Mayors highlight proximity as a differentiating element of municipal management


This Friday, the Assembly Hall of the Office of the Principal of the Universitat de València has hosted the day “40 aniversari d’ajuntaments democràtics” (40th anniversary of democratic municipalities). The meeting consisted of two round tables that addressed the evolution in the consistories, through the testimonies of those who were mayors in those early years of Democracy and those who are now.

The inaugural ceremony was led by the Vice-Principal for Territorial Projection and Society, Jorge Hermosilla; the General Manager of the Universitat de València, Juan Vicente Climent; the second Vice-President of the Infrastructure Department of the Valencian Provincial Council; the general Director of the Local Administration of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian Government), Antoni Such; and Diego Gómez, vice President of the First Valencian Federation for Municipalities and Regions and Mayor of Alzira since 2015.  All of them have agreed on the opportunities and advantages of municipal management, as well as the recognition by Valencian institutions of the hundreds of members of municipal government teams from 1939 to the present day.

 The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Francisco Javier Palao, focused on the normative evolution of the municipalities and has also pointed out that “the 1985 law of bases of local regime was the start of the democracy in the municipalities as we know it today”.  He also stressed that during the first years "the illusion of the municipal governments” was remarkable.

Joan Romero, Professor of Human Geography and expert on Politic Geography, has explained that the municipalism is conditioned by the prominence acquired by urban regions. “The mayors will have to think together because cities are no longer just cities, they are metropolitan areas that create networks”. He has also insisted on dialogue between mayors.

This was followed by the first round table, moderated by Francisco Javier Palao. Participants included Manuel Girona (first President of the Provincial Council of Valencia 1979-1983 PSPV-PSOE), Josep Maria Jordán Galduf (mayor of Llíria between 1979 and 1981- Partido Comunista), Josefa Frau (mayor of Gandia from 1991 to 2003- PSPV-PSOE), Joaquin Soler (mayor of Massalfassar 1991-2015 Partido Popular), and Jesús Forner (mayor of Faura 1979-1983- Unión de Centro Democrático). All have agreed on the honour of having served as leaders of their respective city councils.

The mayors of Gandia (Diana Morant, PSPV-PSOE), Llosa de Ranes (Evarist Aznar, PP), Polinyà de Xúquer (Óscar Navarro, Esquerra Unida), Paiporta (Isabel Martín, Compromís) also took part. The mayoress of Caudete de las Fuentes, Vanesa López (Ciudadanos) has excused her absence. In the colloquium it was dealt with the vocational attitude by all of them on the efficiency of management, the institutional recognition of town halls, the climate emergency and, especially, the feminist emergency. This round table was moderated by the Vice-Principal Jorge Hermosilla.

This day, organised by the Universitat de València, through the Office of the Vice-Principal for Territorial Projection and Society, jointly with the Valencian Provincial Council and in collaboration with the Valencian Federation for Municipalities and Regions and the Faculty of Law, has aimed to commemorate these 40 years of establishing the democracy in our municipalities with the purpose of giving voice to both the current protagonists and those who contributed to establishing the same democracy in our towns and cities.

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