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Popov: Activity of city council and city head limited

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Feb. 1, 2011, 2:23 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Head of Kyiv City State Administration Oleksandr Popov

Head of Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) Oleksandr Popov does not deny that most power in the capital has been handed over to him, though he is only an official appointed by the state authorities, and not the elected mayor of Kyiv "Yes, we've definitely limited the activity of the city council and the mayor to some extent. But indeed, under the situation that was objectively and subjectively created in the capital, only a strong control system could help. And it has managed to stabilize the situation, as we can see today," Popov said in an interview with the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia newspaper on Saturday.

"Let's not forget that me and Leonid Mykhailovych [Chernovetsky, Kyiv Mayor] have different responsibilities. Actually, what does management mean? Kyiv City Council adopts the budget. This is one of the key functions of the authorities. The council also passes the plan of social and economic development," Popov added.

He also noted that the personnel of Kyiv City State Administration was formed under professional instead of political principles, and he personally proposed the candidates for the positions of his deputies.

"It's funny to read some of the media's assumptions regarding who appointed my deputies… I am honestly telling you that personally I nominated candidates for my deputies. And under the legislation they [the candidates] were agreed with the Cabinet of Ministers and the president," Popov said.

He added that he has the right to set his personal staff policy and he had used it.

"Moreover, look at the level of my deputies and the teams formed in the districts. There are no random people there," Popov said.

The head of KCSA said that today's management model of Kyiv is finalized, and added that he would return to this question in May 2011.

"There may be absolutely different management models for such a megapolis as Kyiv. And I believe that the current model is finalized. From the scientific point of view, an optimal management system can be created only if a strategic development plan for the city is available. Each management structure will have its area of responsibility. So, in May, when we have a draft development plan, we will have to return to a more detailed conversation about the management system in the capital," Popov said.

He added that administrative reform in Kyiv is impossible without the effective use of the budget and explained that because of this, the district councils of the city were liquidated.

"We have taken several important steps in this direction. A program and targeted method for the distribution and use of budget assets has been drafted. Due to this approach and an improved management system, Kyiv's district councils were liquidated," he said.

Popov also added that the General Development Plan of Kyiv should be approved at the top level and promised that it would "be interesting."

"According to European experience, either the Cabinet of Ministers or the president usually approves such strategic documents. And I think this is right. Why? So that officials and deputies can't change it all the time to correspond to their financial and economic interests. The general plan has to be approved at the top level only once. After that any corrections are impossible. I will propose such an approach. We will se what we get as a result. We will discuss it in detail. Of course, we will consider the opinions of experts and the public. I would like to inform you that the general plan of Kyiv will be very interesting, and even romantic," Popov said.
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