Azarov will test the effectiveness of LSG in Samara

The newly appointed Acting Governor of the Samara Region, Dmitry Azarov, instructed to analyze the reform of local self-government conducted by his predecessor Nikolai Merkushkin.
Himself
As reported in his blog by a deputy of the Samara Provincial Duma, Mikhail Matveyev, as part of the execution of the order, the deputies of the district councils were asked to provide data on the dynamics of written addresses of citizens and visits by residents of personal receptions of deputies of the Council of Deputies for 2015-2017.
"This will show how many people and appeals pass through the reception offices of district councils, whether this number increases over the years or decreases. If the number of appeals falls, this indicates a loss of perception of the district councils as organs to be addressed for solving problems. On the other hand, if the number of appeals is growing, this may indicate a worsening of the situation in the housing and utilities sector and amenities, the main areas in which citizens are turning, "the FederalPress quotes the deputy.
Matveyev notes: in any case, the very fact that the acting governor ordered to prepare such statistics speaks about the desire to analyze the work of the district councils, to draw conclusions and, probably, influence the system of local self-government.
In 2015, the Samara region (together with Chelyabinsk and Makhachkala) became one of the pilot regions where an experiment was conducted to introduce a new system of organization of local self-government. As a result, direct elections of heads of the city were canceled in the region, and the regional center was divided into nine districts, each of which created councils of deputies.
The reform ideologist was the then governor Nikolai Merkushkin, who believed that in this way it would be possible to bring power closer to the people, to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and politicization by reducing the area of ​​responsibility of deputies to one small area (for one district there are 2-10 thousand inhabitants instead of 30 thousand as it was before).
The Regnum agency reminds that in 2015 elections to district councils of deputies of the first convocation in Samara were accompanied by loud scandals. In particular, 40 candidates from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Fair Russia declared their refusal to participate in the election campaign due to administrative pressure from the regional leadership.They then wrote an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, to the General Prosecutor’s Office, to the CEC that the elections to district councils had been turned into “fiction and farce”. Nevertheless, 284 deputies were elected to district councils. And then 355 community councils of neighborhoods were created, which were headed by governors appointed by the authorities.
Two years later, experts recognize that the reform of local self-government in the pilot regions has failed. All three cities are talking about its unfortunate outcome, first of all drawing attention to the fact that the distribution of powers between the districts is still in doubt, and the effectiveness of new bodies is not visible and incomprehensible.
Already in the first interview on regional television, the acting governor of the Samara governor criticized his predecessor Nikolay Merkushkin regarding his initiative to reform the LSG system. “We, you know, a certain leader, as soon as he sits in the leader’s chair, immediately becomes the most intelligent. It’s as if he immediately passes this enlightenment through the fifth point. He does not need to consult with people,” he said.
Experts are similar in opinions about the future of the LSG system in Samara.Some observers say that Azarov has a reason to change the LSG system, but within reasonable limits. They also believe that the head of the region is unlikely to act radically - most likely, the system of relations between the government and society in the field of local government will partially change. In addition, one can hardly expect the return of direct elections of heads of cities, as the city management system is a nationwide trend.
However, regarding which model Azarov will stick to and which of them is most effective for Samara, the experts have not reached a common conclusion.
Dmitry Loboyko, a sociologist and head of the Center for Regional Studies, said about the reasons for the failure of the local self-government reform in the Samara region: “The reform of local governments initiated by Nikolai Merkushkin in the Samara region did not initially correspond to the declared goals. The ex-governor was absolutely not needed to “reach out to power by hand.” On the contrary, the new system has made the municipal level completely independent of the population. <...>
In fact, this was the destruction of institutions of self-government in Samara.
The real, main function of this system of local government is the “electoral machine” that works at the expense of the budget. <...>
The problem is that this construction could probably work in a small Mordovia, from where Nikolay Merkushkin is from, but does not work well in the Samara region, where the population of Samara alone is several times larger than the population of all Mordovia combined. This model is good for power in manual mode. <...>
Therefore, the desire of Dmitry Azarov to “inventory” this reform, of these bodies, is more than a logical step. But, I think, first of all, it will be analyzed not the feasibility of the system from the point of view of real local self-government, but the possibility of this “electoral machine” or “electoral tractor” to serve in the presidential elections in March and the elections of the governor in September 2018. So, most likely, if the pre-election potential of this system is appreciated highly, then it will be a question of reconfiguration and reassignment, but not dismantling. "
The deputy of the Samara Provincial Duma, Mikhail Matveyev, also speaks negatively about the reform of Merkushkin: "The" exotic "model that was organized here - the division of cities into intracity districts with the election of district councils, which, in turn,delegate deputies of the City Duma - was first tested in Chelyabinsk. As far as I know, in Chelyabinsk, they subsequently decided to abandon this model, recognizing it as ineffective. <...> All other subjects of the Russian Federation refused such a scheme of work of local self-government bodies. It seems to me that Nikolai Ivanovich Merkushkin jumped at the opportunity given to him in such an imperative format to introduce a new model of LSG, because he thus reproduced the experience of the Republic of Mordovia in the 90s, where local self-government did not actually exist. <...> He really liked to appoint everyone from above, so he began to implement this model in Samara. <...>
The model of local government proposed by Merkushkin is a model of re-concentration of power and its alienation from the people, this is exactly what Dmitry Azarov inherited. <...> Given the fact that Azarov is the last elected mayor of Samara and headed the relevant committee in the Federation Council, the LSG theme is well known to him.
Before Azarov there are several solutions, starting with leaving everything as it is and becoming the dragon itself, and ending with speeding up the system reboot, getting rid of Merkushkin’s henchmen,proposing to the society a new team, go to the early elections of the entire system, canceling the intracity divisions of the districts, dissolving the district councils and returning the elections of mayors of the cities of Samara and Tolyatti. "
Well, something like this.
The full version of the material with detailed comments of experts can be read here.
Agenda, trends, opinions, exclusive. Informally on the Telegram-channel "Davydov.Indeks".

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