Local elections on Sunday, 15th October 2006 will be held to elect the new Mayor and Council for the next 4-year period (2007-2010) for the municipality of Paros. EU citizens who registered at the Town Hall before the end of June 2006 are eligible to vote for the candidate of their choice in these elections.
There are just two candidates running for Mayor this time - the current Mayor, Yiannis Rangoussis, who is seeking a second four-year term, and Louis Kondos, former chairman of the local branch of Nea Democratia (the national and government party, New Democracy).
Enotita Gia to Mellon
Mayor Rangoussis and his municipal council team â€“ who come from a number of different political backgrounds â€“ are standing for re-election, together with some new faces on the candidatesâ€™ list for the independent political party â€śEnotita Gia to Mellonâ€ť (United for the Future).
Yiannis Rangoussis was born in Athens in 1965, is married with three children, and lives in Kostos, his fatherâ€™s village, with his family. He is an honours graduate of the Economics Department of the University of Thessaloniki and completed post graduate studies for his Masters degree in economic development in Sussex, England. His professional experience includes a number of years as Advisor to the Greek Commissioner in Brussels (Mr Papoutsis), responsible for tourism, commerce, small to medium-sized businesses and energy, including alternative sources of energy. He was General Manager of the research centre â€śKETHIâ€ť examining issues of employment and equality for women and a member of the Central Council of EFEE (The Greek National Students Union). He speaks both Greek and English.
During the last four years in his function as Mayor, together with his team, he successfully managed to complete more than forty projects of varying size. He believes that the results are evident, both to residents of the island, as well as to visitors who have witnessed how Paros has changed for the better within the last couple of years.
Among the most important projects accomplished or currently in progress are: the House of Literature in Lefkes (hosting international conferences and workshops for writers and journalists), Parosâ€™s involvement in the EuroArt network, various cultural events throughout the year, the establishment of the Municipal Art Workshop and support of the music school, participation in the funding and realization of the new Senior Citizenâ€™s Home, and many other projects in the field of education, health and sports. Other improvements include significant work on the road network, the renovation of the Mando Mavrogenous Square in Paroikia, the pedestrian zone that starts at the port and leads down to Livadia, and - critically important - the beginning of the construction of the XYTA (sanitary garbage disposal unit).
He emphasizes that there is still much to be done, such as following up on the plans for the construction of a multifunctional cultural centre and for a much-needed hospital and a solution to the traffic problem on the ring-road. The full programme and the policies for a new term in office are still being formulated by the Mayor in cooperation with the Municipal Council and will be finalized over the next couple of weeks. Some additional points were covered in two open meetings held with the international community of Paros earlier in the summer (see Paros Life June and July 2006 issues at www.paroslife.com).
Yiannis considers that though much has been achieved already there is a lot more in progress or still in the planning process which he and his team want to complete, and this is their main motivation for seeking re-election. In this spirit he concludes: â€śParos has changed face, and we will do even better!â€ť
The electoral campaign information office for â€śEnotita gia to Mellonâ€ť will be set up in Mando Mavrogenous Square in September. For further information call the Town Hall in Paroikia: 22840-21200 or 21222, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eniaia Dimotiki Kinisi Politon
Louis Kondos was born in Athens in 1960 and studied management and marketing at the Technical University (T.E.E.) of Patras. He came to Paros in 1979 and has become a very well known resident and businessman on the island in the 27 years since then. He owned the travel agency and car rental business â€śAvant Travelâ€ť for 20 years which is now run by his sister Marietta. His current businesses are the ACS courier service on Paros and in Athens and the pharmacy (behind the Health Centre) which he owns with his wife Irini Thoma. He speaks both Greek and English.
Louis has been a member of the local branch of Nea Democratia on Paros for almost 30 years and was their chairman for the last three years until this year when he made the decision to run for Mayor. Nea Democratia officially announced its support for the EDKP-Paros (Unified Demotic Citizenâ€™s Movement of Paros) and for Louisâ€™s candidacy on June 29th.
As a member of the community he is very concerned about the well-being of the island and the quality of life for its residents. Among many issues, some of those he considers the most important that need to be addressed by the next administration are:
1. Planning for the separation of the commercial port and the current passenger port in Paroikia with the option to locate the commercial port elsewhere at a location yet to be defined.
2. The construction of additional marinas with anchorage for yachts and cruise ships and the expansion of the current ones in Paroikia, Naoussa and Piso Livadi.
3. Improvements to the islandâ€™s water network: in particular the pipe system which is in very bad condition, and to the supply of water, especially in the summer months when visitors to the island outnumber its residents. The construction of an additional desalination plant and dams could be solutions that have to be fully investigated.
4. The planning of a second ring-road around the town to relieve the difficulties that are caused by traffic jams on the current road, especially during the summer months.
