Two weeks have passed since the elections, and there is no one to govern in Sopot. There is growing frustration among local government officials over the delayed appointment of a commissioner. It is necessary because Jacek Karnowski, the current president, was elected as an MP in the last parliamentary elections. “Many matters are beyond our decision-making capabilities,” emphasizes Wojciech Zemła, secretary of Sopot.
Together with choice to the Sejm Jacek Karnowski, the current president of Sopot, his presidency expired. All vice presidents also lost their positions. And although two weeks have passed since the parliamentary elections, there is still no commissioner in the city who would have full competence to make decisions on key issues.
Each day of delay in appointing a person acting on behalf of the municipality’s executive body is a day without the opportunity to make decisions important for the development of the city. The city secretary manages the office during the transition period, but acts only within the scope of his powers, which does not fulfill all the competences appropriate to the president and the person who would replace him during the transition period.
Officials warn that there are more and more important cases that require decisions by a person with appropriate competences.
– When it comes to the key functioning of the city, of course there is a whole corps of officials and local government employees who ensure it. Nevertheless, many matters are beyond our decision-making capabilities. I act based on the powers of attorney and authorizations granted to me, which have a limited scope. Therefore, some matters cannot take place until a person acting as mayor of the city is appointed. This concerns simple property matters relating to apartments, such as the decision to divide residents’ liabilities into installments. Also at the end of the year, competitions for granting funds to non-governmental organizations are usually resolved, and these organizations largely work for the benefit of residents, and in this respect these topics are also suspended – explains the city secretary, Wojciech Zemła.
As former vice-president Marcin Skwierawski emphasizes, Sopot has so far been one of the largest beneficiaries of these funds. Today, without a person acting as president, there is no one to submit such applications.
The previous vice-presidents of the city conducted a legal analysis of the current regulations. It follows that they do not set the maximum deadline within which the Prime Minister should appoint a commissioner. Theoretically, the stalemate may last even until the next local government elections, when a new, legal president of Sopot will be elected.
– The act does not specify any deadline for the prime minister as to when he is to appoint a person to perform the duties of a commune head, mayor or president. Therefore, you can imagine a situation where this will not happen at all. I believe that there should be a change in these regulations, which will ensure the continuity of implementation of many projects. This, of course, should be the subject of legal analyses, emphasizes the former vice-president of Sopot, Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim.
Sopot is not an isolated case. Jacek Karnowski is not the only local government official who got into the Sejm. They have a similar problem in Inowrocław, Tychy and Piła. Commissioners should also be appointed there, but they are still not there.
The resolution remains unanswered
On October 19, during an extraordinary session of the City Council, councilors passed a resolution appealing to the Prime Minister and the Pomeranian Voivode to appoint a person to serve as the president of Sopot. According to representatives of Jacek Karnowski’s Sopocian Platform, the position of commissioner should be held by the current vice-president, Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim, until the local elections are announced in April 2024. However, the resolution has remained unanswered by the Prime Minister to this day.
– The resolution seems optimal. It guarantees a certain continuity of the functioning of the local government due to the experience, knowledge and skills of Ms. Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim – says Zemła.
– We have not made such a decision yet and we are very dissatisfied with it, because the city must have its own continuity, it is not a dead entity. Mrs. Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim is a person with a very strong presence in our local government and we know that if she became acting president until the next local government elections, the city would be run in a competent manner. We expect this decision as soon as possible – emphasizes Piotr Bagiński, chairman of the Sopot City Council.
The spokeswoman of the Pomeranian Voivode, Monika Kobylarz, does not want to comment on the case yet. According to reports, an official statement will be made by the end of the week.
– The Polish state and local government are once again victims of the party’s game. PIS He put the country on hold. There are no strategic decisions that would enable the implementation of reforms that would bring us closer to obtaining and unblocking funds from the KPO. Local government officials, who suffered greatly under PiS’s rule due to the reduction of budgets and own revenues, are waiting for decisions regarding development and educational subsidies, and the reform of local government finances – says Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim.
He appeals to the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieckito trust the residents and allow the city to continue its development in accordance with the strategy they chose in the last local government elections.
Main photo source: JaroslavZ/Shutterstock