rental space. He added that the starting price for bids would remain the same as last year, owing to the economic crisis, as had also been stated at a recent Municipal Council meeting. Thursday, 23 June was set as the auction date. The individuals below were proposed as Members of the Committee:

Elected officers:

– Deputy Mayor Ms Eleni Viazi (with Municipal Councillor Mr Paraskevas Kapoutos as Alternate Member)

Municipal Employees:

– Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou (with Ms Anna Palaiologou as Alternate Member)

– Mr Eleftherios Manolikis (with Mr Konstantinos Manolikis as Alternate Member)

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

9)      Assignment of the provision of consumable goods for theCaveofAntiparos.

The Mayor proposed the Paros-based ‘Waterblue’ company for the provision of 18-litre plastic jugs of water for a special dispenser / cooler, in order to serve the basic drinking needs of visitors to the Cave. The cost of each jug comes to 7.80 euros; he proposed that 50 bottles be purchased. In addition, he moved that the Municipality buy 1,000 plastic cups (20 packages containing 50 cups), which are sold separately by the same company. Finally, it was clarified that the aforementioned company also charges 51.00 euros for ‘servicing.’  

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

10)  Assignment of the provision of a cash register for theCaveofAntiparos.   

A cash register is required at the Cave in order that the Municipality be able to sell books, Kouros statuettes and other souvenirs and items in the vicinity of the Cave. Three tenders were submitted for the provision of a cash register: 1) From Mr Α. Kyriakakis (from Antiparos), 410.00 euros; 2) From Ms Α. Roditou, 432.00 euros; and, 3) From Mr Sarris, 420.00 euros (the last two from Paros). The Mayor proposed that the lowest tender be accepted.

Following a discussion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote.

—————

The Municipal Council Meeting of 10 June 2011

The Municipal Council of theMunicipalityofAntiparosconvened on Friday, 10 June 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following single Agenda Item (I was absent):

1) Partial Revision of the Budget.

Prior to the discussion and taking of a decision concerning the above, one Urgent Item was discussed and decided upon:

– Approval of Travel Expenses of Mayor and Councillor toSyros.

Mayor Ioannis Leventakis and Municipal Councillor and President of the Municipal Council Konstantinos Faroupos travelled toSyrosrecently, and this Item concerned the approval of the travel expenses they are legally entitled to, which amounted to 99.00 euros.

The motion was passed unanimously.

There followed a discussion and passing of a decision concerning the only Item on the Agenda:

1) Partial Revision of the Budget

The President of the Municipal Council Mr Faroupos explained that there was a need to revise the budget, in order that specific category codes possess funds that are to cover the costs of some works or actions organized and planned by the Municipality, and for other expenditures. Specifically, 3,000.00 euros will go to Third-Party Travel Expenses, 12,600.00 euros towards the system of road barriers and speed bumps, 600.00 euros will be set aside for the Mobile Telephone Expenses of the Deputy Mayor, 7,000.00 euros towards the Establishment of the Public Law Legal Entity responsible for the Water and Sewage Systems, and 5,200.00 euros towards the Special Cleaning Materials for the Chemical Toilets. The Mayor stressed that calls for tenders will be issued where applicable, and that the above items will go through the Financial Committee for approval.

The motion was passed unanimously.

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The Municipal Council Meeting of 6 June 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Monday, 6 June 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items (I was absent):

1) Underground placement of ΟΤΕ [telecommunications] cables.

2) Cementing of road leading to the bore station at Tsigoura.

3) Distribution of operating funds for schools – 1st and 2nd payments.

4) Petition by Mr Ioannis Marinatos, son of Themistoklis.

5) Petitions by business owners for the placement of tables and chairs on streets and sidewalks.

6) Opinion on the draft Presidential Decree of the Ministry of the Environment concerning an amendment to the terms and limits to construction in the settlement (building plan) of Ayios Georgios.

7) The organization of the visit of the Ambassador of Hungary to Antiparos on 12 June 2011.

8) Call for expression of interest by third parties concerning the renting of beach space of theMunicipalityofAntiparos.

9) The taking of a decision to approve the Settlement of the Summary Table of Works carried out for the project ‘Development of the Caveof Antiparos(2nd Phase)’.

1) Underground placement of ΟΤΕ [telecommunications] cables.

The President of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, informed the Council and citizens that the Municipality received a letter from ΟΤΕ, according to which ΟΤΕ wishes to install cables underground on a section measuring about three kilometers in length, from Glyfa to the bend at Soros. He added that no significant work will be carried out by OTE in thevillageofAntiparos. Mr Theocharis Tsolakis, the Head of the Technical Service of the Municipality, explained that a small ditch will be dug, measuring 10 to 16 centimetres in width and 60 centimetres in depth, in order that pipes be laid with optic fibres. ΟΤΕ will be responsible for any damages that may arise, and also for paving over the section that will be dug up. ΟΤΕ proposed that the project be carried out during the summer—at the end of June—so that the paving job be better, owing to higher temperatures. Mayor Ioannis Leventakis proposed that the Municipality ask ΟΤΕ to begin the project around 1September, owing to the tourist season, as the project will certainly create problems to traffic along the road network.   

The motion was passed unanimously.

2) Cementing of road leading to the bore station at Tsigoura.

The President of the Municipal Council stated that the particular (dirt) road has a great incline, and has suffered great damage owing to rainfall. The Mayor agreed and added that the whole road will not be cemented, owing to the high cost of such a project. Following a discussion on the Item, it was agreed that there a study be conducted, and the project be divided between two points of the road in need of repair, and the matter be referred to the Financial Committee.   

The motion was passed unanimously.

3) Distribution of operating funds for schools – 1st and 2nd payments.

The Municipality received a sum to cover the operational expenditures of the two schools. Each payment comes to 2,706.33 euros. It was proposed that the sums be divided equally between the two schools (50% for each), as has been the policy to date.    

The motion was passed unanimously.

4) Petition by Mr Ioannis Marinatos, son of Themistoklis.

In his petition, the applicant requested that his vehicle have access to the Square (where he lives), and that he be granted a parking space on the waterfront (where his spouse has a business), in order that the mobility of his spouse be facilitated, as she experience difficulty of movement. The Mayor proposed that a space be provided for his vehicle at the port, and that he be given a ‘smart’ card  to pass the barrier at the KEP, but he not be permitted to park at the Square in summer.

The motion was passed unanimously.

5) Petitions by business owners for the placement of tables and chairs on streets and sidewalks.

The Mayor proposed, owing to the economic crisis, that prices remain the same as in 2010 (40 euros per square metre). He also proposed that a committee be formed, which will be responsible for measuring spaces and counting tables and chairs, and will also be able to make relevant recommendations to the Municipal Council. The following were nominated as Members of the Committee:

– Mr Theocharis Tsolakis (with Mr Eleftherios Manolikis as his replacement);

– Ms Kyriaki Faroupou, the Head of the Financial Service of the Municipality; and,

– Municipal Councillor Mr Paraskevas Kapoutsos (with Municipal Councillor Ms Filothei Marianou as his replacement)       

The motion was passed unanimously.

6) Opinion on the draft Presidential Decree of the Ministry of the Environment concerning an amendment to the terms and limits to construction in the settlement (building plan) of Ayios Yeorgios.

In his introduction, Mr Tsolakis stated that, according to the draft plan of the Presidential Decree, the construction coefficient will be reduced from 0.4 to 0.3, the maximum height to 4.50-5.00 metres, and buildings will have only a single floor. The Mayor motioned that the plan be approved, in order that the settlement be protected from over-construction.   

The motion was passed unanimously.

7) The organization of the visit of the Ambassador of Hungary to Antiparos on 12 June 2011.

Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi, in her introduction to the Item, clarified that this concerned a visit by the Ambassador ofUkraine, and notHungary, who has been invited by the Association of Merchants and Professionals of Paros and Antiparos, in cooperation with the Hellenic-Ukrainian League of Friendship and Development. The Ambassador will be visiting Antiparos on Sunday, 12 June, at about 10.40am, and will be meeting with the Mayor, and will be visiting the Cave and Despotiko. Having received offers, the Majority proposed that the lowest offers be accepted; that is: 1) A floral bouquet from Mr. Arkoulis, 60.00 euros including VAT; 2) Sweets from Mr. Petros Triantaphyllos, 40.00 euros including VAT; 3) Plastic drinking cups from Mr. Grigoris Marianos, 10.00 euros euros including VAT; and 4) 270.00 euros including VAT from Pipinos and Markos Marianos ΟΕ (for a meal for 20 persons).        

The motion was passed unanimously.

8) Call for expression of interest by third parties concerning the renting of beach space of theMunicipalityofAntiparos.

The Mayor moved that the same beaches be auctioned as has been in 2010 (Psaralyki A, Psaralyki B, Vathys Volos [in Ayios Yeorgios], Sifneikos), and at the same price per square metre, and Ayios Spyridonas was also added to the list, following a discussion. A call for interest will be issued for all of these, and the Item will also be discussed by the Financial Committee.

The motion was passed unanimously.

9) The taking of a decision to approve the Settlement of the Summary Table of Works carried out for the project ‘Development of the Caveof Antiparos(2nd Phase)’.

Mr Tsolakis clarified that a review of project costs had taken place, and a difference of 32,033.40 euros, plus VAT, had been calculated. He stressed that this sum will be paid by the public investments programme, and not by the Municipality.

The motion was passed unanimously.

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TheMunicipal Council Meeting of 3 June 2011

The Municipal Council of the Municipality of Antiparos convened on Friday, 3 June 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, to discuss and decide upon the following Agenda Items (I was absent):

1) Petition to the power corporation DEH for the placement of power lines underground, from the start of the pedestrianised main street at the waterfront up to the Kastro.

2) Regulation of Vehicle Traffic:

Α) along the waterfront; and,

Β) in the village.

3) Expression of interest on the part of the Municipality to rent space near the waterfront road, in the aim of creating a parking area for passenger motor vehicles.

4) Operating hours for music entertainment establishments.

5) Renewal of newspaper subscriptions for the year 2011:

Α) Ta Nea Parou-Antiparou; and,

Β) Koini Gnomi.

6) Naming of a representative to the Anaptyxiaki Etaireia Kykladon (Development Company of theCyclades).

 

7) Seasonal petitions.

8) Cave tickets.

9) Approval of overtime work carried out by Municipal office employees and workers.

10) Travel and related expenses of Mayor and elected Councillor forAthenstrip related to the sewage system.

11) Validation and Approval of expenditure for food at the 1 May event.

12) Authorisation to sign, in accordance with Circular 30/2011.

13) Third-party travel expenses.

14) Event to welcome the Olympic Flame of the Special Olympics to Antiparos.

1) Petition to the power corporation DEH for the placement of power lines underground, from the start of the pedestrianised main street at the waterfront up to the Kastro.

Mayor Ioannis Leventakis stated that the proposal of the Majority is that the work begin from the waterfront (at the start of the pedestrianised main street) and extend up the main street as far as the central square and the Kastro. The power corporation DEH is responsible for carrying out the required financial study. DEH covers half of the cost of the project, and the Municipality is given the opportunity to pay the remaining 50% in three equal annual payments. The total cost of the project has been estimated at 300,000 euros. An attempt is being made to coordinate this project with that of the creation and installation of the sewage system and water network, in order that the slab road be excavated just once. There is a possibility, the mayor stressed, that the DEH subsidy programme will be halted owing to the economic crisis, and thus it is essential for the Municipality to move ahead with this quickly, if possible.

The motion was passed unanimously.          

2) Regulation of Vehicle Traffic:

Α) along the waterfront; and,

Β) in the village.

Α) The Mayor stated that ‘the port must be put into order,’ and presented a plan of the port containing the proposals of his group, aimed at achieving this goal. He proposed that there be no stopping or parking of vehicles in a zone starting from ‘Makis’ waterfront restaurant and ending at Vassilis’ new grill taverna on the corner at Kaloudia. The area now used as a parking area by the buses will be used as a parking area for vehicles, and the buses will be moved over to the ferryboat area, next to the fishermen’s storage space. The Mayor added that he has come to an understanding with the port authority, and port officers will be stationed at the ports of Antiparos and Pounta inParosin order to control the traffic flow of passengers and vehicles to and from the ferryboats. In addition, the Mayor thanked Mr Panayiotis Roussos for offering one of his properties to the Municipality as a parking area. The Mayor added that the Municipality will be seeking other properties near the port in order to lease them as vehicle parking areas, in the aim of creating a total of 120-130 parking spaces, which the Municipal Authority estimates will be created. Lastly, speed bumps will be placed at regular distances on the waterfront, so as to help reduce the speed of vehicles travelling on that road.

Β) With reference to the pedestrianised main road, the Mayor proposed the installation of ‘smart’ bars with programmable cards, which would be given to interested merchants and businesspersons. These bars would be installed at the start of the main road, near the area of KEP (citizens’ service bureau) / Panayia church, and at the start of the side road where Fabrika (‘Soul Sugar’) and the old pharmacy building (‘Agapi’) are located. The Mayor proposed that vehicles servicing the merchants and other businesspeople be given access to the road every morning from 6.30 through 10.30, and that the bars be raised in the evenings at 18.00, so that people be able to walk unhindered.

The Mayor proposed that the measures noted above for the waterfront be put in force from 17 June through 20 September, and those for the main road be in effect year-round.          

The motion was passed unanimously.

3) Expression of interest on the part of the Municipality to rent space near the waterfront road, in the aim of creating a parking area for passenger motor vehicles.

This was a follow-up to the Item above. The Majority moved that an invitation be issued calling for the expression of interest.

The motion was passed unanimously.

4) Operating hours for music entertainment establishments.

The Mayor proposed that, until 10 July, entertainment establishments be able to play music until 04.00 daily, except for Saturdays, when they will be able to play music until 04.30. From 11 July until the end of August, music will have to be shut off by 04.30, all seven days. The Mayor stated that he had talked to some of the interested owners of business located at the Square. Many citizens in attendance at the Council Meeting voiced their reaction to this, as they sensed that they had found themselves before accomplished facts. A long (and at some points intense) discussion ensued between the Mayor, Councillors, residents and business owners, with many and varied viewpoints and experiences being shared and expressed. The motion was put to a vote, with the Majority voting in favour of the motion and the Minority Councillors abstaining. Following a further discussion between the Council and the public, and owing to the general discontent (mainly on the part of residents), the Mayor proposed that a second motion be put to vote, which would decide whether the first vote would remain in force, or whether the Item should be removed and the decision be revoked, and be discussed again, at Monday’s meeting.

The Item was removed, by majority vote.

5) Renewal of newspaper subscriptions for the year 2011:

Α) Ta Nea Parou-Antiparou; and,

Β) Koini Gnomi.

During the course of the discussion on the Item, the local newspaper Pariani Enimerosi was added to the list, and it was also clarified that the Municipality also receives E Foni tis Parou, but this is a free press newspaper, without a subscription cost.

The motion was passed unanimously.

