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Government widely criticized at City Hall Assembly

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, September 30
The Tbilisi City Assembly Sitting was full of heated discussions on September 29. Confrontation between the Opposition and Government members of the Assembly was followed by the opposition’s argumentations against the Tbilisi City Hall. Blaming the office in neglecting their obligations, Tina Khidasheli the member of the Management and Finance-Budget Commission from the Republican Party spoke of the problems the citizens of Tbilisi are facing with the City Hall’s services. “Letters of our citizens sent to the members of the different City Hall offices haven’t been answered yet. I hope that we will get the relevant answers for the people with your help,” Khidasheli said, handing all the copies of unanswered letters to the Chairman of the Assembly Zaal Samadashvili.

Inga Grigolia, Chairwoman of the Christian-Democrats faction, also complained about the issue. Stressing Tbilisi City Hall members do not feel responsible to the society, Grigolia said that the citizens are sometimes even provided with irrelevant information about their problems at the City Hall. She highlights the fact that they are not at all becoming familiar with the contents of the letters. Promising to fill the cabinet of the Chairman with ordinary citizens on the reception day, Grigolia said she would listen to the people’s problems with the Chairman.

Trying to protect the City Hall representatives, the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly, Mamuka Akhvlediani said that the opposition can invite the Chairmen of the City Hall’s offices and personally question them within the frames of the plural regulations of the Assembly. “The members of the City Hall’s offices are always ready to cooperate with the citizens and opposition,” Koki Ionatamishvili from the United National Movement told the colleagues.

Discussions around the social issues were followed by other accusations against the City Hall. Stressing that a great amount of money is being wasted from the City Hall Reserve Fund, Tina Khidasheli regretted that the money had not been spent on the families which are in really hard living conditions. “I welcome the fact that the fund finances the fees of operations and treatment but still a great amount of money is being wasted in a reckless way…” she stated. Wondering why the concerts of Georgian singers or the Comedy Show have been financed from the reserve fund while the citizens of Tbilisi still live on the streets, Khidasheli gave particular examples of the violations around the issue. “I have requested the information about the distribution of money but it was all in vain. If I won’t be provided with the relevant information in time I will start solving the issue in the legal frames,” Khidasheli said, stressing all these facts just point out that the Tbilisi City Hall has some serious violations to hide.

Zaza Gabunia from the Christian-Democrats faction expressed his mistrust towards the support program for socially unprotected people and asked for more transparency. Wondering which the criteria for choosing the people are, Gabunia asked for the oppositional engagement within the process. “We are responsible for fighting against the social problems but lack the relevant authority,” Gabunia stated.

Mamuka Akhvlediani tried to explain the reserve fund distribution process stressing that the 70-80% of the fund is aimed at financing the social programs, while the fund also covers the fees of the natural disasters, as well as cultural events which have not been considered in the State Budget.