The truth behind participatory budgeting in Alba Iulia: projects implemented, abandoned, or still in concept stage

Two million lei has been raised in the past two years by Alba Iulia City Hall for Participatory Budgeting. Specifically, projects proposed by citizens and voted on by citizens and implemented in the city.

Five winners were announced after the Participatory Budget in 2020 and six in the 202 edition. However, only a portion of those projects were implemented in 2020, and those in 2021 are either in the bidding or discussion phase.

Specifically, on a closer look, in a couple of years, projects that were easier to implement only became a reality. The rest is either at the public procurement stage, working on specifications, or even at the level of project-based discussions.

If the winning projects in the 2020 edition were owned by some of the city’s citizens, then the project from 2021 was in the shadow of chance.

More precisely, most of the winning projects belonged to people who were part of the USSR, declared party supporters, or close to Mayor Gabriel Plésa and Deputy Mayor Emil Popescu.

Read also: A strange administrative coincidence. Participatory budget in Alba Yulia, mostly won by “friends” of the USSR

What happened to the participatory budget projects in 2020

After the 2020 vote, the following projects won: “City Innovation Center”, “Play Break”, “City Rugby Team”, “Pedestrian Crossing Marking and Speed ​​Limit Installation” and “Cleaner Air in Alba Yulia”.

City rugby teama project initiated by researcher Marius Rotar, is one of the most notable projects of 2020. The team plays in the first Ruby League in Romania and plays matches both at home and away.

According to representatives of the mayor’s office, a financing contract was concluded with the entrepreneur and actions were carried out in schools and secondary schools with the attendance of more than 300 children. One of the events was on June 1, attended by more than 100 children.

Many of these kids started training in the military high school, Unirea 2, the field in Oarda, with good results, developing fine motor skills and tactical technical skills in rugby.

Read also: Proposals of citizens who turned into projects in Alba Iulia. What ideas did the money from the participatory budget go to?

Pedestrian crossing signs and speed limiter installationanother project visible through the city, on which several speed limiters were installed.

play break In the courtyard of the “Vassily Goldich” gymnasium, a colorful playground was arranged for students. The exception was made on October 20, where the work is completed within 30 days of the date the order to start the works is given.

“Cleaner air in Alba Iulia”a project that wanted to bring and install a green platform in Alba Iulia to purify the air.

Although representatives of the mayor’s office primarily said that the value of such a situation is too high, they stated that they had found an alternative, but at the same time, they abandoned the implementation of the project, due to the fact that the alternative was too expensive.

“The initiator of this project considered that the project should not be implemented if the price was three times what it estimated for such a pavilion and the benefits would be visible to the environment only if at least 3 green platforms were implemented (i.e. twice the price value of the initial budget).

At the time of the presentation of the project idea, in 2020, the approximate cost of such a green pavilion was in the range of 25,000-30000 euros”, representatives of the mayor’s office told

City Innovation Centerpompous name, is perhaps the most postponed and postponed project in the participatory budget for 2020. Theoretically, the project proposed by a student from Alba Yulia was aimed at arranging a center and providing IT equipment for technology enthusiasts in the city.

Initially, the proposed space was an attic space behind the Bathianium Library, a space used by many NGOs, associations and even at one point it was intended as an attempt to start a ‘creative district’.

In August 2021, the former mayor’s advisor, Bogdan Duggar, stated that they were working on finding a way to arrange the space according to the project.

Meanwhile, two years later, the venue was changed and public procurement had just been launched. More precisely, according to the mayor’s office, “It was concluded that the location of the innovation center should be provided at the Tourist Information Center at Castle Alba Carolina, where the proposed activities could be accommodated in terms of infrastructure,” the mayor’s office said.

According to the latest data, the procurement procedure has been launched, in which the mayor’s office purchases furniture and IT equipment, for what appears to be a meeting place between school representatives and potential businessmen in the city.

Participatory budget 2021

In 2021, the winners of six projects were announced, after 17,970 votes were cast for a total of 24 proposed projects. Three of the winning projects consume almost the entire budget of one million lei.

The first project that saw the ‘light’ of public procurement was the one won by Dan Iordescu, a member of the Union of Socialist Republics, a project titled “union never diesWith a proposed budget of 75824 lei.

It revolves around a project that wanted to finance and develop football matches well, from August 27, 2021 to May 28, 2022, with a total of 28 matches, 14 at home and 14 away.

Public procurement was launched on May 9. In response to a question from the correspondent, why the purchase is made in the circumstances in which the season in question has ended, representatives of the mayor’s office answered: “The takeover has been launched for matches that had not taken place at the time, and some legal uncertainties are now being clarified.”

The second project for which public procurement was launched is “Baeolian Youth Marching Ensemble”the project submitted by Petru Adam, with a proposed budget of 250,000 lei.

The mayor’s office launched a public deal, and according to Vice Mayor Emile Popescu, after public procurement, only one bid was made, which is currently being evaluated.

It was one of the most controversial projects in participatory budgeting APVLVM Parkan interactive amusement park about ancient traditions, customs and crafts”, a project submitted by Constantin Lucien Pralia, in the field of tourism, with a proposed budget of 431,400 lei.

Lucien Bralia, a close partner of Mayor Plecha, won the project with the largest proposed budget: 431,400 lei. A controversial project by city historians, you can read about it in detail at the link below.

Read also: Alba Yulia: Disagreements over a draft submitted to the Participatory Budget. It could have been “inspired” by an existing one

The project itself spawned several discussions within the city council, but also within the evaluation committee.

Now, according to the mayor’s office, public procurement specifications for materials are still being worked on. The workshops will be carried out by Alba Iulia City Hall, through the Principia Museum, with the participation of some volunteers, City Hall representatives have identified.

In response to a question from the correspondent, if there is business in the workshops, more precisely, if souvenirs will be made and then put on sale, representatives of the mayor’s office stated: “No taxes!” .

„Arrangement of a dog park at the White Castle of Carolina”, a project submitted by the local consultant, on behalf of USR, Ionuț Horșa, in the field of public space design, with a budget of 250,000 lei.

Currently, the mayor’s office is in the process of defining the area in which the space will be arranged. There is a parking lot in the northern trenches of Alba Carolina Castle at the bottom.

bike lanes, a project worth 50,000 lei, proposed by Dorin Fleșeriu. Specifically, we want to draw bike lanes, Streets, Varese, Nazareth Illit and Valya Bobi, where a bike lane will be marked with road signs.

The last project, from the 2021 participatory budget, is Green Space Design – Arnsberg area “a project with a proposed budget of 192,775, which is likely to begin in the fall of 2022, according to city council representatives.

A new version of the Participatory Budget will be launched in Alba Yulia

In public debate, as of June 14, 2022, the regulation for the new edition of the Participatory Budget, 2022, was under public consultation.

Among the rules introduced in the regulation is “non-conflict or conflict with the plans or projects of the municipality under implementation.” Also, those who are employees of the mayor’s office, or local councilors, can no longer participate in the projects.

See here the full organization of the participatory budget.

Generally, from September 1, 2022, it will be the period in which citizens can submit their projects and then pass through evaluation committees and finally head to the citizens’ polls.

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