6) Naming of a representative to the Anaptyxiaki Etaireia Kykladon (Development Company of theCyclades).

 

The Mayor proposed himself as representative.

The motion was passed unanimously.

 

7) Seasonal petitions.

Seasonal petitions were examined; in these, some individuals sought a reduction in municipal fees.

The petitions were approved.

The motion was passed unanimously.

8) Cave tickets.

It was proposed that the ticket price for admission to the Cave be increased from 3.50 euros to 5.00 euros, with free entrance for children up to the age of seven, as had been recently approved and passed by the Financial Committee. The Mayor reiterated that the 5.00 euros received is not a net sum for the Municipality (there are tax and other deductions), and that the income of the Municipality and the sources of income are limited.

The motion was passed by majority vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against, and two Councillors of the Majority abstained from voting).

9) Approval of overtime work carried out by Municipal office employees and workers.

For overtime work carried out by permanent Municipal employees in recent months.

The motion was passed unanimously.

10) Travel and related expenses of Mayor and elected Councillor forAthenstrip related to the sewage system.

For the expenses of the Mayor and Municipal Councillor Mr Panayiotis Faroupos, for the purpose noted above.

The motion was passed unanimously.

11) Validation and Approval of expenditure for food at the 1 May event.

The sum had already been approved, and the motion sought the validation and acceptance of the expenditure approval.

The motion was passed unanimously.

12) Authorisation to sign, in accordance with Circular 30/2011.

The Mayor explained that the motion called for the Deputy Mayor to be authorised to sign some payment orders, etc, on behalf of the Mayor, in his absence.

The motion was passed unanimously.

13) Third-party travel expenses.

This concerned the expenses of Mr M. Haniotis, special advisor to the Mayor. According to the contract he has signed with the Municipality, Mr Haniotis is not paid for his work; however, his travel expenses are paid for by the Municipality.

The motion was passed unanimously.

14) Event to welcome the Olympic Flame of the Special Olympics to Antiparos.

The Mayor requested that the Item be removed, as it was not ready to be put to a vote.

—————-

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Financial Committee, 3 June 2011

The Financial Committee held an extraordinary meeting on Friday, 3 June 2011 at 12.00, at theMunicipalBuilding.

The following Item was the only one on the Agenda, to be discussed and decided upon:

1)  Determination of terms and fees for the rental of pasture lands.

Prior to the discussion and taking of a decision related to the above, one Item was also discussed as an Urgent Pre-Agenda Item:

– The Ring Road: The Mayor and President of the Financial Committee Mr Leventakis proposed Thursday 9 June as the date for the holding of the auctioning of the project for the repair of the Ring Road, and also proposed the following Municipal Employees as Members of the Committee that will evaluate the tenders submitted:

– Mr Theocharis Tsolakis (President)

– Ms Kyriaki Faroupou (Permanent Member)

– Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou (Permanent Member)

– Ms Anna Palaiologou (Alternate Member)

– Mr Eleftherios Manolikis (Alternate Member)

– Mr Konstantinos Manolikis (Alternate Member)

The Mayor clarified that according to the related legal framework, such committees must be composed of permanent Municipal Employees, and not by the elected members of the Municipal Council. He also stressed that the procedure is public, and, consequently, any Municipal Councillors wishing to do so may attend the auctioning event.

Following a discussion on the motion, the Item was passed by unanimous decision.

There followed a discussion concerning the only Item on the Agenda, and the taking of a decision related to this.

1)  Determination of terms and fees for the rental of pasture lands.

In his introduction to the Item, the Mayor stated that the Municipality recently received a document, according to which by 30 June all herdsmen will have to have in their possession a Certificate stating the stremmata (one stremma = 1,000 m2) they have rented; they will have to have a rental agreement. Consequently, a Committee will have to be formed that will oversee the process. The total area being rented today by a total of eight herdsmen comes to 1,572 stremmata. The Mayor proposed that the same stremmata be auctioned off; that rental agreements be valid for one year; that the bidding price be set at two euros per stremma; and, that 14 June be set as the deadline for parties interested in participating in the auction to submit applications. Finally, he proposed the following Municipal Employees as Members of the relevant Committee:

– Mr Theocharis Tsolakis (President)

– Ms Kyriaki Faroupou (Permanent Member)

– Ms Anna Palaiologou (Permanent Member)

– Ms Chryssoula Christopoulou (Alternate Member; designated as replacement for the President)

– Mr Eleftherios Manolikis (Alternate Member)

– Mr Konstantinos Manolikis (Alternate Member)

As concerned the above Committee as well, the relative legal framework stipulates that it must be composed of permanent Municipal Employees, and not by elected Members of the Municipal Council. 

Following a discussion on the motion, the Item was passed by majority vote (Mr Antonis Patelis of the Minority voted against the proposal, having counter-proposed the sum of one euro per stremma as the starting price for bids).

——————

The Meeting of the Financial Committee, on 26 May 2011

The Financial Committee convened on Thursday, 26 May 2011 at 18.00, at the MunicipalBuilding.

The following Items were on the Agenda, to be discussed and decided upon:

1)   Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, and commissioning   
       of lawyer, concerning the injunction related to the ring road.

2)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, and commissioning of tax specialist Grade A accountant, concerning the keeping of taxation and other books of the Municipality and the implementation of a double-entry system.

3)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, in accordance with Circular 30, Reg. no. 19664/20-04-11 of the Ministry of the Interior.

4)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, in accordance with Circular 30, Reg. no. 19664/20-04-11, for the following:

a) fuel for refuse vehicles;

b) fuel for the bus;

c) fuel for other machines;

d) vehicle spare parts;

e) transportation to and from theParoslandfill (XYTA), and other landfill-related fees (50%);

f) other transportation expenses (50%); and,

g) spare parts for the water network for unforeseeable repairs (50%).

5)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the emptying of the septic tank at the Cave, to Mr Damianos Patelis.

6)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for labour costs related to the servicing of the Mercedes refuse collection vehicle.

7)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of office supplies for theMunicipalBuilding, to Ms Asimina Hadjipetrou.

8)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of rubber stamps, to Mr Efstratios Fergadiotis.

9)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the replacement and servicing of the electrical installations at the water bores and pump rooms, with the necessary materials, to Mr Stavros Kafantaris.

10)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of the vertical multistage pump in the area of Tsigoura, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

11)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of a pump in the area of Filolia, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

12)  Approval of a technical description, appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of a pipe in the area of Christos, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

13)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for public lighting maintenance along the waterfront road, to Mr Nikos Patelis.

14)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of pumps from Printezis and Co General Partnership:

a) in the area of Parathyres;

b) in the area of Parousou;

c) in the area of Kambos; and,

d) for the installation of new ones.

15)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement and installation of bars to hinder vehicle traffic along the perimeter of village at its entrances; 3 units.

16)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of cardboard boxes for the filing of local government materials and documents, from Mr Menegos Kalakonas.

17)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of a photographic camera for the Municipal Technical Service, from the Marianos Bros. General Partnership.

18)  Disengagement of outlay for disinsectization, relative to Financial Committee Decision No. 31/2011, and approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, to the I. Soulira – A. Tsiakalos General Partnership, for disinsectization.

19)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of tickets for the Cave and the Bus, to Mr Konstantinos Dragatis.

20)  Approval of increase in ticket price for the Cave.

21)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the preparation of a business plan for the legal establishment of the public benefit enterprise for tourism and cultural development, to AMG Partners Ltd.

22)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commissioning of a five-year business plan for the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with Law 3463, Article 206 and Government Gazette 141/2011 Series Β, Article 2, Paragraph 2, to the University of the Aegean (a public law legal entity).

23)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commissioning of a plan related to the Municipal Water Supply Enterprise of Antiparos.

24)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of a cold-type asphalt mixture and vibration plate from the Prombonas company.

          25) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the laboratory 
                 test for the project “Paving of Roads of the Community of Antiparos,” to     
                 the company Ergotest SA.

                 26) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commission
                of dance instructor Mr Yeoryios Golemis, for the organising of events for
                the summer period in theMunicipality ofAntiparos.

Prior to the discussion on and taking of decisions regarding the aforementioned Agenda Items, two Emergency Items were discussed:

1)      The construction of a buttress (retaining) wall in Ai-Yiorgis, along the shore in front of the seaside tavernas. The budget for the project is estimated at 5,916.00 euros; and,

2)      Procurement of photocopying paper, etc, from Mr Apostolos Kyriakakis, for the sum of 478.00 euros.

Following a discussion, both Items were approved through a unanimous decision.

A discussion of the other Items on the Agenda, and decisions concerning these, followed the two Emergency Items. (Owing to the great number of Items, a brief summary of the sums [which include VAT] and the decisions taken will be given below).

1) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, and commissioning of lawyer, concerning the injunction related to the ring road.

– Sum: 2,500.00 euros. Commissioned to Mr Michalis Korakis, an Athenian lawyer, whom the Majority considers to be a specialist in these types of cases. Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against).

2)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, and commissioning of tax specialist Grade A accountant, concerning the keeping of taxation and other books of the Municipality and the implementation of a double-entry system.

      – Sum: 11,600.00 euros / year. Commissioned to Mr Yiannis Poulis, who, according to the Majority, is the sole accountant in the Antiparos andParosarea who possesses the necessary qualifications. Passed by Majority Vote (Messrs Antonis Patelis and Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against).

3)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, in accordance with Circular 30, Reg. no. 19664/20-04-11 of the Ministry of the Interior.

– A formal change to the wording used in documents and decisions, required by Ministry of the Interior; the phrase “appropriation of credits” is replaced by the phrase “appropriation and commitment of credits.”

4)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, in accordance with Circular 30, Reg. no. 19664/20-04-11, for the following:

a) fuel for refuse vehicles;

b) fuel for the bus;

c) fuel for other machines;

d) vehicle spare parts;

e) transportation to and from theParoslandfill (XYTA), and other landfill-related fees (50%);

f) other transportation expenses (50%); and,

g) spare parts for the water network for unforeseeable repairs (50%).

– The following sums were approved:

a) fuel for refuse vehicles                            14,316.83

b) fuel for the bus                                          6,000.00 

c) fuel for other machines                             1,000.00

d) vehicle spare parts                                    7,500.00

e) transportation to and from theParoslandfill (XYTA), and other landfill-related fees (50%)                                        9,000.00

f) other transportation expenses (50%)            150.00

spare parts for the water network for unforeseeable repairs (50%)                                                                                  7,600.00

Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against).

5)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the emptying of the septic tank at the Cave, to Mr Damianos Patelis.

– Sum: 150.00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

6)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for labour costs related to the servicing of the Mercedes refuse collection vehicle.

– Sum: 3,189.50 euros. Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against).

7)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of office supplies for theMunicipalBuilding, to Ms Asimina Hadjipetrou.

– Sum: 814.90 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

8)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of rubber stamps, to Mr Efstratios Fergadiotis.

– Sum: 167.00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

9)      Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the replacement and servicing of the electrical installations at the water bores and pump rooms, with the necessary materials, to Mr Stavros Kafantaris.

– Sum: 6,800.00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

10)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of the vertical multistage pump in the area of Tsigoura, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

– Sum: 2,736.29 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

11)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of a pump in the area of Filolia, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

– Sum: 324.22 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

12)  Approval of a technical description, appropriation and commitment of credits, for the repair of a pipe in the area of Christos, to the Printezis and Co General Partnership.

– Sum: 2,678.27 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

13)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for public lighting maintenance along the waterfront road, to Mr Nikos Patelis.

– Sum: 1,000.00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

       14) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement   
              of pumps from Printezis and Co General Partnership:

a) in the area of Parathyres;

b) in the area of Parousou;

c) in the area of Kambos; and,

d) for the installation of new ones.

– Total sum for a) through d): 3,231.88 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

15)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement and installation of bars to hinder vehicle traffic along the perimeter of village at its points of entry; 3 units.

– Item removed from the Agenda, as Tenders for the project had not been received prior to the convening of the meeting of the Financial Committee.

16)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of cardboard boxes for the filing of local government materials and documents, from Mr Menegos Kalakonas.

– Sum: 361.75 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

17)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of a photographic camera for the Municipal Technical Service, from the Marianos Bros. General Partnership.

– Sum: 197.06 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

18)  Disengagement of outlay for disinsectization, relative to Financial Committee Decision No. 31/2011, and approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, to the I. Soulira – A. Tsiakalos General Partnership, for disinsectization.

– Sum: 12,296.00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

19)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of tickets for the Cave and the Bus, to Mr Konstantinos Dragatis.

– Sum: 1,409.00 euros. Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against).

20)  Approval of increase in ticket price for the Cave.

– Ticket price increase approved from present price of 3.50 euros to 5.00 euros; free admission for children up to seven years of age. Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of the Minority voted against, having counter-proposed an increase to 4.50 euros).

21)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the preparation of a business plan for the legal establishment of the public benefit enterprise for tourism and cultural development, to AMG Partners Ltd.

– Sum: 10.000,00 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

22)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commissioning of a five-year business plan for the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with Law 3463, Article 206 and Government Gazette 141/2011 Series Β, Article 2, Paragraph 2, to the University of the Aegean (a public law legal entity).

– Item removed from the Agenda, as a Tender for the project had not been received prior to the convening of the meeting of the Financial Committee.

23)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commissioning of a plan related to the Municipal Water Supply Enterprise of Antiparos.

– Item removed from the Agenda, as a Tender for the project had not been received prior to the convening of the meeting of the Financial Committee. (The Local Authority had proposed that this work as well be commissioned to the University of theAegean[a public law legal entity]).

24)  Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the procurement of a cold-type asphalt mixture and vibration plate from the Prombonas company.

– The total sum for both: 1,856.00 euros (812.00 euros for the first, and 1,044.00 for the second). Passed by Unanimous Decision.

        25) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the laboratory 
               test for the project “Paving of Roads of the Community of Antiparos,” to     
               the company Ergotest SA.

             – Sum: 5,323.68 euros. Passed by Unanimous Decision.

26) Approval of appropriation and commitment of credits, for the commission
       of dance instructor Mr Yeoryios Golemis, for the organising of events for
       the summer period in theMunicipality ofAntiparos.

– Sum: 1,200.00 euros / month, plus VAT. Approved for the months of May     
    June, July and August 2011. Passed by Majority Vote (Mr Nikos Marianos of   
    the Minority voted against).

During course of the discussion on the tenth Item on the Agenda, the Mayor and President of the Financial Committee, Mr Ioannis Leventakis, made a commitment to the members of the Committee and the public who were present, that beginning with the next meeting of the Financial Committee, he will be bringing along all of the related Tenders for each Item of the Agenda (as well as for Emergency Items), in order that all interested parties be given the opportunity to examine Tenders prior to any decisions being taken on the Items being discussed.   

 —————————–

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Municipal Council of Antiparos of 25 May 2011

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened in an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 22.00, in the Kalouda Hall. I was absent.

