By Bejay Browne
THE NEWLY elected mayor of Paphos has extended an open invitation to residents of the town in a new initiative to promote a more modern approach to governance.
Titled ‘Time of the Citizen’, Paphos residents who wish to speak to Phedonas Phedonos will be given the opportunity every Friday afternoon, starting yesterday.
The new initiative is taking place at the mayor’s office at the town hall in central Paphos every Friday from 4pm-7pm. During this time, the mayor will receive any resident without an appointment.
The drive is aimed at establishing a better relationship between the public and those in authority and also to promote transparency, something the mayor promised prior to his election.
An announcement said: “These direct meetings will enable citizens to speak with the mayor and discuss any issues that may be of concern to them or to make any suggestions they wish are being introduced by the mayor, and without an appointment.”
Phedonos said that this initiative was part of the new modern approach which he hopes will characterise Paphos municipality and its leadership from now on. He said Paphos now has a culture which desires the local authority to be closer to the people, as well as being approachable and open to dialogue.
This move is a marked change from the previous administration, where citizens and staff often complained that former disgraced mayor Savvas Vergas was unapproachable, uncaring and ‘ruled the municipality with an iron first.’
A member of the municipality, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Vergas insisted things were done his way and that he showed neither respect for his staff nor for the public. But he says that has all changed now.
“This spells a new era for Paphos and for the entire municipality. The town has been left reeling after all of the recent scandals and alleged corruption which seems to have been going on here for years. Enough is enough and out of the bad has come much good.”
He added that the situation at the municipality was already much improved and there was an air of trust.
“The mayor is young and dynamic and seems to be committed to doing his best for Paphos and everything is now out in the open. Whatever people’s differing politics may be, we can’t ask for more than that.”
He said that Phedonos was bringing a sense of renewed hope to Paphos with initiatives such as this.