Catanzaro, councilor Mongiardo speaks: “There's a lot to do on the accounts. Enough demagogy” THE INTERVIEW


By John

L'approval of the budget estimate in the last municipal council she was at the center of political controversy and possible consequences within the administration linked to the (failed) discussion in the Chamber. The branch councillor, Marina Mongiardoresponded to opposition attacks and indicated the city government's moves.

«A budget that has nothing left-wing between increases in taxes and duties». Thus the Action group. How do you take this criticism that smacks of rejection?

«I would say that the Action group makes declarations without knowing what it is saying, but its advisors know, having the expertise, the financial situation of the Administration and how necessary it is to intervene to secure its coffers. In the budget forecast, taxes and duties remained unchanged. The increases concern the single property fee (Cup) and cemetery concessions. We have brought the Cup to the level of national standard rates and we have eliminated the concessions on the occupation of public land for driveways. Unfortunately, we had to intervene on cemetery concessions by applying Istat indexation on costs that were stuck in 2008 and below the national average, also to plan the necessary infrastructural interventions that have been on hold for years. I believe that the Action group has chosen the path of demagogic and instrumental criticism! On the budget, but also on other measures of a general nature, they could support the necessary truth operations – as they have declared they want to do – and distance themselves from the right that has caused the situation of serious administrative and financial difficulty. It's unfortunate because, as a member of the Democratic Party and in line with the unitary and dialogue-oriented vocation of the National Secretary, I would have hoped for a fruitful discussion with them. Instead, we increasingly see them attacking centre-left positions and effectively supporting the centre-right, confirming the hegemony of their regional leader. Sin!”.

The opposition team also notes that there was a lack of discussion in the Chamber.

«It is curious that this criticism comes from the same opposition councilors who left the Chamber even before the item relating to the Budget was announced, therefore I doubt whether they were really interested in the discussion!».

In fact his budget report was given as read. She seemed annoyed by this choice. Have you had the opportunity to meet with the mayor? And what is the climate with the majority?

«After almost all the opposition members left the room, this choice was made which I did not agree with, since it concerned the document that regulates the economic and financial activity of the Administration. I think it was a missed opportunity because we could have exposed the most significant points. The majority forces were involved in the process of forming the maneuver and the councilors present at the meetings called by the mayor and me contributed to defining the criteria. No specific clarification was necessary with the mayor and the president because the discussion with them is open and constant.”

Returning to the technical aspects, what is the path that the administration will follow to strengthen the institution's coffers and from what conditions did it start?

«The Municipality, as it was handed over to us, has structural deficits that cannot be remedied in the short term, which require system interventions, long work and adequate professionalism. The critical issues mainly concern the administrative deficit, the collection capacity and the rigidity of current spending (destined for deficit, liabilities, fundamental functions, mandatory services). Since the beginning of our mandate, we have brought the deficit from 61,636,436.47 euros to the current 54,201,140.67, with a reduction of approximately 7 and a half million euros. This path of recovery, to avoid pre-disaster, is the one we intend to maintain, but it forces us to annually subtract over 5 million euros from the organisation's availability to cover the deficit. Added to this are the liabilities of inherited disputes which for now we have managed to reduce by eliminating penalties and millionaire interest, but which weigh on the coffers and spending capacity. The other big issue is revenue. It is necessary to intervene on the weakness of the administrative structures dedicated to taxes and, therefore, on the limited collection capacity found. It is necessary to broaden the tax base and the number of taxpayers. This is the path we have taken, both by improving the collection of tax and property revenues already ascertained, and by identifying omissions. The financial services structure will be strengthened as the competition for the hiring of administrative-accounting officials has just ended. For the first few years, they will be supported by expert consultants to qualify the fight against tax evasion, which can also be improved with an Agreement already submitted to the provincial offices of the Revenue Agency”.

Former mayor Abramo has always reiterated the solidity of Palazzo De Nobili's accounts. If he were to meet him, would he have anything to say to him?

«I believe that, especially in the last mandate and in the last few years, he limited himself to managing the emergency. In the last two years or so, he has repeated that he has left behind important programming and planning, but neglected to say that it is the result of the delays accumulated on the Urban Agenda 2014-2020 and on other sources of financing. I heard him criticize our prudence and responsibility as a lack of inventiveness in the management of municipal finances, while the obvious problems of the Administration should have suggested him to remain silent. I don't think I have anything to say to him, the facts speak.”