5. Concerning the protection of the environment and the garbage problem, it will be necessary to organize information campaigns for residents in all areas of the island, to educate the citizens about recycling, how it works and how to protect the environment by not polluting it with waste.
6. To help local farmers preserve their fields and their products through EU programmes, subsidies and other measures, so as to protect the rural communities and affiliated traditional crafts and knowledge.
As a most important prerequisite to these issues, Louis Kondos believes the democratic process of information and decision-making begins at the base, meaning that regular meetings and councils should be organized in the villages, inviting everyone who is concerned with local issues to be involved. Requests and decisions would then be passed on to the Municipal Council for further decisions and planning. This gives everyone the opportunity to actively participate in the problem-solving process of local issues which concern the quality of life of all residents, as well as of the visitors to the island.
As to the foreign community, Louis expressed his respect for those foreign residents who have chosen Paros as their home out of love for the island and whose active contributions he considers an asset to the community.
Further information from the office of â€śEniaia Dimotiki Kinisi Politonâ€ť in M. Mavrogenous Sq. (behind Polos Tours), Tel/ fax: 22840-22433, email: email@example.com.
The administration of Antiparos does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Paros Municipality, so residents there will be choosing between two candidates running for President (Koinotarchis) of the Community (Koinotita) of Antiparos: Barbara Maneta, who has been in office for the last four years, and Iannis Levendakis.
Enotikos Anexartitos Syndiasmos Antiparou
(Unified Independent Party of Antiparos)
Head of the community of Antiparos from 2003-2006, Mrs Maneta was born in 1942 and is married with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. She has her origins on Antiparos, although she spent many years in Athens and Piraeus working in community services, as a member of the Municipal Council of Piraeus and Deputy Mayor (1990-2002), founder and chairwoman of the Womenâ€™s Association of Crete and the Aegean Islands from 1987-2003 (now Honourary Chairwoman); and Chairwoman for 4 years and Deputy Chairwoman for 1 year of the â€śMichaelineio Idrima tou PIKPAâ€ť, a foundation helping children with special needs. She speaks Greek and English.
Her chief motivation in standing for re-election is to proceed with and to finalize those projects she and the community council started during their current term of office for which funding had to be secured and studies to be effected. Among the most significant of these which are of importance for the present and future of Antiparos are: the construction of the biological sewage system in the area of the Syfnaikos Gialos; the construction of a large water reservoir (1,000m2) in the area of Ag. Dimitrios with a pipeline supply system; the construction of a desalination plant in the area of the Sifnaikos Gialos; continuation of the construction of the new buildings and stone walls at the entrance to the Antiparos Cave; construction of a ring-road around town and the stone paving of the seafront promenade, as well as a marina for fishing boats and small yachts; new trucks for the garbage collection and cleaning of the containers. There are also plans to expand the small Health Station located in the renovated Antiparos Community office building.
Further info: campaign office located in the Antiparos Community building at the end of the main Market Street in Antiparos Town. Tel: 22840-61570 and 61705.
Born in 1964 in Athens, Iannis has lived on Antiparos with his family since 1987, working in his profession as a dental technician. He speaks Greek and English.
He sees himself and his team, comprised of members from various political parties, simply as members of the community who are worried enough about a number of issues that concern the well-being of the residents of Antiparos and their families, that they are willing to create an effective programme to guarantee realistic and feasible solutions to the main problems which affect the inhabitants of the island.
Some of the most important issues he mentions are: protection of the environment â€“ reforestation and planting of trees and bushes in areas where needed, especially at all the beaches; to open access roads to the beaches, which are often barred by private property owners and guarded by fierce watchdogs; to stop the illegal operation of quarries and the burning of garbage close to inhabited areas. An interim solution for the garbage has to be found until the new plant (XYTA) on Paros is ready (it will also serve Antiparos).
Also needed are dams to collect water â€“ vital for the farming areas and to serve the vastly increased population in the summer; the construction of proper anchorage with adequate depth for fishing boats and small yachts; the construction of a ring-road around the town to solve the traffic problems â€“ this has been planned for a long time, but is still outstanding; to construct or find a building to host a small museum and library to preserve and display historical documents and archaeological artifacts and to open a cultural centre so that cultural events can flourish in number and variety and need not be held exclusively in the streets, the port or the school. In order to implement all the needed changes, and to work in cooperation with EU-funded programmes, a town planning scheme must first be developed. Also planned is a special office in the Community building, in addition to the KEP (Citizenâ€™s Service Centre) to provide practical help, assistance and information for foreign residents and economic immigrants.
Iannisâ€™s message for both the Greek and foreign community of Antiparos is: â€śPlease give us your support so that all together we can make Antiparos a better place to live and to be attractive for visitors.â€ť
Further info: campaign office located on Market Street towards the Post Office. Tel: 22840-61684, email: Kostas Grispos, firstname.lastname@example.org.