The following five items were in the agenda:

 

  1. Repair of the ring road.

Α. Update

Β. Repair project

  1. Amendment of the Technical Programme.
  1. Amendment of the Budget.
  1. Petition to hire seasonal personnel on 3-month employment contracts (1 guard for the Cave, 2 on-board bus ticket conductors and 1 Cave ticket collector).
  1. Petitions for the preliminary approval of permits for food- and/or drink-serving businesses.

Pre-Agenda Items:

Prior to discussion on the above items and the taking of any decisions related to these, Mayor Ioannis Leventakis provided an update concerning the following three issues:

1) Health Centre

2) Sewage System

3) Blood Drive

1) Health Centre: A meeting was held earlier the same day among all interested authorities, groups and citizens on the two islands inParos, concerning the continuing (negative) situation at the Health Centre. Only one orthopaedic specialist has arrived thus far—the Ministry of Health has yet to issue an official update as to when the other doctors will be arriving; they have been expected for so long to fill vacant positions.

At the Paros meeting, the mayor of Antiparos proposed that representatives of the councils of the two islands travel toAthens, and go to the office of Health Minister Andreas Loverdos, without an appointment, and remain there until he receives them, and not depart without first receiving commitments from the minister himself. This proposal by the mayor of Antiparos was accepted at theParosmeeting.

The mayor also informed those in attendance at the extraordinary session of the Municipal Council of theMunicipalityofAntiparosthat extrajudicial notification would be sent to the minister by way of a prosecutor.

Minority leader Mr Nikos Marianos argued that before tabling his proposal at the Paros meeting on behalf of the Antiparos Municipal Council, the mayor should have first discussed it with the entire council here, in order that all of its members would have had knowledge of it, and so that a discussion would have been held concerning the initiative and the proposal.

2) Sewage System: A related proposal has been submitted, and funding for the project has been approved. The cost of the project has been estimated at 6.5 million euros.

The Municipal Authority opted for Egnatia SA to invite tenders for the project, instead of inviting tenders itself. It has this option, according to the law.

Attempts are underway to coordinate the project along with works to lay down a new water supply network and the underground placement of power cables, in cooperation with DEH SA.

The mayor estimated that the sewage system project would begin around October of this year.

3) Blood Drive: The Women’s Society of Antiparos is offering a free meal to the medical and other personnel coming fromParosto Antiparos for theBlood Drive. The Municipality will also be offering them a free meal, at Nikos Statheros’ taverna. They will also be provided with a room (free of charge) where they will be able to rest during the day. Finally, the ferryboat consortium will be transporting theBlood Drivevehicle for free, from and toParos.

– In addition, following a discussion, a decision was taken to submit a petition to the competent authority requesting a two-month extension of the contract of Municipal employee Varvara Boyiatzi. 

The motion was passed unanimously.

Discussion of the items on the Agenda followed, and decisions were taken concerning these.

 

 

1. Repair of the ring road.

Α. Update

Β. Repair project

The mayor explained once more that, unfortunately, we are unable to pressure the road contractor in any way through outstanding sums, as he was paid the amount owed him on 20 December 2010.

The municipality possesses only the guarantee that had been submitted by the contractor, and this is relatively a small amount.

The only solution, the mayor argued, is for an injunction to be sought, a lawsuit to be filed against the contractor, in order that the municipality be reimbursed for the sums it will soon be paying to repair the road.

The road project had an 18-month guarantee.

The municipality was unable to touch the road until now, the mayor continued, because the Regional Authority of the South Aegean had given the contractor a 60-day period (30 days for earth work and 30 days for paving work) to proceed with its repair.

After the deadline elapsed, the municipality proceeded to ‘clean up’ the road owing to its dangerous condition (the Christoforos earth work company carried this out free of charge, according to the mayor).

The new study / plan (for the repair) will be carried out by the head of the Municipal Technical Service, Mr Haris Tsolakis.

On Friday 27 May, a meeting was to be held between the mayor and a representative of Egnatia SA. The mayor stated that he would suggest to the representative of the aforementioned company that he also meet with the heads of the other groups on the local council, if his schedule permitted this. (Eventually, I, for one, was not notified to meet with the representative for a briefing).

With reference to the road repair project, the mayor proposed that the work be commissioned directly—with at least three tenders from various contractors—and that the Financial Committee decide on which contractor will be awarded the project. The Regional Authority will also have to approve the direct commission.

It was also clarified that criteria will be in effect for the tenders and the selection of the winning contractor; these criteria will take into consideration the reliability and trustworthiness of each company on the market, among other factors.

A guarantee will again also be provided by the contactor for the quality of the work.

The budget is estimated at 98,000.00 euros, for the approximately 600 metres of road that will be repaired (from the bend at the parking lot to the bend in the area that turns off towards the helipad).

It was also clarified that wherever Egnatia SA will need to dig up the road in order to install the new sewage system, that company will be required to restore the road to its original condition.

The motion was passed unanimously.

The following two items,

2. Amendment of the Technical Programme.

3. Amendment of the Budget.

were related to the first item. In order to cover the unexpected expenditure for the repair of the ring road, both the Technical Programme and Budget of the municipality had to be amended.  

These motions were passed unanimously.

4. Petition to hire seasonal personnel on 3-month employment contracts (1 guard for the Cave, 2 on-board bus ticket conductors and 1 Cave ticket collector).

Until this year, the aforementioned positions were under the authority of KETPAA, but following its demise, these hirings will have to be made by the municipality.

The motion was passed unanimously.

5. Petitions for the preliminary approval of permits for food- and/or drink-serving business establishments.

The following businesses petitioned for preliminary approvals (for changes to the operating permits they already possess):

–          Boogaloo, and Tabula Rasa at the Square; and,

–          Pipinos Parouso’s café in Ai-Yioryis.

The motion was passed unanimously.

 

 

———————————

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Financial Committee, 26 April 2011

The Financial Committee convened in an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 6pm, in the Municipal building.

The sole item on the agenda was the following:

1.  Approval and dispensation of credit for the May Day event and for the meal for the Inflatable Boats Club of Greece.

One of the two permanent members from the Minority groups, Mr Antonis Patelis, was absent, so, being the first alternative Minority member, I was given the right to vote in his place.

Mayor Yiannis Leventakis, as president of the Financial Committee, introduced the subject of the upcoming May Day weekend visit of about 50 inflatable boats (of the approximately 100-120 in total belonging to the national club), carrying about 150 visitors. They will be arriving on Saturday 30 April at 14.00, along with journalists from TV and print media. During their stay, they will be given guided tours of the Kastro, the Cave and Despotiko, and on Sunday evening, at 20.00, they will be the honoured guests at a May Day celebration at the Square, featuring live music and dance performances, and a special buffet feast.

The members of the club have asked about the material needs of the local community, and consequently will be bringing gifts for the Medical Office, the Schools and the Police Station. For details concerning the programme of events and the items they will be donating, see http://www.ofse.gr/ (in Greek).

The total budget for the events related to their visit and May Day celebrations amounts to €3,257.00. This includes food, drink, live music and other expenses. The Agricultural Union of Paros donated 15 five-litre jugs of white and red wine, and Majority Councillor Yiorgos Marianos offered to transport 25 of the visitors to Despotiko aboard his vessel, and give them a tour of the island, free of charge.   

Again, no tenders were sought for the various expenses. The mayor stressed that he wished for as many businesses as possible to benefit from the event, that these businesses had not supplied anything in the past, and that, on the next occasion, other businesses would benefit.

 Passed by unanimous decision.

Briefing of the Members of the Municipal Council by the Mayor, 26 April 2011

Immediately following the end of the meeting of the Financial Committee, Councillors were briefed by the Mayor on three pressing matters: 1) The repair of the ring road; 2) The Cave; and 3) The dissolution of KETPAA and the transfer of its area of activity and responsibility to the Municipality.

As the briefing was of an informal, unofficial nature, and no minutes kept or binding decisions taken, it would not be appropriate to discuss these issues in detail here. The Mayor announced that he plans to hold a public gathering at the Square within the first weeks of May, where he will be informing residents concerning these and other issues.

The Meeting of the Municipal Council of Antiparos, 8 April 2011

 The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened on Friday, 8 April 2011 at 6pm, in the Kalouda Hall. Mr Damianos Palaiologos, a member of the larger of the two Opposition roups, was the only councillor absent.

 The sole item on the agenda was the following:

 1.  Reformation of the 2011 Budget.

 Prior to discussion and voting in relation to the item above, the Majority group put three other matters to discussion and vote, as urgent matters.

 1. Appointment of Members to a Committee dealing with the objective property values of Antiparos.

 The Tax Department asked that one permanent member and one alternative member be appointed from Antiparos to represent the island on the above committee. The Majority nominated Deputy Mayor Ms Eleni Viazi as the permanent member, and the President (Chair) of the Municipal Council, Mr Konstantinos Faroupos, as the alternative member.   

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 

2. Listing of the self-contained settlements of Antiparos for the Statistical Service.

The Greek National Statistical Service asked that all of the self-contained settlements of Antiparos be listed for statistical purposes. The Majority proposed that the same settlements be listed as in previous years; that is:

– Antiparos

– Ayios Yeorgios

– Despotiko

– Diplo

– Kavouras

– Kambos

– Revmatonissi

– Stroggili

– Soros

– Tsimintiri

– Feira       

 

Passed by unanimous decision.

 

 3. Amendment to Tourist Committee.

 Mayor Yiannis Leventakis announced his resignation from the position of President of the committee, and his resignation from the committee in general, because, as he said, the committee did not develop as he had hoped when he proposed its establishment. He also announced the resignation of two other members of the committee—Ms Chryssoula Tsoukala and Mr Grigoris Marianos (who had also been members nominated by the Majority)—citing more or less the same reason.

 At the same time, Mr Nikos Marianos, head of the larger Opposition group, announced his resignation as well from the same committee, because, as he said, he had been opposed to the shape of this committee from the outset, and also because it had not met his expectations, either.

 The Mayor then asked me if I wished to assume the presidency of this committee, being the head of the third group. I replied that I did not wish to, in the present phase at least, because, as I had stressed from the start, we are already behind in the area of tourism, and consequently what is needed is a serious, dynamic, immediate and coordinated intervention and effort, which can be carried out only through the cooperation of all and under the supervision of the mayor, especially at this stage and considering the current situation. Tourism is the most important sector of the economy of the island, and thus this committee is of the utmost importance. And from the moment that the very mayor himself, and Mr Marianos, and another two members of the committee already wish to resign—basically because the committee is not how they had imagined it and/or it is not functional—then how would it be possible for me to successfully assume the presidency of such a committee? Thus, the committee already appears problematic, and is consequently condemned to failure, being so low in the esteem of so many people—among them the mayor and the head of the Opposition. If all of these people cannot believe in it, then how can I? Summer is near, and there is an exigent need for all of us to help—and the word ‘all’ also includes the heads of the three groups—without exception.

 Following this, the mayor offered the position of President of the committee to other Councillors, but without any positive response. Finally, the item was withdrawn. The Mayor stated that he would meet with Mr Marianos and me so as to further discuss the matter of the committee. 

 A discussion followed concerning the only item on the agenda:

 1.  Reformation of the 2011 Budget. 

 Following the dissolution of KETPAA, its budget had to be integrated into that of the Municipality. A detailed presentation was made of KETPAA’s income forecast for this year (totaling 255,000.00 euros), and projected annual expenditures (totaling 267,334.70 euros), and the Council was informed that the available reserves of KETPAA stand at 35,333.33 euros.   

 Passed by unanimous decision.

 

———————————-

 

2-4-2011

Commentary

Unfortunately, the deficit is just getting larger and larger.

And I’m not referring to the financial deficit here, but to the democratic one.

The so-called ‘Kallikratis’ law, in many instances, leans in favour of the bigger political formations at the expense of the smaller groups, something that all of us are aware of and that few, if any, can deny.

However, from some point on, it is in everyone’s hands to take advantage of whatever margins that law gives us and to transform it, on our own, into something that is—in practice—more just and democratic.

From the very start—and within this time-frame I include the pre-election period as well—all three political formations on the island recognized the pressing and immediate need  for the modernization and democratization of political life on Antiparos, and for the more general upgrading of the everyday lives of Antipariots.

All three groups repeatedly referred to notions like ‘cooperation,’ ‘consent,’ ‘unanimity,’ ‘polyphony,’ ‘respect’ towards fellow citizens and colleagues, ‘respect’ for all opinions—irrespective of whether or not these were different to or clashed with those of each individual—and, in fact, we stated that we were all in favour of the ‘encouragement’ of the free movement of ideas and views. There would be ‘room for everyone’ in this bold undertaking and new beginning, and no one would be ‘unneeded,’ because Antiparos finds itself at a critical juncture in its history and ‘needs’ ‘everyone.’

All of the above, of course, assume a wider, deeper and, above all, more substantial participation of as many residents—and elected councillors—as possible in public affairs and institutions; this is a basic prerequisite on the road towards implementing these ideas and ideals, towards their conversion from the theoretical level to the practical one.

In the ‘conceiving of ideas department’ we were good. However, somewhere along the line, in practice, in the phase of implementation, execution and realisation, we have not done something right.

The first big ‘test’ putting all of this theory into practice arrived, as we all know by now, in the form of the election of the members of the (highly important) Financial Committee. Our group was left out of this Committee, and instead of receiving a permanent seat, even as just a goodwill gesture, the party led by Mr Marianos decided to cede to us one of the two alternative member seats.

A general outcry ensued, with the members of Menoume Antiparo, the party led by Mayor Leventakis and many members of the local media criticising the decision taken by Mr Marianos, who, in turn, attempted to justify his decision by saying that Menoume Antiparo had not wanted to collaborate with his group in the run-up to the elections, so why should his party want to cooperate with Menoume Antiparo now?

Even though all of us, with no exception, partially laid the blame for this on the ‘unfair’ and ‘undemocratic’ provisions of the ‘Kallikratis’ law, our personal choices played a determining role—it was clearly evident that some were being guided by self-interest and other narrow political aims.

A ray of hope did exist, however, through the ‘more democratic’ stance maintained by the new Municipal leadership. The latter nominated members of Menoume Antiparo (citizens) as candidates for seats on other committees—such as the school committee—as well as on other councils, such as that of KETPAA (the now defunct Community tourism and development enterprise). On the Municipal Council, through their vote, the members of the Majority supported my candidacy for a permanent seat on Paros and Antiparos Port Fund (though I failed to get it, being elected an alternative member instead).

However, the positive atmosphere quickly dissipated, as soon as our group started posing more questions, seeking clarifications, submitting petitions related to important issues, asking that these be discussed at meetings of the Municipal Council. To date, these issues have not been placed as items on the agenda, and it is unknown if and when they will be officially discussed.

At the same time, the verbal attacks, eruptions, insults and populist remarks aimed at me in public at the Municipal Council meetings began to intensify even more and to become ever more personal, launched by the mayor himself, unfortunately, whenever I posed a question or sought information or a clarification.

