Josef Bělica, Primátor Havířova | Mayor of Havířov
What is his evaluation of the four years he spent as mayor? What were and are the strategic priorities in the city’s development? We probed Josef Bělica, mayor of Havířov, for some answers.
Do you still remember the moment when you first sat down in your office as mayor?
Yes I do, I remember being very honored by the fact that the voters trusted me. From my first moments in the position, and throughout the four years that followed, I conducted my work with a great sense of respect that I have for the city as a native Havířov citizen and patriot. Being mayor also comes with a great deal of responsibility, being able to have the ability to develop the city.
What were your plans?
There were many of them, and I am happy to say that we managed to complete, or at least begin the realization of most of them. Of course, I am not the only one to be credited for this - the town hall has a great team at its disposal and I consider it an honor to be surrounded by so many highly competent people that all play their part in realizing our visions. One of our main priorities was elevating the train station and its surroundings to another level.
What other accomplishments have you achieved throughout your four years as mayor?
It is common knowledge that money plays an important role, and so we directed a lot of our efforts into properly managing our budget. We limited unnecessary expenses and invested into issues that trouble our citizens and came up with solutions that would improve their lives. Some may object and say that we need to save money during a crisis, however, I believe that investing into infrastructure is key for a city in the middle of a crisis, it is an investment into the future.
Can you tell us more specifically about what you did as mayor?
I will try to be as concise as possible. First, we invested into housing that had been previously neglected. This involved the replacement of a total of 139 lifts in apartment complexes, which was part of a country-wide contract. In addition to that, we also completely renovated a number of apartments, and invested into the distribution of electricity in our city. A large amount of funds were also invested into IT infrastructure for the municipality, and this program is now continuing to involve schools and other city organizations. This, of course, does not directly involve citizens, however, if we did not properly deal with this now, it would cost us a lot in the future. We renovated the Hlavní třída, Dlouhá třída and Dělnická třída streets, and are now working on Národní třída street. Almost a thousand new parking spots were constructed and we invested into the development of our schools and kindergartens. I would also like to highlight the modernization of our healthcare centers, which remained largely untouched after the revolution, and I was frankly embarrassed about their previous state. Today, everything is different. I am truly proud of these accomplishments and they bring me a lot of joy.
Mr Mayor, thank you for the interview.