Jurmala mayor ousted

  • 2008-10-12
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS

The Jurmala City Council narrowly passed a vote to sack the mayor.

JURMALA 's The mayor of the Latvian seaside resort town of Jurmalahas been forced out of his post amid worries over lavish spending andinefficiency in the municipal government.

Eight of the city council's 15 members voted Mayor RaimondsMunkevics out of office. The local government then elected non-partisan councilmember Girts Trencis to take his place.

"Organization of Jurmala city council's work in 2008deteriorated with each month, which is not acceptable during an economic crisis.Important issues on priorities in expenditures to the city's budget were notdiscussed, but were decided by Munkevics alone," the document calling for themayor's resignation said.

"At the same time, several issues rejected repeatedly bylawmakers, were on the agenda of the council's meetings at the intiative ofMunkevics again and again," it said.

Trencis has criticized Munkevics for non-transparentpolitics, regular breach of laws and poor management style.

Munkevics, meanwhile, has repeatedly claimed that the motion was organizedby the People's Party, and that the fate of the mayor's position had beendecided in Riga.

The former mayor said he came to that conclusion after Andrejs Kodratjuksfrom Latvia'sFirst Party and Latvia'sWay (LPP/LC) signed the document proposing dismissal of Munkevics, even thoughLPP/LC leader Ainars Slesers had promised that Kondratjuks will supportMunkevics in the position.

Trencis has been elected to the Jurmala city council from the center-rightNew Era party, but is currently a non-partisan lawmaker, working on the citycouncil's finance and transportation affairs committee. On the Jurmala citycouncil he heads the economics and development department, and he is afree-lance adviser to the Latvian economics minister.

Trencis, 32, has graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga,according to information posted on the local authority's Web site.