I believe that it goes without saying that any given elected representative of all of the residents of our island is obliged to show courteous and polite behaviour towards everyone, to act in a manner that is in keeping with his or her position.

The negative developments have since continued, with the high (or low) point being my non-invitation to a meeting of the Financial Committee held on 30 March. It turns out that it had been officially decided on 24 March that the meeting would take place on the 30th. It was not an emergency meeting, and, consequently, the local authority was required to post the invitation three days prior to the meeting, which it failed to do.

I will not dwell on that, though, on what the ‘Kallikratis’ law says regarding invitations and postings. Instead, I will focus on the fact that I attended the two previous meetings of the aforementioned Committee—and got a first-hand view of the important matters that the Committee dealt with, and, in fact, ended up voting on these because at both meetings a permanent member from Mr Marianos’ group was absent and I thus acted as their replacement.

Following my non-election to the Financial Committee, at that same Council meeting during which the members of that Committee were elected, I publicly asked for the mayor’s pledge, and that of the Council, that I would have the right to attend all meetings of the Financial Committee, even if these were ever to take place behind closed doors. I received that pledge.

In addition, I submitted a petition to the Municipality, dated 12-01-2011 and bearing Reg. No. 93, in which, among other things, I asked to receive invitations to the meetings of the Financial Committee. As I still have yet to receive a reply concerning my petition (almost three months later), I consider my request as having been accepted. I did receive invitations to the first two meetings of that Committee.

The most important and serious thing of all, however, is that my non-invitation to the Wednesday meeting constitutes a very serious blow to the democratic institutions of the island.

I am not only a municipal councillor; I am the head of a group that was elected and is represented on the local council. I am the representative of 114 voters, of 13% of the total number; I am their voice. The act of not inviting me, of all residents not being informed about an upcoming public meeting, of all of us not gaining first-hand information about whatever decisions are taken, all lead to an undermining of the democratic process and to a breach of fundamental rights, such as those of participation in public affairs, free expression, the right to becoming informed and that of having access to information.

Consequently, it is not enough—and after all of this, we no longer have the right—to talk about ‘cooperation,’ ‘consent,’ ‘unanimity,’ ‘polyphony,’ ‘respect’ towards fellow citizens and colleagues, ‘respect’ for all views, all notions we referred to above.

Everything—and everyone—is judged in practice, and only in practice.

We, for our part, have been trying all along to be faithful to our ideals, our beliefs, to be true towards all of the residents of the island, and not just towards our supporters and voters, and to implement all of these ideas in practice.

A very recent example illustrating our intentions is one that occurred on Saturday, 26 March, when immediately prior to the opening of the first meeting of the new Tourism Committee, the Mayor informed Mr Marianos and me that Paros’ Mayor Vlachoyiannis had asked him the previous day to inform the heads of the other groups on Antiparos that they would be able to address the crowd, if they so wished, at the protest rally scheduled to take place outside the Paros Health Centre that coming Sunday.

Immediately, and not because of any personal or political aims, I ignored the opportunity for self-promotion and for the projection of our group that such an invitation afforded, and instead proposed to Mayor Leventakis that only he speak at the rally, as the representative of all Antipariots owing to the office he holds. In this way, I stressed, all would see that we are united concerning such a crucial issue as is public health. I added that the only thing I would ask of him would be to mention, in his address, that we are all united and that he is speaking on behalf of all Antipariots, on behalf of all of the groups and their leaders, and also that he refer specifically to the problems that the island is facing in the health sector. Mr Marianos agreed with my proposal, and so did the Mayor. Unfortunately, in his speech the following day, the Mayor did not refer to any of the above, as he had agreed he would.

I make mention of the above as it is a small, recent indication of our earnest and substantial will to cooperate, something that could only be to the benefit of the island and its residents.

Unfortunately, instead of our drive to put theory into practice being properly evaluated and viewed positively, some are making increasingly intensive attempts to shut us out of things and, by doing so, to ‘gag’ us.

The Mayor and all of us, without exception, are obliged to attempt to comprehend, accept and protect the institutional role of every elected group and the members that comprise it.

The Opposition is a necessary element in all democratic systems around the world. For each action there must be a reaction, or at least the right, in practice, for a reaction to exist.

The electors recently decided that we would assume this role of Opposition, along with Mr Marianos’ group, and we have the obligation to represent our voters, and all Antipariots, as best as possible. Within this framework, well-intentioned criticism is beneficial and necessary if the entire system is to function correctly, and must—in practice—be encouraged, as a means of improvement, and not be punished, unjustly.

Thus, the picture being observed during the last while, in particular, can only be deemed as being very disappointing.

I was not invited to the meeting of the Financial Committee last Wednesday.

Looking at it with the best of intentions, we assume that it was an administrative oversight.

But did no one at the meeting wonder where I was (having attended the two previous meetings)? Whether I had been informed about the meeting? Why was there not at least one, single member of Menoume Antiparo at the meeting?

Let’s assume that they forgot to post the announcement on a wall in full public view, as they are required. Let’s assume that it was owing to an oversight that I was not invited. Let’s assume that no one wondered, during the course of the meeting, whether I and members of our group had been informed. But what about afterwards?

Yesterday (Thursday) we at Menoume Antiparo sent out a press release. It is certain that all interested parties now know our views concerning what happened (or didn’t). Despite this, up to the time of the writing of this commentary—that is, more than two days after the meeting—no one has telephoned me or contacted me to say that my non-invitation had been an oversight, that it had not been intentional, that it will not be repeated, that they truly seek the participation of all and hold all in esteem.

Many assumptions. No official answer.

The only sure thing is that when we do not do as we say, then the democratic deficit cannot but deepen.

—————————————————————————————


The Meeting of the Municipal Council of Antiparos – 17 March 2011

 

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened on Thursday 17 March 2011 at 19.00, in the Kalouda Hall, one hour after its scheduled starting time, owing to a power outage on Antiparos and Paros.

The items on the agenda were the following:

  1. a) Dissolution of KETPAA (the Community Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos), in accordance with the 2552/10-03-2011 decision of the General Secretary of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean.
    b) Appointment of liquidators.
  2. Formation and establishment of a charitable municipal enterprise with the name of ‘Charitable Municipal Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos’.
  3. Transfer of KETPAA personnel to the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with the provisions of Article 111 Paragraph 2 of Law 3852/2010 and Article 269 of Law 3463/2006.
  4. Formation of a municipal Committee for the tourism development and promotion of the municipality.
  5. Freezing of applications for connection to the water supply.
  6. Completion of Phase A of the Inventory, in accordance with the No. 74445/29-12-2010 Decision of the Ministry of the Interior.
  7. Naming of representative and replacement responsible for dealing with incidences of pollution caused by oil and other harmful substances.
  8. Petition by the Hunting Club of Paros and Antiparos.
  9. Petition by the National Bank.
  10. Petition by the Sailing Club for the ceding of the use of land.
  11. Approval of travel expenses of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and President of the Municipal Council.
  12. Approval of travel expenses of the Technical Service employee.

I had requested, acting on behalf of the members of Menoume Antiparo, through a Petition I lodged with the Municipality (with Reg. no. 589/25-02-2011), that two items be included in the next meeting of the Council: 1) the sewage collection vehicle; and, 2) the roof of the Primary School. Unfortunately, the two items above were not included on the agenda of the next meeting that followed. We hope to see them among the items on the agenda of the next Council meeting.

At the start of the session, Mayor Yiannis Leventakis took a few moments to concisely inform the Members of the Municipal Council and the citizens in attendance regarding the first meeting of the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos, which had been held the previous afternoon in Paros. He expressed his satisfaction concerning the fine cooperation the members from Antiparos had shown on issues of concern to the island. He mentioned that a sum had been secured, upon his initiative, in the Technical Programme of the Port Fund, for a study for the future installations of the Sailing Club of Antiparos in the area of Galantaries, near Psaralyki. I also attended the aforementioned meeting, as an alternate member, but left before it was adjourned so as to go to the Paros City Hall to attend the scheduled briefing by Paros Mayor Christos Vlachoyiannis on the initiative to address the problems of the Health Centre.

The first three items of the session of the Municipal Council of Antiparos were directly linked to one another.

The first of these was divided into two parts: a) Dissolution of KETPAA (the Community Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos), in accordance with the 2552/10-03-2011 Decision of the General Secretary of the Decentralised Administration of the Aegean; and, b) Appointment of liquidators.

The previous Local Authority, despite many notifications and deadline extensions, did not proceed with necessary adjustments to KETPAA by 31 December 2010, the result being that this entity was dissolved de jure and the new Administration now needs to proceed with its re-establishment as a charitable Municipal enterprise—a procedure that will require both time and money.

I underscored the issue of the accountability of the previous Administration, arguing that it might be advisable to look into whether there is any responsibility stemming from its inaction, and asked that any resultant blame be placed on members of that Administration; otherwise, the ‘writing-off’ of any responsibility of the former leadership by the present Local Authority creates a ‘precedent’ for future Administrations.

In essence, however, the issue was a mere formality, as the Members of the Council were only being called upon to accept the aforementioned Decision related to the dissolution of KETPAA.

The decision was unanimous.

As for the second part, Paros-based accountants Messrs Dimitris Aliprantis and Dimitris Sariskostas were appointed liquidators, on the proposal of the Majority. I expressed the view that it would be sound in future to issue announcements calling for interest, for there to be objective criteria in force in such cases, instead of the Authority simply placing a proposal before the Members of the Council containing their final selection, without the above procedure having previously been followed.

The decision was unanimous.

The second item was the formation and establishment of a charitable municipal enterprise with the name of ‘Charitable Municipal Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos’, about which the Council Members were simply being called upon to decide whether it is to be created in the near future.

The decision was unanimous.

The third item was related to the Transfer of KETPAA personnel to the Municipality of Antiparos, in accordance with the provisions of Article 111 Paragraph 2 of Law 3852/2010 and Article 269 of Law 3463/2006.

The decision was unanimous.

As for the fourth item, in view of the dissolution of KETPAA, the formation of a Municipal committee for tourism development and promotion was deemed necessary, as provided for by Article 70 of Law 3852/2010 (‘Kallikratis’). The Municipal Authority proposed an 11-member Committee, while Mr Marianos, of the larger Opposition group, repeated his team’s proposal for the Committee to have a ‘more flexible shape’, as he stressed, composed of seven members. Discussion ensued between the members of the Municipal Council, with citizens also participating. Menoume Antiparo agreed more with the proposal put forth by the Majority, as it also provided for the participation of representatives of several tourism sectors (but knowing full well that it would be impossible for any Committee to include representatives from all relevant sectors), provided that the Committee be ‘open’ and ‘accessible’ to all interested parties.

The Committee is to be comprised of the following individuals:

In accordance with the decision, five of the 11 members of the Committee come from the Members of the Municipal Council: Appointed by the Majority: 1) Mayor Leventakis (also head of the Committee), 2) Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi, and 3) Mr Yiorgos Marianos. Appointed by the Major Opposition group: 4) Mr Nikos Marianos. Appointed by the Minor Opposition group (Menoume Antiparo): 5) Panayotis Sfalagakos. The six remaining members are merchants and professionals, and are appointed by the Majority: 6) Mr Grigoris Marianos (supermarket owner, from the Merchants and Professionals Association of Paros and Antiparos), 7) Mr Markos Triantaphyllou (from the cafe / dining sector), 8) Ms Magda Kritsantoni, 9) Mr Derek Arber (both from the accommodation sector), 10) clothes shop owner Ms  Chryssoula Tsoukala, 11) jewellery shop owner / engineer Mr Kostas Grispos (both from ‘other’ tourist businesses).

The decision was not unanimous: The seven members of the majority and I voted in favour, while the four members of the other Opposition group voted against.

The fifth item concerned the freezing of applications for connection to the water supply. The Municipal Authority asked that there be a temporary freeze until the new water supply authority be organized and prepared. It estimates that the freeze will have to remain in effect for a couple of months approximately, and that repairs would naturally be carried out as usual.

The decision was unanimous.

The sixth item was the completion of Phase A of the Inventory, in accordance with the No. 74445/29-12-2010 Decision of the Ministry of the Interior. This was, in essence, a financial report which came to confirm all that had been stated from the early days of the new administration concerning the financial state inherited from the previous Authority; namely, that of the approximately 800,000 euros which appeared to form the balance, because of unpaid debts the net balance now stands at approximately 300,000 euros (it is likely that this sum will be further reduced by payment demands for past debts, now unknown).

The decision was unanimous.

The seventh item was the naming of a representative and a replacement responsible for dealing with incidences of pollution caused by oil and other harmful substances, as requested by the Paros Port Authority. Councillor Yiorgos Marianos of the Majority was appointed representative, with Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi as his replacement.

The decision was unanimous.

The eighth item was a petition by the Hunting Club of Paros and Antiparos. The Club asked that it be granted the right to use a Municipal land area of 150-200 square metres in order to construct a fenced-in area for partridges. The Municipal Authority proposed a piece of land at Kastrovouni, next to the old quarry, for a three-year period initially, and the Club would be responsible for acquiring all of the related permits, etc. I took the opportunity to make reference to the need for other issues to be discussed soon with members of the Club, such as the start of hunting season—which opens on 20 August when there are still a lot of tourists around—the need for the number of hunting dogs to be counted and recorded when arriving on and departing from the island, etc.

The decision was unanimous.

The ninth item was a petition by the National Bank, which sought to receive approval to install, in the main street outside its premises, special Π-shaped barriers in order to secure two car parking spaces. All of the members of the Municipal Council were of the opinion that their petition had to be rejected, given that the main street is a pedestrian road according to by-laws, and thus is closed to vehicle traffic, with the exception of a few hours in the morning so that shops may receive deliveries.

The decision was unanimous.

The tenth item was a petition by the Sailing Club for the ceding of the use of land, for new installations in the future. The Mayor had earlier reported on the developments at the meeting of the Port Fund concerning the issue of the Club and its future relocation to the area of Galantaries. The Municipality will be ceding the use of land, will be helping the Club as much as possible, but it is the Club that will be the main party responsible for getting permits issued, erecting the building needed, etc. The Municipality will be retaining the deed of ownership of the land to be used.

The decision was unanimous.

The eleventh item was the Approval of travel expenses of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and President of the Municipal Council.

The decision was unanimous.

Finally, the twelfth item was the approval of short leave and travel expenses of the Technical Service employee, who attended a special seminar concerning renewable sources of energy.

The decision was unanimous.

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MunicipalityofAntiparosExtraordinary CouncilMeeting of 28 February 2011

 

 

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened in an extraordinary session on Monday 28 February 2011 at 7pm, in the Kalouda Hall. Mr Yiorgos Marianos of the Majority group was absent.

The sole item on the agenda was the following:

1.  The programming of personnel employment hirings, both on fixed-term contracts subject to private law and on self-employed contracted work contracts.

At the 6 January 2011 session, the members of the council had unanimously passed a decision to indefinitely extend the validity of the existing Internal Operations Programme, which had been in effect up to then, until a new Internal Operations Programme is drafted for the new Municipality and implemented.

