New Narva mayor runs into obstacles reorganizing city government

Mayor of Narva Katri Raik (SDE).
Mayor of Narva Katri Raik (SDE). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Recently elected Mayor of Narva Katri Raik (SDE) wants to add a deputy mayor to Narva City Government and to keep the current four members of government at work but did not receive support from the coalition on Monday.

Raik told Vikerraadio's new show "Uudis+" on Monday noon: "I made a proposal to the city council board to employ a deputy mayor who would manage the city's economy questions. The remaining city government roster would stay the same, we would continue with five."

Later in the evening, after a city council meeting and consultations with coalition members, Raik had to admit she had not received enough support for her idea. "At one point it seemed the issue was resolved but discussion are still ongoing," she told ERR on Monday evening.

"We will see how it concludes. One option is to keep existing city government in place and not take on another deputy mayor. Another option is reaching an agreement," Raik said.

She also confirmed that the situation does not mean there is trouble within the coalition: "There is no deputy mayor name to give now but that does not mean the coalition is collapsing. These are different solutions, it just means growing pains."

Raik noted that adding a deputy mayor would have to happen quickly. "There is no reason to rush it so close to elections, should not rush people at all. And right now, we must begin working the way it has gone and hope cooperation goes well. We are looking for a solution together, looking for a solution with the coalition," the mayor said.

Raik expressed hope that the situation will clear at a council sitting on January 11 and city government can proceed.

As of Narva city's homepage, the city government currently consists of acting mayor Jelena Golubeva, tasked with general management, the city's external relations, business, investment and budget. Responsibilities for city government member Jelena Skulatšova are construction, utilities, urban property, housing and environmental protection. Viktoria Lutus is tasked with culture, sports, education and youth activities. Jelena Vassiljeva curates the city's social questions.

Raik said Monday that she would see another deputy mayor curate the city's architecture and city planning, along with economy and development.

Raik, a former interior minister, received 18 votes to former mayor Aleksei Jevgarov's 11, ending a power vacuum which has existed at the Narva city council chambers since mid-November, when Jevgarov was removed after a vote of no-confidence, city council chair Irina Janovitš also resigned. Much of the political in-fighting in Narva revolved around the Center Party and a breakaway local group.

Raik has said she would like to focus the nine months until local elections on the city's education and business questions, also developing a political climate that would allow for honest and transparent local elections.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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