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阿久根市長選 教訓踏まえ行政改革を進めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 19, 2011)
Learn from Akune; promote reform early
阿久根市長選 教訓踏まえ行政改革を進めよ(1月18日付・読売社説)

The self-righteous and high-handed administrative style of the former mayor of Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture, has been rejected once again.
 前市長の独善的で強権的な政治手法が、改めて否定された。

In Sunday's mayoral election--held after former Mayor Shinichi Takehara was recalled in a referendum--Yoshimasa Nishihira, the leader of a civic group opposing Takehara, defeated the ousted mayor.
 鹿児島県阿久根市の出直し市長選は、解職請求(リコール)が成立・失職した竹原信一前市長が、新人の西平良将氏に敗北した。

Takehara came into conflict with the city assembly over a series of decisions he made without consulting the body when it was not in session. He sparked controversy by halving bonuses for municipal staff and introducing a system to pay assembly members on a per diem basis.
 竹原前市長は議会閉会中に、職員賞与半減や議員報酬の日当制導入などの専決処分を乱発し、市議会と強く対立してきた。

During the campaign, the former mayor criticized the lavish benefits enjoyed by city officials, claiming that more than half of them receive 7 million yen per year.
選挙では「半数以上が年収700万円」などと市職員の厚遇を批判した。

Nishihira, on the other hand, called for promoting dialogue instead of confrontation.
 西平氏は、「対立でなく対話をしていく」と訴えた。

He said that reading a blog posting by Takehara that seemed to deny that handicapped children should have the right to be born drove him to lead the recall campaign. Nishihira's own son is disabled.
自ら障害児の長男を持っていることから、障害児の出生を否定するような前市長のブログに反発し、解職請求運動の中核を担ったという。

The former mayor might have had the right goal of pushing for administrative reform, but the unusual methods he employed must not be tolerated--which also seems to be the conclusion reached by the citizens of Akune by using common sense.
 行革という目的が正しくても、前市長の常軌を逸した手法は容認できない。それが市民の常識的な判断だったのだろう。

Nevertheless, Sunday's election turned out to be a close race, reflecting local residents' deep-rooted frustration with the city assembly and other local officials.
 一方で、市長選が接戦となったのは、市議会や職員に対する市民の根強い不満が原因だ。

===

Respect spirit of reform

We urge Nishihira to respect the number of votes the former mayor received and to fulfill his election pledges, such as cutting city officials' salaries by 15 percent and investigating a possible cut in the number of assembly members.
 西平氏は、前市長の集めた票の重さを尊重し、市職員給与の15%削減や市議定数の削減検討などの公約を実現する必要がある。

The assembly also must actively cooperate with these efforts.
市議会も積極的に協力すべきだ。

Another referendum will be held in the city on Feb. 20 on whether the assembly should be dissolved, based on a request from a local group that supports Takehara. However, Nishihira's election should gradually resolve the long-standing tension between the mayor and the assembly.
 2月20日には市議会解散の是非を問う住民投票が行われる。西平氏の当選で、市長と議会の対立は収束に向かうことが期待される。

If both parties continue unproductive confrontations and leave undone the administrative work of the city, such as promoting industrial development, local residents will not benefit at all.
両者が不毛な政争を続け、産業振興など本来の行政が後回しになるのは、市民のためにならない。

Confusion in the city has exposed a number of issues that need to be resolved by local governments.
 阿久根市政の混乱は、様々な地方自治の教訓を残した。

Administrative reform and disparities between the public and private sectors are problems shared by worn-out local governments around the country.
 阿久根市が抱える官民格差や行革の問題は、疲弊した地方都市の多くが共有している。

Learning from Akune, local governments must reexamine whether the number and salary of assembly members and government officials are appropriate.
阿久根市を他山の石として、地方議員や自治体職員の定数・給与が適正かどうか、再点検せねばなるまい。

===

Be a solution, not a problem

Local assemblies are expected to play a key role in resolving these problems.
 重要なのは議会の役割だ。

In Nagoya, a referendum on dissolving the city assembly has also been announced. People are taking an increasingly critical look at local assemblies, and the legislative bodies are expected to play a more active role in monitoring and checking the local administrations.
名古屋市議会の解散の是非を問う住民投票が告示されるなど、地方議会に対する住民の視線は厳しい。行政を監視・抑制する役割を担う議会の活性化が求められている。

Takehara's outrageous behavior also exposed legal loopholes that allowed him to take such actions.
 竹原前市長の暴走を許した法律面の不備も明らかになった。

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry plans to submit a bill to revise the Local Government Law in the next ordinary Diet session.
 総務省は通常国会に地方自治法改正案を提出する。

The planned revisions would make it impossible for local government heads to appoint deputy governors and mayors without consulting their assemblies. Local government heads would also be required to make corrections if assemblies do not approve administrative decisions made without consulting them.
副知事や副市町村長の選任を専決処分の対象外とするほか、専決処分を議会が不承認とした場合、首長に是正措置を義務づける内容だ。

We find these revisions quite reasonable, and hope the Diet will pass the bill into law as soon as possible.
妥当であり、早期に成立させてもらいたい。

The current system also allows a head of a local government who has lost his or her job in a referendum to run for the post again in the recall election, a system we find problematic.
 住民投票で失職した首長が出直し選に出馬できる現行制度にも問題がある。

If Takehara had been elected in Sunday's election, administrative confusion in the city could have continued.
仮に竹原前市長が当選していれば、市政の混乱が長期化する恐れがあった。

The government should regulate who can run in elections following the recall of a local government head.
出直し選への出馬制限を検討してはどうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 18, 2011)
(2011年1月18日01時22分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-01-19 04:42 | 英字新聞

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