Consequently, the new Local Authority decided to propose that approximately the same seasonal employment posts as in previous years be submitted before the competent authority for approval.

The fixed-term-contract positions that it proposed were the following:

1. One position for an Administrative/Financial Officer, educated to school of technology or college completion level (for administrative support);

2. Three positions for Refuse Collection / Cleaning Employees, educated to mandatory school completion level;

3. One position for a Refuse Collection Vehicle Driver, educated to secondary school completion level;

4. One position for a Plumbing Employee (Plumber), educated to mandatory school completion level; and,

5. One position for a Lifeguard

In addition, the Municipal authority proposed the following fixed-term positions, to be filled by self-employed individuals / contractors:

1. One position for an Electrician, educated to secondary school completion level;

2. One position for a Plumber, educated to secondary school completion level; and,

3. One position for a Water Meter Reader, educated to secondary school completion level.

All of the above positions are on an eight-month contract, with the exception of that of Lifeguard, which is on a two-month contract, as every year.

Passed unanimously.

An unofficial discussion followed between the mayor, the councillors and the citizens in attendance, concerning the state of the Ring Road. It was decided that a special session of the Municipal Council would be held in the near future, one specially dedicated to this subject, in order to determine the next steps that the municipality will be taking and also to pass an official decision concerning the matter.

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MunicipalityofAntiparosCouncilMeeting of 11February 2011

17/2/2011

 

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened on Friday 11 February 2011 at 5.00pm, in the Kalouda Hall. The session lasted almost four hours. All council members were present, with the exception of Mr Antonis Patelis, a member of the larger opposition group.

The issues on the agenda were the following:

1. The appointment of a representative to the Single Professional Employment Centre of the Cyclades Prefecture (EKEK; increase in share capital)

2. The demarcation of the boundaries of the open-air market at the port of Antiparos

3. The appointment of a representative to the Consultation Committee of the Paros Port Authority

4. The correct re-appointment of representatives to the Paros and Antiparos Port Fund

5. The appointment of a lawyer for the case brought to court by the firm BCC-Athenian Publications Agency S.A., scheduled for 4 March 2011.

6. The leasing of pasture land – the setting of a starting price per stremma (1000 sq. m.)

7. The taking of a decision concerning the execution of projects and studies by the Municipality of Antiparos

8. Water management:

a) a presentation of current situation

b) forward planning

9. The discussion of a request by residents calling for free access to the coastline lying between the locations of Yalantaries and Psaralyki

At the start of the session and prior to the opening of the discussion of the items on the agenda, Mayor Yiannis Leventakis announced the creation of the Social Welfare Committee, to be composed of three members: The Reverend Father Dimitris; Dr Sotiris Skourtis, one of the two public doctors on the island (and a member of our group); and, Ms Litsa Viazi, a municipal council member from the ranks of the Majority.

Following this, I asked for the floor and was granted the opportunity to speak. I asked of the mayor to clarify some issues by responding to some specific questions I wished to pose. A negative reaction to this ensued, mainly on the part of Mr Kostas Faroupos, the President (Chairman) of the Municipal Council, who cited the great number of issues to be discussed as a reason for such an update not to take place. Mr Faroupos argued that these issues did not concern the people in the audience, and instead proposed that I pose these questions to the mayor in person, in a private meeting. My response to this was that: 1) I believed that the reason that people had come to this council meeting was because they wished to become informed about local issues–hence, the questions posed and the answers provided by the mayor really did concern them; and, 2) At the previous Council meeting the Council had accepted that questions be posed by the head of the major opposition group, Mr Nikos Marianos, as pre-agenda items, and subsequently a 45-minute update had taken place. I argued that Menoume Antiparo, too, had the same right to ask questions and receive answers and updates, and added that, because I was fully aware of the ‘problem’ of time, I would try to be as brief as possible, and would not expect detailed answers to my questions. The mayor agreed, despite the continuing negative reactions on the part of the President of the Municipal Council.

My questions were the following:

1. Disinsectisation. When will it be taking place?

The mayor’s answer was that they are aware of the problem, but the budget has yet to be approved, and until it is approved the municipal authority cannot carry out disinsectisation of the main town.

2. With reference to the interview that the mayor granted to the Paros weekly newspaper Η Φωνή της Πάρου (the voice of Paros) published on 4 February, I asked the following questions (prior to posing the questions, I asked the mayor and he confirmed that the interview had been published accurately by the newspaper):

a) In the interview, the mayor stated that ‘we will be resuming the study on Psaralyki, which had stopped owing to a disagreement between the Community and the researcher [carrying out the study].’ I asked what study he was referring to, and the mayor and Mr Haris Tsolakis, the head of the municipal technical services, replied that it was a study related to the environmental ‘restoration’ of Psaralyki.

b) My second question stemming from the interview concerned the statement by the mayor that ‘Coin-operated toilets and showers will be placed on all beaches and in the port area.’ I posed this question simply because until now no discussion had taken place within the Council or elsewhere about coin-operated facilities being installed in these areas. The mayor responded that this proposal—as all proposals—will come before the Council for discussion and will be voted upon in due course.

c) In the interview, the mayor was asked: ‘What do you plan to do concerning the employees working in cleaning services, whose contracts have expired?’ and he had replied: ‘The two employees we have are working as volunteers at present. They will be re-hired when calls for applications for the vacant positions are announced.’ My question concerned the word ‘re-hired,’ which implies that they have already been hired and will be re-hired when the vacancies are announced. In response to this question, the mayor stated that everything has been done in a fully legal manner, and that all hirings will also be carried out likewise.

3) After the discussion concerning what had been stated in the interview had come to an end, I asked whether some kind of ‘plan’ was being devised for tourism—the most important sector of the local economy—, if anything had been done with the Municipal website, and whether anything would be done with the many commercial billboards lining the roads of the island, as we had discussed at various meetings in the past. The mayor replied that as long as we do not have an approved budget, there is very little that we can do.

Unfortunately, owing to the negative remarks that had preceded, made by the President of the Council concerning the posing of clarification- and information-seeking questions prior to the discussion of the items on the agenda, and being fully aware that there were many items to be discussed that day, I was obliged to limit my comments and follow-up questions, and did not have the opportunity to widen the discussion. However, when these matters do come before Council as proper items to be discussed and voted upon, I will attempt to ensure that a more detailed and more substantial discussion take place around these issues, which are of great importance to the island and its people.

Still in the pre-agenda phase of the meeting, an update was provided—mainly by Mr Tsolakis—concerning the poor condition of the ring road and its repair. Mr Tsolakis informed us that there is a type of guarantee covering public projects, which remains in effect for over a year after a project is handed over to a public authority. I immediately understood that it now appeared that the work had been paid for—contrary to what had been stated to date, and I posed a question to clarify this. The reply I was given revealed that this particular repaving project (at the time in an acceptable state) had officially been handed over to the local authority, and that the contractor had indeed been paid (the head of the Municipal Financial Service, Ms Kyriaki Faroupou, was present at the meeting and confirmed this) the 120,000 euros in December 2010. Hence, unfortunately, the statement made by the mayor during just the previous Council meeting to the effect that ‘we’ve got the contractor’ since we have the 120,000 we owe the contractor, is simply not the case. It seems that ‘we’ve got the contractor’ only through the guarantee sum we have retained to ensure that the work is of a standard quality—and this is undoubtedly a weaker position. This raises the following question: The new local leadership proceeded to draw up a Technical Programme, and a Budget. Did it not perceive that this sum had been paid? It seems it did not, as up to and including the Council meeting of 29 January it continued to maintain that the contractor had not been paid and it was on the basis of this that ‘we’ve got the contractor’. And, had I not now posed that question asking for clarification, would we still be under the impression that the contractor would definitely be coming to repair the road in order to be paid.

In addition, it should be noted that owing to the insistence on the part of Mr N. Marianos, Mr Tsolakis and the new leadership admitted that the sum withheld as a guarantee (which remains in the hands of the City) concerning this same project is indeed just over 13,000 euros, and not 30,000, as the Majority had maintained until now. So on this count, as well, the City’s position opposite the contractor has been significantly weakened.

I leave it up to the individual reader to draw any conclusions…

On the previous day, the Financial Committee had convened to discuss four items, which were then sent to the Council meeting of 11 February for discussion and approval.

I had attended the meeting of the Financial Committee, and since one of the Minority’s permanent members (Mr Patelis) had been unable to attend, being first on the list of Minority alternate members I was given the opportunity to vote in his place at this meeting.

One of the items that the Financial Committee had discussed and passed the previous day was the assignment to the organization ΕΛΚΕΔΕ (a certified public company that is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Development) of two water-related studies—the first being a chemical and laboratory analysis of the quality of the domestic water supply (a study priced at 4,800 euros + VAT), and the second being a study offering proposals on how the quality of this water can be improved through treatment, etc (1,700 euros + VAT). Two local scientists, who are also members of Menoume Antiparo and have concerned themselves much in the past regarding public health issues and possess specialist knowledge concerning water supplies—Dr Skourtis and our Pharmacist / Chemist Mr Spyros Tsibidis—asked for the floor to underscore the importance of looking into the possibility of samples being taken and analysed by reliable state labs for free; that more than one sample must be taking so as to confirm findings; and, that care must be taken so that everything be included in the analysis that poses a threat to public health (e.g. heavy metals). In the end, the item was passed as had originally been approved by the Financial Committee, though reassurances were provided by the mayor that all necessary tests and analyses would be conducted, and, if necessary, further detailed analyses would be carried out.

Passed unanimously.

Also on the previous day, the 2011 ΚΕΤΠΑΑ (Community Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos) budget had been passed at a meeting of the ΚΕΤΠΑΑ board of directors. This budget was also placed among the emergency items to be discussed and decided upon prior to the regular items on the agenda, in order that it be approved by the Municipal Council.

However, Opposition leader Mr N. Marianos stated that he had an objection to a vote being taken on this subject, because he had not seen the ΚΕΤΠΑΑ budget, had not been informed of it, despite the fact that the representative of his group on the ΚΕΤΠΑΑ Council had attended the Board meeting of the previous day and had voted in favour of the budget. Consequently, owing to the objections of Mr N. Marianos, in the end it was decided that the matter would not go to a vote, in order that Mr. N. Marianos have the opportunity and the time to examine the budget. It was decided that the issue would be placed as a regular item on the agenda of a future meeting of the Municipal Council.

Finally, Majority Council member Mr Yiorgos Marianos was nominated as the permanent representative for Antiparos on a special committee (responsible for coastal installations, etc) of the Paros Port Authority, with Mr Panagiotis Faroupos (also of the Majority) nominated as alternate member. Both nominations were approved.

Passed unanimously.

Following this final preliminary matter, a discussion on the nine regular agenda items took place, along with voting concerning these items.

A request was made by President K. Faroupos that the ninth and final item on the agenda be examined first, because individuals had travelled to Antiparos from other places especially for this item, and if it remained ninth on the list these people would have to stay until the end of the session. The motion was approved by the members of the Council.

Thus:

9. The discussion of a request by residents calling for free access to the coastline lying between the locations of Yalantaries and Psaralyki

This item arose owing to the official ‘concern’ expressed by a number of residents concerning the closing of nearby beaches by private individuals (property holders), and when brought before the Council led to a discussion of this issue in a wider context. All three groups had also expressed their concern about this negative (and illegal) practice during the pre-election period, and had pledged that they would attempt to resolve this issue following the elections.

At this Council meeting, I tried to integrate this issue into the wider framework of tourism, and argued again in favour of the opening up of all beaches—but this must take place without exception, whether the property holder is an Antipariot, an Athenian, a Greek, a non-Greek—in all cases. We propose that the law apply and be enforced across the board, that all beaches be open to all, for the benefit of all.

It was decided by the Council that the particular area be examined and compared with older charts, maps and other relevant documents, in order that it be ascertained whether the particular beach has been closed off.

Passed unanimously.

Our group is committed to pressing for this to take place around the entire coastline of the island, wherever there is a possibility that beaches have been closed by private individuals and property holders.

The other items:

1. The appointment of a representative to the Single Professional Employment Centre of the Cyclades Prefecture (EKEK; increase in share capital)

The Municipality of Antiparos holds 0.58% of the capital of this company, a percentage that corresponds to 20 shares at 100 euros apiece. The previous (and last) Community Council had passed a decision to participate in the increase of share capital, to the amount of 740.77 euros, which now must be paid. The issue at today’s meeting was that a Municipal representative to this company had to be appointed.

The Majority nominated Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi for this position, and her candidacy was approved.

Passed unanimously.

2. The demarcation of the boundaries of the open-air market at the port of Antiparos

The official document sent by the Municipal Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos requested that our Municipality make known to it ‘how many Open-Air Market positions and at which points in the port area’ the Municipality had decided it needed in the port area of Antiparos for 2011. The mayor reiterated the intention of the new leadership to issue permits to local producers and fishermen, and not to allow street merchants from other areas to carry out financial transactions on the island. It was decided that the Municipality would ask for the same number of positions and the same locations as in 2010, and, if need be, this decision be amended in future.

Passed unanimously.

3. The appointment of a representative to the Consultation Committee of the Paros Port Authority

The aforementioned committee deals with the salvaging, removal, etc of shipwrecks or ships. The Majority nominated Mr Yiorgos Marianos as permanent member from Antiparos on this committee, and Mr Paraskevas Kouvaras as alternate member. The Council agreed.

Passed unanimously.

4. The correct re-appointment of representatives to the Paros and Antiparos Port Fund

The voting session was repeated, because at the previous Council meeting a procedural error had been made by the local leadership concerning the election of a member to this Fund from the Minority. In accordance with the correct procedure, which is the same as that which governed the election of the Financial and other committees, the candidates had to first be announced within the Minority groups, and then take part in ‘run-off’ elections within the Minority as a whole; the winner would then be nominated by the Minority, and approval for the winning Minority candidate from the entire Council would be sought. Mr N. Marianos nominated himself as his group’s candidate, while I nominated myself as ours. Mr Marianos then advanced on a tally of three votes to one (their fourth member, Mr Patelis, was absent). In the final all-Council vote, all eight members of the Majority abstained, the three members of Mr Marianos’ group voted in his favour, and I voted against Mr Marianos, as an indication of my support for my own candidacy and of the right Menoume Antiparo and our voters have to be represented in as many committees as possible.

As a result, the procedure came to an impasse, since, without the vote of Mr Patelis, Mr Marianos’ candidacy could not muster the required 1/3 of the votes of members present.

If I chose to insist on my candidacy, the matter would be postponed, and an extraordinary session of the Council would have to be held the following week, especially for this matter, so that a new voting round take place. As it is not our team’s intention or purpose to place Antiparos in a difficult and compromising position opposite the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos by further delaying the representation of our island on that board, nor our desire to force the Council to convene in an extraordinary session (with the result of the vote being a given), in the end I decided to withdraw my candidacy and vote in favour of Mr Marianos, as a indication of our team’s good will and our true commitment to working together with all groups—without exception—on the Municipal Council. Thus, Mr Marianos’ candidacy as Minority representative on the Port Fund board was approved; and he, in turn, elected to nominate me as Minority alternate member.

