Plans to hire a new adviser for culture and sports in Jõhvi Municipality, have been criticized by members of the local opposition. Given the current economic situation, they believe it would be better to deploy those officials with sports-related roles in the municipality, more efficiently.
At a time when most of Estonia's municipalities are looking at ways to cut down on costs, Jõhvi Municipality in Ida-Viru County has decided to take on a new adviser for culture and sports.
The decision has prompted a backlash from members of the local opposition, as there are already four senior posts within the municipality's structure with sports-related roles.
According to Jõhvi Municipal Council opposition member Aleksei Naumkin (Center), the creation of the new position could only be justified if construction work on an ice rink, football hall and swimming pool, all of which had been promised to the citizens of the municipality, had been completed. However, none these facilities have been built.
"This all adds up to the fact, that there will be five people in charge of sports, yet unfortunately sports will not be developed," said Naumkin.
However, Mayor of Jõhvi Municipality Maris Toomel (Reform) said, that despite having several staff dedicated specifically to sports, she currently also has to deal with a number of sports-related issues herself.
Toomel therefore believes, that the new official will have plenty of work to do.
"We felt that we were lacking a public health specialist in the municipality, who could also put a strong emphasis on physical activity and physical exercise," she said.
Sergei Ivanov, manager of football club Jõhvi Phoenix, one of the municipality's most successful sports clubs, believes that, rather than bringing in someone new, the problem could be better addressed by more effective deployment of the current officials.
"A new position would be meaningful if a real specialist in the field was hired to replace (a member of) the current sports staff. But, if just one new person is added to the current roster, then I don't see the point," said Ivanov.
Applications for the position of Jõhvi's new sports and culture adviser are being accepted until February 20.
Editor: Michael Cole