5. The appointment of a lawyer for the case brought to court by the firm BCC-Athenian Publications Agency S.A., scheduled for 4 March 2011.

The previous day, at the meeting of the Financial Committee, the appointment of Paros lawyer Mr Spyros Lavdas as legal representative of the Municipality of Antiparos at the hearing of the abovementioned court case was unanimously approved. According to the case documents, the then Community of Antiparos owed the sum of 705.25 euros to BCC since 2006. The Majority insisted on the appointment of Mr Lavdas because, as it claimed: 1) All lawyers charge the same fee to appear in such cases; and, 2) The court case will be heard in Syros, thus a representative will have to go to Syros, whatever happens.

At the Council meeting, the Majority was asked to clarify whether the case is to be heard in Syros or in Athens. It was confirmed that it would be taking place on Syros.

Our group believes that whenever court cases arise in Athens, and wherever possible, an Antipariot professional should be sought to undertake the case if s/he is available and willing.

It was proposed by a member of the audience at the Council meeting that Mr Nektarios Faroupos, a lawyer and member of Menoume Antiparo, be proposed as a lawyer for City cases; naturally, I purposely had not put forth his name, deeming it a conflict of interest on my part to propose a member of our group as a candidate for any paid position or collaboration with the local authority. It is up to the other groups in the Council, if they like, to take the initiative to suggest that his services be sought for local authority legal matters.

Passed unanimously.

6. The leasing of pasture land – the setting of a starting price per stremma (1000 sq. m.)

Although this issue had been unanimously passed by the members of the Financial Committee just the day before and it had been decided that public pasture lands would be leased through public auction at a starting price of 20 euros per stremma, there was a motion that the item be removed from the agenda, following a request by Mr N. Marianos.

Passed unanimously.

7. The taking of a decision concerning the execution of projects and studies by the Municipality of Antiparos

The Regional Directorate of Technical Projects is responsible for carrying out projects and studies for municipalities with populations of less than 4,000 residents that are located within the Region, provided that an application be submitted by the municipality concerned to the Regional authority, following a decision taken by the relevant Municipal Council to apply to the Regional authority.

Passed unanimously.

8. Water management:

a) a presentation of current situation

b) forward planning

The current situation was presented through financial data and photographs showing the infrastructure as it stands at present. A future plan of action was then presented concerning water management, in light of the upcoming tourist season. It was decided that all necessary repairs be made to the water supply network, in this first phase.

Passed unanimously.

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Municipality of Antiparos Council to Meet on 11 February 2011

It was announced on Wednesday, 9 February that the Municipal Council of Antiparos will be convening on Friday, 11 February 2011 at 17.30, in the Kalouda Hall.

The issues on the agenda are the following:

1. The appointment of a representative to the Single Professional Employment Centre of the Cyclades Prefecture (EKEK; increase in share capital)

2. The demarcation of the boundaries of the open-air market at the port of Antiparos

3. The appointment of a representative to the Consultation Committee of the Paros Port Authority

4. The correct re-appointment of representatives to the Paros and Antiparos Port Fund

5. The appointment of a lawyer for the case brought to court by the firm BCC-Athenian Publications Agency S.A., scheduled for 4 March 2011.

6. The leasing of pasture land – the setting of a starting price per stremma (1000 sq. m.)

7. The taking of a decision concerning the execution of projects and studies by the Municipality of Antiparos

8. Water management:

a) a presentation of current situation

b) forward planning

9. The discussion of a request by residents calling for free access to the coastline lying between the locations of Yalantaries and Psaralyki

It was also announced on Wednesday, 9 February that the Financial Committee would also be meeting, on Thursday, 10 February at 13.00 at the City Hall.

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2-2-11

MunicipalityofAntiparosCouncilMeeting of 29 January 2011

 

 

The Municipal Council of Antiparos convened on Saturday 29 January 2011 at 10.30am, in the Kalouda Hall.

The issues on the agenda were the following:

1. The re-establishment of the Community Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos (K.E.T.P.A.A.) as the “Municipal Public Benefit Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos”.

2. The appointment of a temporary board of directors for the Municipal Public Benefit Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos.

3. The appointment of members to the committees responsible for accepting projects that have been completed and also for procurements.

4. The appointment of members to the committee responsible for drawing up the annual Register of Male Citizens.

5.a] The appointment of members to the Primary School Education Committee.

b] The appointment of members to the Secondary School Education Committee.

6. The acceptance of the transfer of employee Aikaterini Faroupou (secondary school graduate level), who is employed as a permanent cleaner of school units, from the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion to the Municipality of Antiparos, based on the Reg. No. 6106/25-11-2010 ministerial decision.

7. The re-naming of Community Employees as Municipal Employees, in accordance with Law 3852/2010.

8. The appointment of representatives to the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos.

9. The taking of a decision concerning the announcement of one employment position (technological / college level education) for the handling of citizen affairs at the KEP (Citizens’ Service Bureau) and the approval of the Municipal Council concerning the appointment procedure, in accordance with the No. 28646/01-10-2010 document of approval issued by the Region of the South Aegean.

10. The appointment of a representative to the Waste Disposal Site (of Paros).

11. The travel expenses of the Mayor and his Advisor.

At the beginning of the session, the head of the major minority group, Mr Nikos Marianos, asked that four items be accepted on the agenda as emergency items, that they be discussed and decisions be taken concerning these prior to the start of the discussion on the set items. In the end, it was agreed that they not officially be placed as items, and also that they not be recorded in the minutes, but instead that Mr Marianos and the other members of the council and public be informed on the issues to be discussed. These were the four main questions raised by Mr Marianos:

1. There has been talk, according to Mr Marianos, that fuel supplies have been procured from one fuel station, and that some “little procurements” on the part of the Municipality have been made from specific retail businesses. Is a specific procurements procedure being followed for everything that the Municipality is purchasing at the moment?

The response of Mayor Yiannis Leventakis was that an issue has already come to the fore because fuel companies are asking petrol stations to immediately settle all accounts in cash. If this results in the petrol stations asking to be paid immediately by the Municipality in cash, then a problem will arise, because there is a complicated procedure for Municipal payments. The mayor said that just for now, to serve the immediate needs of the Municipality, the Municipality has procured fuel from one of the stations—but this in no way means that the Municipality will not be procuring fuel from the other station. He added that this may indeed have already taken place—he has not seen the relevant invoices yet. Mr Marianos then proposed that the Municipality procure fuel from the one station the one month, from the other the next. As for paint supplies and other expendables, the mayor replied that he has already informed Municipal employees that he would like for them to draw up a list of the items they will be needing through this summer and present it to him, so that offers be submitted from interested businesses. Mr Marianos congratulated the new leadership concerning the attempts that many councillors have made to date aimed at creating a cleaner municipality. The mayor reassured those present that there will be no “monopolies” as far as procurements are concerned.

2. Mr Marianos asked if there were some employees working at present without contracts—something that would very likely create many “problems” for the Municipality in the future.

he mayor answered that all of the legal procedures are being followed, just as before. However, in order to cover the gap until the budget is approved (at the regional level) and until all of the necessary legal actions take place that will allow the appointment of seasonal employees, some people are being employed as freelance professionals, and they will be issuing invoices (as has been happening every year until now). The mayor did clarify, however, that there are two employees working in the Cleaning department on a volunteer basis, and that they have signed documents waiving any right to payment or insurance (ΙΚΑ, the main social insurance fund, has been informed of this).

A question followed from Mr Marianos concerning the appointment of Mr Makis Haniotis as special advisor to the mayor. The mayor stated that everything has been done according to the necessary and lawful procedures in effect.

3. Mr Marianos asked to be updated concerning the poor state of the Ring Road, whether this project has been accepted as completed, and what the Municipality intends to do about it.

The mayor replied that we have not accepted the road as completed, and will not do so until it is repaired by the contractor—nor will the outstanding amount (that the contractor is to receive) be paid (120,000 euros, plus the return of the contractor’s bond of 30,000 euros). The contractor has promised that when the weather improves, in May, the road will be repaired. Until then we are not allowed to touch the road, the mayor said, and added that he would like for signs to be erected, in order to prevent traffic accidents.

4. Finally, Mr Marianos asked if the sewage system and treatment project is continuing or if it has stopped.

The response of the mayor was that there continues to be an outstanding issue related to the legal recourse of a citizen (opposed to the project) to the Council of State. The case has already been heard twice—without the then Community having legal representation on both occasions—that a decision has not been issued, and that a third hearing is scheduled to take place on 22 March. Until then, a lawyer must be hired, the Municipality’s documents must be prepared and meetings must take place with the citizen. However, in theory, from the moment a decision has not been issued by the Council of State, if Egnatia SA (the company to undertake the sewage system and treatment project) were to come to the island today to start up the project it would be able to, according to the mayor.

Following this, a discussion of the items on the agenda and the taking of decisions concerning these took place.

1. The re-establishment of the Community Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos (K.E.T.P.A.A.) as the “Municipal Public Benefit Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos”.

The “Kallikratis” law brought an end to enterprises like K.E.T.P.A.A. This former Community enterprise must be transformed into a new body, or else it will not be replaced by any other similar body. It is proposed that it become a Public Benefit Enterprise belonging to the Municipality. The creation of a new charter will be undertaken by TEDK (the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities), since this body does not charge for this service, plus because it will be the same body that will have to give final approval concerning the new charter.

Passed unanimously.

2. The appointment of a Temporary Board of Directors for the Municipal Public Benefit Enterprise for the Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos.

The members of the Temporary Board of Directors:

1) Litsa Viazi (President, representative of a Society [in this case, the Women’s Society] –from the Majority Group), Alternate Member Mayor Leventakis

2) Filothei Marianou (Vice-President –Majority), Alternate Member Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi

3) Yiorgos Marianos (Member –Majority), Alternate Member Fotini Pantzazi (Citizen – proposed by the Majority)

4) Damianos Palaiologos (Member –Minority), Alternate Member Yiannis Triantaphyllos

5) Spyros Tsimbidis (Member –Citizen), Alternate Member Sotiris Skourtis (both proposed by the Majority)

Passed unanimously.

3. The appointment of members to the committees responsible for accepting projects that have been completed and also for procurements.

The members of the Acceptance Committee for sums up to 5,869.40 euros:

1) Paraskevas Kapoutsos, Alternate Member Filothei Marianou

2) Yiorgos Marianos, Alternate Member Panagiotis Faroupos (all from the Majority Group)

Passed unanimously.

The members of the Acceptance Committee for sums over 5,869.40 euros:

1) Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi, Alternate Member Filothei Marianou (of the Majority Group)

2) The remaining members are appointed by TYDK (Municipalities and Communities Technical Service).

Passed unanimously.

The members of the Good Execution of Services Rendered Committee:

1) Panagiotis Faroupos, Alternate Member Paraskevas Kouvaras (of the Majority Group)

2) Anna Palaiologou, Alternate Member Haris Tsolakis (both Municipal Employees)

3) Kyriaki Faroupou, Alternate Member Lefteris Manolikis (both Municipal Employees)

Passed unanimously.

The members of the Acceptance of Procurements Committee:

1) Lefteris Manolikis, Alternate Member Kostas Manolikis (both Municipal Employees)

2) Haroula Spanou, Alternate Member Panagiotis Viazis (both Municipal Employees)

3) Paraskevas Kouvaras, Alternate Member Panagiotis Faroupos (of the Majority Group)

Passed unanimously.

The members of the EKPOTA (Single Regulation concerning Procurements by Local Authority Bodies) Committee:

1) Haris Tsolakis, Alternate Member Lefteris Manolikis

2) Kyriaki Faroupou, Alternate Member Haroula Spanou

3) Anna Palaiologou, Alternate Member Panagiotis Viazis (all six Municipal Employees)

Passed unanimously.

4. The appointment of members to the committee responsible for drawing up the annual Register of Male Citizens.

The members are:

1) Mayor Yiannis Leventakis (President)

2) Anna Palaiologou (Municipal Roll employee)

3) Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi

Passed unanimously.

5.a] The appointment of members to the Primary School Education Committee.

The members are:

1) Mara Loufa (President –proposed by the Majority Group)

2) Aris Papas (Vice-President –Principal of the Primary School)

3) Eleni Kalapouti (Principal of the Kindergarten School)

4) Litsa Viazi (of the Majority Group)

5) Katerina Apokotou (proposed by the Majority)

6) Chryssoula Christopoulou (proposed by the Majority)

7) Damianos Palaiologos (of the Minority Group)

8) Antonis Patelis (of the Minority Group)

9) Nikos Marianos (as representative of the Parents and Guardians Association)

Passed unanimously.

b] The appointment of members to the Secondary School Education Committee.

The members are:

1) Filothei Marianou (President)

2) Katerina Bassakari (Vice-President –Principal of the Secondary School)

3) Deputy Mayor Eleni Viazi (of the Majority Group)

4) Marina Viazi (proposed by the Majority)

5) Nikos Marianos (son of Ieronymos –proposed by the Majority)

6) Yiannis Triantaphyllos (of the Minority Group)

7) Damianos Palaiologos (of the Minority Group)

8) A representative of the Parents and Guardians Association (to be appointed)

9) A representative of students (from their 15-member committee) (to be appointed)

Passed unanimously.

6. The acceptance of the transfer of employee Aikaterini Faroupou (secondary school graduate level), who is employed as a permanent cleaner of school units, from the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion to the Municipality of Antiparos, based on the Reg. No. 6106/25-11-2010 ministerial decision.

This was a Ministry Decision for the transfer of an employee working at the Antiparos Secondary School, from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education to that of the Municipality of Antiparos.

Passed unanimously.

7. The re-naming of Community Employees as Municipal Employees, in accordance with Law 3852/2010.

A standard change of job title for employees, as stipulated by the “Kallikratis” law.

Passed unanimously.

8. The appointment of representatives to the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos.

1) Mayor Leventakis , Alternate Member  Yiorgos Marianos (of the Majority Group)

2) Makis Haniotis (Advisor to the Mayor), Alternate Member Paraskevas Kouvaras (of the Majority Group)

3) Panayotis Sfalagakos, Alternate Member Nikos Marianos (of the Minority Group)

I sent an official letter to the Chairman (President) of the Municipal Council in which I stated that I would be absent at the council meeting, as I would be abroad on a scheduled trip, and also stated that I wished to stand as a candidate for the permanent seat of the Minority Group in the Council of the Port Fund of Paros and Antiparos. The letter was unanimously accepted by the members of the Municipal Council. The other candidate of the Minority Group was Mr Nikos Marianos. A vote was held amongst the Municipal Councillors. I received 8 votes, and Mr Marianos received 4.

9. The taking of a decision concerning the announcement of one employment position (technological / college level education) for the handling of citizen affairs at the KEP (Citizens’ Service Bureau) and the approval of the Municipal Council concerning the appointment procedure, in accordance with the No. 28646/01-10-2010 document of approval issued by the Region of the South Aegean.

This was a decision to announce a temporary position that has already been approved (by the Regional authority), in order that the employee at the Antiparos KEP be granted leave that he is entitled to.

Passed unanimously.

10. The appointment of a representative to the Waste Disposal Site (of Paros).

1) Panagiotis Faroupos, Alternate Member Paraskevas Kouvaras (of the Majority Group)

Passed unanimously.

11. The travel expenses of the Mayor and his Advisor.

This item was removed owing to the cancellation of the mayor’s (and his advisor’s) trip, as the budget has yet to be approved.

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Commentary: On Radio Shows and Collaborations

On 18 January, Mayor Leventakis gave an interview to the two radio show presenters on the Paros station Echo FM. Following that interview, Mr Marianos, head of the larger opposition party, rang in to comment on some of the things that the mayor had said. Specifically, he stated that he had to reply to comments (made by Mayor Leventakis and others), which insisted upon presenting him as ‘bad guy Marianos’ (his own conclusion), owing to his refusal (or, better yet, to that of the members of his group) to give the smaller majority group (Menoume Antiparo) one of the two permanent opposition seats on the Financial Committee.

Thus, Mr Marianos deemed it correct, during the course of his call to the radio station, to claim anew (despite the fact that this unsupportable claim has been rebuffed on numerous occasions by Menoume Antiparo), to the effect that he had and has attempted to cooperate or collaborate with us many times, but we have rejected him every time, and consequently it was for this reason that he (they) did not cede to us the aforementioned seat on the Financial Committee.

As was only natural and anticipated, the negative, untrue (and consequently provocative)—in our view—statements by Mr Marianos necessitated my appearance on the radio as well, which took place on 20 January, owing to serious commitments that had made it impossible for me to respond on 19 January.

I spoke on the radio for approximately 25 minutes. During the course of this discussion with the radio show presenters, we touched on many and varied issues, in addition to the comments I made in relation to the recent statements and claims made by Mr Marianos. (Owing to space and time restraints, I do not wish, at this point, to present, analyse and comment upon, in detail, all that was said during the course of the 25-minute radio conversation. Whoever did not hear the interview and would like to, can do so through the related link that has been posted on our Facebook page and elsewhere [on blogs]).

What I would like to do, because Mr Marianos insists on rekindling, every so often, the subject of our (non-) ‘collaboration’ with his group, is to present here, on our blog–for the last time—a general framework of our views, as they were presented on the radio, in relation to the question of ‘collaboration’. The purpose is for this whole issue to permanently come to a close. This is why it is the last time that we intend to concern ourselves with this issue. It is our hope that Mr Marianos will pledge to do the same.

In his radio appearance, Mr Marianos said that on many occasions he (and the members of his group) had issued pleas for collaboration between our two groups, but these pleas were never heard by us, and that the last time was at the Square (at our main rally, in fact), where our refusal was, in fact, accompanied by applause by the candidate councillors of Menoume Antiparo.

Our reply: The word ‘collaboration’ means different things to different people, and its meaning also depends on the context and situation.

When Mr Marianos had spoken of ‘collaboration’ during the preelection period, what he had meant by that was ‘absorbing’ us, ‘integrating’ us into his group, forming a ‘merger’ under his leadership—which, it goes without saying, we were obliged to reject. After all, had we agreed from the outset with the policies and principles of his group, it is obviously clear that we would not have advanced to the point of creating our own political group.

Our beliefs are different, we have our own visions and dreams, we have our own principles. We may well indeed have some common general aims—with both of the other groups, in fact—that is, the sustainable development of Antiparos, the resolution of the many problems we face as an island—but, as we have said, our paths leading to those goals differ. If it were not so, then our needs and beliefs would be ‘covered’ by one or both of the other groups, and consequently we would not exist, as there would be no need.

We have the right to free expression (glory be to the Constitution), the right to create a group for the elections (ditto), and this is what we wanted to do, and this is exactly what we did. Whether or not everyone likes this is irrelevant; the only sure thing is that our group must be respected, having successfully passed the ‘electoral test’ as set down by our democracy.

Throughout the course of the pre-election period, Mr Marianos continuously stated in public that he could not understand why we (our two groups) could not ‘collaborate’ (that is, as we said earlier, ‘be absorbed’ by or ‘merged’ with his group). We more or less refused to give weight to a question which had such an evident (to us, at least) answer, ignoring such provocative statements in the hope that they would cease to be asked at some point.

In our main pre-election gathering at the Square, I am proud to say that we ‘broke the mould’ in the history of local politics, giving freely and of our own will the microphone to the people, opening up the floor to any questions they wanted to pose following our presentation. Mr Marianos, speaking at our gathering, deemed it appropriate to take advantage of being able to take the floor so as to express, yet again, his wonder at us not wishing to ‘collaborate’ with his group. By going ahead with this provocative move, he placed us in an extremely difficult position, and we had no other choice than to ‘clear up’ the matter in public.

The applause that Mr Marianos mentioned, which followed our answer clarifying our position, was not targeted against him personally, nor against his group, nor against a real and substantial collaboration. The applause was in favour of our determination to defend ourselves, to resist, to support our right to exist, both on an individual and collective level. It was in favour of our decision—and our conformation of this, in practice—not to sacrifice our beliefs and principles, for whatever reason, for whatever benefit, for whomever.

We have always been, and will always be, open to real and substantial collaborations with all groups and teams, whenever this is to the benefit of the island. However, it is of vital importance that respect be shown towards the existence of every elected group. Menoume Antiparo represents 13% of the voters of the island. All of the groups—ours, of course, included—are obliged to show respect to one another, and also towards the people whom these groups represent.

As for the Financial Committee, Mr Marianos declared that the proposal for giving Menoume Antiparo a permanent seat on the committee came from the mayor, and that the members of Menoume Antiparo did not wish to enter into talks with the members of his group concerning the committee, even in the final moments prior to the election of that committee.

Our reply: The mayor, who had prefaced his proposal by clarifying that he was acting on a personal level and was taking an initiative that was exclusively his, issued a plea to Mr Marianos to examine the possibility of ceding one permanent seat to Menoume Antiparo.

As a group, we did not consider it appropriate on our part to ask Mr Marianos to ‘give’ us a seat. We are not suppliants. If someone wishes to do so, one does so on one’s own, as an indication of good will and the desire for constructive collaboration in the future. Mr Marianos did not wish to do so, he did not do so, no problem. End of story.

The reason why it continues to be discussed—though not by us, prior to this recent provocative radio statement—is because the decision to leave us out of the Financial Committee has been widely denounced in many circles, on both islands, viewed as an unjust decision, as an impropriety, as a move to ‘punish and gain revenge’, simply because we did not ‘yield’ to Mr Marianos and his group during the pre-election period.

For us, the greatest negative point of the entire affair is that this decision came as a knock against democracy, against the representation of citizens, against transparency. The result of this decision is that 13% of voters are not represented on this committee, which, as we all know, is a very important one.

What is of crucial importance, however, is that there must be, henceforth, in this post-election period, a real and substantial collaboration, between all of the groups, on all levels.

As all of us agreed during the pre-election period that there is a great number of problems and time is short. We, as a group, have pledged all along that we will do the best we can for the island, its citizens, and its friends.

We have also said, since the beginning, that our only opponents are the problems of Antiparos. And it is for this reason that from the outset we took a conscious decision not to provoke the other groups. We try not to become involved in petty politics. It is in everyone’s interest—and, above all, in that of the future of our island—to rise above unsound political practices of the past, and help make their vestiges disappear as soon as possible.

Our group looks only ahead. We believe that everyone must, if all of us are to move ahead together.

Consequently, we consider issues like ‘what happened before the elections, why were we not put on that committee, etc’ as a thing of the past.

What is needed is greater political maturity, which we believe will instantly lead to an improvement in the state of the island. If that happens, we will automatically acquire more unity, a more positive psychological outlook, a disposition for real collaboration (in the true sense of the word).

We have always been, and will always be, open and positive to that kind of collaboration, with all groups—without exception.

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Commentary

16-1-2011

 

A recent event has come to show that more work needs to be done on the part of government, at all levels, if it truly wishes to encourage and promote a more just and proportional system of representation.

A few months ago, much criticism arose concerning the electoral system as reformed by the Kallikratis law. For example, in the case of councils the size of that of Antiparos—which elect a mayor and 13 councillors—the party gaining a simple majority is awarded eight seats (a shade over 60% of the total), while the other group(s) the remaining five (a bit under 40%).

In the November local elections in Antiparos, less than five percentage points separated the winners from the runners-up, but the seats went 8-4 (Menoume Antiparo won the other opposition seat; if we had received fewer than about 80 votes—roughly 10 percent—we would not have gained our seat).

Based on the actual results in Antiparos, it would not doubt have been fairer had the law stipulated that the winning side would elect the mayor and seven councillors, while the opposition would receive a total of six seats on the council.

The contest in neighbouring Paros was even closer: The electoral court recently reduced the difference between the first and second parties to a mere 16 votes; Kallikratis awarded the winner roughly twice the number of seats as compared to the second group.

Less than a fortnight ago here on Antiparos, Kallikratis again created much discussion—and much disagreement—when the time came for the members of the Financial Committee to be elected.

As has been discussed in an earlier post on The Bridge, the new law allows for the main opposition party to take all four seats—two permanent and two alternate—on this key committee, and leaves it up to the good will, essentially, of the bigger opposition party to hand over a seat or two (of the four) to the smaller parties. In cases like that of Antiparos, the main opposition may take all four, if it so desires (it can outvote the smaller opposition group).

The same thing happened on Paros. The major opposition party—which had lost the elections by the smallest of margins—ended up giving one of the two alternate member seats to a smaller minority group in each of the two main committees, in a show of fairness to the other elected opposition groups.

The problem is that Kallikratis does not ensure the participation of all parties in committees, leaving it up to the will of the major opposition groups.

The most recent demonstration on the part of the central government that it is not willing to take full committee representation into account when making decisions dates to the last days of 2010.

Ministerial Decision 74445 of 29 December 2010, signed by the Minister of the Interior (former Paros Mayor Yiannis Ragoussis), deals with the creation of an Inventory Committee. This committee carries out its duties in four phases, with a deadline of 28 February 2011. Its scope includes creating an inventory of financial, movable and fixed property assets.

Ministerial Decision 74445 states that the Inventory Committee has to be formed by 3 January 2011, at the latest. In the case of the Municipality of Antiparos, the committee consists of five permanent members, and four alternate members. Of the five permanent members, two are from the ruling party, one is from the opposition, one is the Head of Municipal Financial Services and one is the Head of Municipal Technical Services. Two of the four alternate members come from the majority, one from the minority and the Head of Municipal Administrative Services is the fourth member.

The ministerial decision makes no mention of the representation of smaller Opposition groups. It states that the larger minority group nominates the member from the Opposition; only if it fails to do so does the option to nominate then pass to the smaller minority groups (if they also do not nominate anyone, the committee seat is taken up by the majority). It is unclear in the ministerial decision whether the major Opposition group can split the two Opposition seats—i.e. keep the one permanent seat and pass the one alternate member seat to a smaller Opposition group.

With Mayoral Decision n. 2, dated 3 January 2011, Antiparos Mayor Yiannis Leventakis announced the formation and composition of the Inventory Committee.

Menoume Antiparo was left out of this committee as well; we discovered this by chance, and after the fact, as no announcement (or reference to the decision) was made until the Mayoral Decision was published.

This raises a number of important questions. Should the central government not take into account all of the parties that were elected, in the interest of fairness, representation and transparency? Should the local authorities not ensure that these groups be taken into consideration as well? Could the Financial Committee in each municipality not have undertaken the duties of the Inventory Committee? Could the Financial Committee not have been given the responsibility to create a subcommittee from its own ranks, made up of permanent and alternate members (so as to ensure the participation of all groups)?

The Inventory Committee, just like the Financial Committee, is entrusted with extremely important functions, duties and responsibilities.

It is essential that the electoral system be fine-tuned in the interest of a more accurate and fairer popular representation. Furthermore, all elected groups must be represented on committees, if transparency and representation are to be safeguarded. This must be ensured by both the central and local governments. Only if they do this in practice, can they hope to restore the trust and confidence of the ordinary resident or citizen in Greek governments and Greek politics. Until then, there will continue to be a democratic deficit.

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Three Meetings

06/01/2011: Municipal Council Meeting

 

The first regular Municipal Council meeting (after the one on Sunday specially dedicated to electing the council bodies) took place at the Kalouda hall on Thursday.

There were six items on the agenda:

1)      Briefing from Mayor on handover from previous administration, and current state of Municipality;

2)      Temporary continuation of internal operation programme;

3)      Appointment of a permanent officer and reserve officer for banking transactions;

4)      Drafting of technical projects programme;

5)      Travel expenses of Mayor and Advisor to Syros; and,

6)      Transfer of 2010 financial balance to 2011 fiscal year.

There were approximately 30-40 residents on hand—a promising indication that people are becoming increasingly interested in attending Council meetings and hearing about local affairs, first-hand.

The Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and all of the Councillors were present, with the exception of Mr Nikos Marianos, the leader of the bigger of the two Opposition parties. One of the councillors from his party read a letter from Mr Marianos addressed to the Mayor and Council, in which he stated that he was away for matters of a personal nature, and thus requested that the Council not decide on urgent matters in his absence.

Mayor Yiannis Leventakis responded that he understood Mr Marianos’ situation but, as everyone is aware, time is of the essence and decisions must be taken quickly, in order for everything to move forward as soon as possible. Thus, he would have no choice but to reject the request.

The first item on the agenda, as noted above, concerned the situation that Mayor Leventakis and his group recently inherited. The Mayor informed the Council that the city bank account contained a balance of some 800,000 euros, but that there were numerous outstanding invoices from 2010 that had to be paid, so that balance would be about halved in the end. Two other discoveries they made were disturbing: 1) The former Community had failed to file tax returns since 2006, and was not up to date on its IKA (state social security) paperwork as well. This means that these papers must now be filed, and the City will be faced with fines to pay for being late; and, 2) The new leadership found many studies that had been conducted for projects which were now out of date, and thus were useless.

As for the second item—keeping the internal operation programme temporarily in force until the new one for the Municipality is drawn up—all of the Councillors voted in favour, agreeing that more time is needed to create a successor.

Concerning item number three, Mayor Leventakis appointed himself and Chairman Kostas Faroupos permanent officer and reserve officer respectively for banking transactions, stating that he wished to keep better tabs on all of the money coming in and going out through the banks.

The fourth item—the drafting of the technical projects programme—was, by far, the thorniest issue of the day. The technical projects programme is a general list of where the City believes it will get money from and on what projects (construction, etc) it would like to spend it on. This is not binding and can be changed; when each specific item comes up for discussion in the coming meetings it will be voted on, it may be altered or perhaps not even passed. It is a programme that the new leadership must draw up, and comes up for discussion as a whole just before the budget is discussed. The technical programme forms part of the budget, and is an indication of the direction in which the Mayor and his team intend to move towards, when it comes to projects.

The item provoked a long, detailed discussion, many views on numerous matters were expressed; my main concern, at one point, was that the Municipal leaders had already decided that we would be renting a building for a new city hall, without first consulting the Council on the matter. My argument was that the Council members had to have figures before them—concerning the long-term cost of building versus the long-term cost of renting—in order to competently decide on the matter, and had to be asked to decide; the way it was presented within the Technical Programme was that it had already been decided that renting was the final decision.

The reply was that indeed, the cost of construction was too high—for the time being, at least—and that a sum had been set aside for a study to look into the creation of a new Municipal building in the future.

I concluded that I understood that time was pressing for approval of this Technical Programme, so I would vote in favour of it—but I stated that I would reserve the right to express my final opinion on the renting versus construction issue for the Council meeting during which it is to be discussed in future.

The most unfortunate part of the whole matter, in my opinion, was that the Councillors were being asked to vote on a Technical Programme that they had not even seen prior to the start of the meeting.

The fifth item was passed quickly, as it had to do with travel expenses. Mayor Leventakis took the opportunity to inform us that he had selected Mr Haniotis as his personal advisor (according to the new Kallikratis law, all mayors have the right to appoint a special advisor).

Finally, the sixth item was of an accounting nature and concerned the approval of the carrying over of the 2010 balance into 2011.

07/01/2011: Financial Committee Meeting

On the next afternoon, the Financial Committee held its first meeting, to examine and pass or reject the 2011 budget that had just been drawn up by the new local leadership. The meeting was an extraordinary one, as the Council meeting scheduled for the next day was also dedicated to discussing just the new budget, and the Financial Committee had to pass it before the next day’s meeting.

Again, the time constraints added more pressure all around; we found out about the meeting just a few hours earlier, when we picked up the just-finished budget, so we had only a couple of hours to look at it before the Financial Committee meeting. The Mayor had apologized for the rush, stating that he ideally wanted to go to Syros to the Regional authority on Monday the 10th, in order to submit the Budget there for approval and receive it as soon as possible so as to get down to work.

The meeting took place in the Community building, as it was deemed more convenient, and few members of the public were expected to attend (as eventually occurred—but it must be noted that these meetings as well are open to the public, unless closed for a serious reason).

The Budget was examined and discussed. This too can change during the course of the year, so there was a certain amount of leeway owing to this fact, and also because there was little time (but much understanding).

I raised a very many specific questions, all of which were answered by the mayor and others on hand, and asked for numerous clarifications, which were also given.

Opposition leader Mr Nikos Marianos had not returned yet, and thus the issue was raised as to who his replacement was (and consequently who would vote, in his place).

As it had not been made explicit by Mr Marianos at last Sunday’s meeting to elect the committees as to which alternate member (Damianos Palaiologos from his party or I) would be the first on the list and who would be second, Mr Marianos was contacted and asked, and replied that I would be the first, and thus would get his vote. This was an important step for Menoume Antiparo, as it set a precedent: Every time either of the two regular members of the Financial Committee representing the Opposition were absent, I would have the right to vote (provided I were in attendance as well).

08/01/2011: Municipal Council Meeting

 

This meeting took place at the Kalouda hall, and, as noted, had only one item up for discussion: The 2011 Budget.

In the meantime, local politics fever had been growing, as people were beginning to hear positive things about everything going on at the meetings; people were now beginning to stop me in the street to ask me when the next council meeting was and if they could attend—of course, please do!

Thus, a sizable group of residents were in attendance to hear the Council discuss the Budget. Prior to the start, Mayor Leventakis proposed some minor changes to the Budget as had been passed the day before by the Financial Committee, and asked the members of the Financial Committee for their approval prior to the start of the discussion, which he received.

Following this, the Budget items and sums were read aloud by the City economist involved in drawing up the budget with the Mayor and others. Questions were asked by both Councillors and residents, and many clarifications were made.

The Council unanimously passed the budget, and now that it has been approved, the Mayor is free to take it to Syros to try to get it approved there, as well.

It should be noted that the Community Enterprise for Tourism and Cultural Development of Antiparos (KETPAA), which was responsible for the Cave, the bus service and other matters has a separate Budget. With the implementation of the Kallikratis law, and the change of Antiparos from a Community to a City, KETPAA was abolished and is to be succeeded by a new similar body that will be associated with the City. Thus, anything to do with KETPAA has not been included in the Budget that was passed for 2011. The new body is to have its own budget.

*********

The next Council meeting is likely to take place on this Saturday the 15th. However, as I will be abroad for a few weeks for my studies, unfortunately I will be missing it, along with any other meetings that may take place during that period.

Fortunately, I am blessed with a great group of colleagues at Menoume Antiparo, and many will be on hand at those meetings as well, in order to express our views in public on the issues being discussed—even if from the public gallery.

We’ll do our best to try to keep you posted!

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4 Jan 2010: The Oath, the Vassilopita, and the first council meeting

31/12/2010: The Oath

 

The last day of the year saw the swearing-in ceremony, held at the Kalouda hall of the Primary School—where else? Everyone agrees that the old Community office building is too small for the demands of a new Municipality—this is one of the first issues that is to be discussed by the council. We won’t be able to meet in the school hall forever…

Not one, not two, not three, but four members of the clergy were on hand to perform the swearing-in ceremony. The list of dignitaries included Cyclades MP Panayiotis Rigas, who is also a junior minister in the Pasok cabinet. Everyone took the religious—and not the civil—oath.

Hundreds of people on hand. I think the whole pre-election period, with its discussion of some real issues—for a change—generated a lot of interest in local affairs and people seem eager to participate more in all local politics-related events.

A few people asked me why I didn’t address the audience after taking the oath, as the other Opposition party’s leader, Nikos Marianos, did.

The reason I did not take the microphone was because, as far as I am aware, only the mayor and the invited dignitaries address the audience. It is the mayor’s special day. I felt I would be undermining the mayor’s authority by not respecting and upholding the etiquette in effect at swearing-in ceremonies. After all, I had not been asked by Mayor Leventakis prior to the event if I wished to speak at the ceremony. Mr Marianos took the initiative halfway through the ceremony and asked to address the audience; the mayor agreed—despite the fact that Mr Marianos’ request constituted a breach of etiquette. The mayor evidently did so as to respect the wishes of his guest and also to avoid any open confrontation at the event (or criticism afterwards for rejecting Mr Marianos’ request). Consequently, Mr Marianos’ unexpected request had made it imperative for Mayor Leventakis’ representative to ask me (during the addresses) if I wished to speak as well. As I deemed this inappropriate—after all, it had all began as a breach of etiquette—I decided not to speak; if I had spoken to the audience this, might have been construed as questioning the mayor’s authority or attempting to undermine it. As I had no intention of trying to usurp the event for personal promotion, I preferred to let the mayor enjoy his special day.

We all talked a lot before the elections. We will talk a lot in council meetings. No one wants to hear more talk at swearing-in ceremonies. From now on, everyone wants to see actions, not words!

01/01/2011: The Vassilopita

We cut the Vassilopita at 10 in the morning of the first day of the year. It was originally to take place at the Community building, but this was changed, late just the previous evening, to the Kalouda hall—again, for reasons of space. Unfortunately, the new leadership did not put up a paper on the Community building informing of the change of venue. I hope nobody showed up there waiting for the Vassilopita to be cut.

Again, a lot of people in attendance—but not as many as the day before at the swearing-in ceremony—again, a man of the cloth conducting a brief ceremony—but just one—our priest—this time.

A bit too early in the morning for many, especially after New Year’s Eve celebrations. Too early for even some of the new councillors, a few of whom showed up late—or even not at all.

02/01/2011: The First Council Meeting

 

All over Greece, the first council meeting was held on the second day of the new year at 10am.

There were a couple of dignitaries on hand, including Yiorgos Papamanolis, who is another Cyclades MP (also with the ruling Pasok party). A few interested and concerned citizens were also in attendance.

The sole purpose of this first council meeting held simultaneously throughout the whole country was to elect the members of the various committees.

Following a brief address given by the invited MP to the new local council, Eleni Viazi chaired the meeting (in accordance with the Kallikratis law, as she was the candidate who had received the most votes in the recent elections and, as such, had called the meeting). Mayor Leventakis also made a brief welcoming speech to the council and the guests, and announced that Eleni Viazi had been selected as deputy mayor.

According to the Kallikratis law, the number (and type) of committees in a municipality depends on its population. Thus, the Antiparos council had only two bodies to elect: The three-member Chairman’s Council and the seven-member Financial Committee (which also has five alternate members).

Again, according to Kallikratis, the council majority group proposes the member who is to become the chairman of the Chairman’s Council, the largest of the minority groups nominates the vice-chairman, and the smaller of the minority groups (that’s us) the secretary. Thus, Kostas Faroupos was elected chairman, Nikos Marianos—the leader of the bigger opposition group—was chosen as vice-chairman, and I was voted secretary. This three-member group permanently chairs all of the Antiparos council meetings.

As for the Financial Committee, Mayor Leventakis declared that he would be exercising his right to act as its chairman (he could have delegated this to the deputy mayor). The remaining six permanent seats were distributed as follows: Kallikratis stipulates that four of these go to the majority (and these are now occupied by Litsa Viazi, Eleni Viazi, Paraskevas Kapoutsos and Panayiotis Faroupos). The remaining two go to minority parties. There is no guarantee in Kallikratis that all opposition groups are represented. Mayor Leventakis and other members of the majority issued personal pleas to Mr Marianos to take one of the two seats and to give Menoume Antiparo the other—their appeals were in the interest of all parties being represented on the Financial Committee and thus having the right to vote; however, Mr Marianos flatly refused, and offered Menoume Antiparo one of the two alternate member seats reserved for the opposition (which Menoume Antiparo had to accept, as it was either this reserve seat or nothing. Mr Marianos’ group could have outvoted us [four votes to one] and thus taken all four of the minority seats [two permanent and two alternate], and thus Menoume Antiparo would have been left out of the committee altogether). By law, Mr Marianos had the right to take both of the permanent seats of the opposition if he so desired (and he outvoted us), so there was nothing that Menoume Antiparo could do to prevent this.

Following this development, I fought for and managed to obtain the council’s guarantee that if ever the Financial Committee is to meet behind closed doors (which it can, according to Kallikratis, if it has serious reason), I be permitted to attend these closed meetings, in the interest of transparency and also to keep up to date on the committee proceedings as one of its alternate members.

The reason Mr Marianos put forth for not giving us one of the two permanent seats on the Financial Committee was that he had tried on three occasions during the pre-election period to collaborate with us, and we had refused outright, so he thought it pointless to try again, as he believed we would reject him and his party. To this I answered that proposals to collaborate in an electoral contest and proposals to collaborate in a committee are two completely different things; he should have asked—we would have accepted the permanent seat on the Financial Committee. After this, he stated that Menoume Antiparo had made no effort after the elections to approach him so as to propose some collaboration with his group concerning this committee, to which I replied that our group does not like to make agreements and settle things behind the scenes, before the fact, and that that’s not the way Menoume Antiparo do things.

The alternate members of the Financial Committee are—from the majority—Filothei Marianou, Paraskevas Kouvaras and Yiorgos Marianos, and, from the minority, Damianos Palaiologos and I.

I mention all of this in such detail because the news of the stance adopted by Mr Marianos opposite Menoume Antiparo has already started making the rounds, and has even been criticized in blogs—including on one coming out of Paros. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you probably will. Mr Marianos’ refusal to share the two permanent seats of the Financial Committee with Memoume Antiparo has received negative publicity, since it stands in marked contrast to what Mr Marianos has been publicly stating until now (he even reiterated this in his address at the oath ceremony), concerning greater cooperation between all groups and parties, for the benefit of the island and its people in the future.

Since our group’s inception, I have felt strongly that the members and supporters of Menoume Antiparo have the right to be informed of issues that concern both the group and the island as a whole.

I intend to keep everyone up-to-date concerning what has transpired in council meetings (and not only). After all, council meetings are public, and people not able to attend have every right to be informed of what has been discussed at these meetings.

————————————————————————————–

————————————————————————————–

A Message from Panayotis Sfalagakos

The elections are over, the 45-day or so transition period has also unwound to its end, the first-ever council of the new Municipality of Antiparos has just taken the reins from its predecessor—the last-ever (though anything is possible) council of the Community of Antiparos.

 

There is hope in many quarters that the new council will seize this clean-slate opportunity to make a profound break with the past, severing ties with as many unhealthy practices as possible. A united front against the innumerable, pressing and mounting problems facing Antiparos today is undoubtedly in the interest of the residents of the island and its (thankfully many) faithful friends beyond its shores.

 

It is very likely that without a mature outlook and firm resolve, the island can only anticipate bleaker times ahead.

 

In many ways, this will be a ‘make-or-break’ council term. Everyone—council members, island inhabitants and faraway friends—is being called upon not only to lend a hand in the quest to resolve so many issues, but also to help propel the island forward. The challenge is even greater considering that this first council term is truncated (three-and-a-half years), the country finds itself in the midst of a deep economic crisis and the Kallikratis law on administrative reform is changing the local authority landscape in Greece (and in ways not yet entirely clear).

 

Menoume Antiparo—at least—is sincerely committed to putting the island, its people—and the future of both—above all else.

 

One of the things we vowed before the elections was that, if elected to council, we would try to act like a bridge, conveying information and views back and forth between the people and the council, keeping a close check on what is happening inside the council chambers, and making constructive use of our official voice on local matters.

 

Enough people trusted us with their vote so as to send us to the council. We thank them again, and reiterate our intention to do our best to represent them.

 

During the pre-election period, one of the main concerns expressed by many supporters was that we didn’t fizzle out, that we kept Menoume Antiparo rolling after the elections, irrespective of the electoral result. We reassured them we would, and now intend to demonstrate that we will.

 

On a personal note, I truly do feel that I am not alone, that I am not the only one sitting on that council chair we won on our own terms—I am sharing it with 113 others (and am pleased to say that the number is growing!)

 

As part of this commitment to sincerity and transparency, this vow to keep the ‘outside world’ informed about what is happening ‘on the inside’, I will be writing brief, personal notes in a separate section on this blog—something like a ship’s log—in order to keep everyone interested up to date on what is going on both inside and outside the council chambers. The section I will be writing will appear under the banner The Bridge.

 

My door is always open to all. If anyone has any comment they would like to make, any matter they would like me to bring before council or would like to contact me for any other reason, please feel free to do so. My mobile number is (+30) 6974723256, my personal e-mail address is info@translation-metafrasi.com. I would be more than happy to hear from you—after all, I am your bridge.

 

Best wishes for a Fantastic New Year (a little optimism can’t hurt!)

 

Panayotis

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