Carrara flood: mayor and junta take responsibility. And above all: the mindset changes.

Let's talk more about the Carrara flood.

Our readers accustomed to posts about art and culture will forgive us if we continue to talk about theCarrara flooding, but it affects us very closely and, as they can well imagine, we are really taken. In these hours the emergency is receding and we are starting to count the damages: there are families and businesses that have lost a lot, unfortunately.

Here, today we just want to express a couple of freewheeling thoughts. Yesterday, late in the afternoon, a city council meeting was held to take stock of the situation. There was a large participation of the citizenry, and it was a very excited council meeting. We followed the live broadcast, and as was to be expected, on the one hand the city administration tried to take as little responsibility as possible, and on the other hand the citizenry reacted with even heavy insults against the mayor, the council and city leaders.

It will be the judiciary to determine who are the culprits of the disaster, and we hope that, at least for this time, someone will pay for what they caused. But on the other hand, it can hardly be said that the municipal administration is not exempt from other faults. Starting with what happened yesterday: we saw a city administration treating its citizens with condescension and arrogance. When it would have been dignified, elegant and responsible to make a warm apology to the citizenry: a municipality, after all, should have at heart, as the very first thing, the safety and security of its citizens. And this having at heart the safety of its citizens should also come through controlling the works that are done on municipal land.

Carrara, alluvione 2014

We believe that the municipal administration cannot afford to entrench itself behind the assertion that the work on the collapsed embankment was the province’s responsibility. The municipality is the local government closest to the citizens: and the citizens demand serious and concrete answers. That have yet to come. On the other hand, so much arrogance has arrived, and we wonder if it is not the case that the mayor also feels that he owes an apology, for his behavior, to a citizenry still visibly shaken and frustrated by the events of recent days. Let us not forget that the lives of many citizens have been jeopardized because of sloppy work (which the municipality, as far as we know, has not bothered to check for itself, despite several reports) when everyone in the city well knows that the Carrione is subject to flooding, even heavy flooding. We therefore believe (and we repeat because in cases like these repetitions are never too many) that a public apology is a due act on the part of the administration. Who should then step aside.

Because the problem is not only the flood: the events that have occurred in recent days are merely the culmination of a bad management that has been going on for years. Those who have been following us for some time know that we have always talked about Carrara’s problems, which are not new. A city where there is no longer any cultural programming worthy of the name, where two out of three theaters are closed (one of the two is even in danger of collapsing), where there are no more cinemas, where there is a shortage of places of aggregation, where the territory is continually being torn apart, where the bosses are those few marble industrialists who derive enormous profits from mining, which, however, has heavy repercussions on the environment and the health of citizens. Without, moreover, any significant economic fallout.

Saluti da Carrara, con alluvioni
Click to enlarge

Tomorrow there will be, at 11 a.m., a demonstration in front of the Municipality of Carrara: a peaceful demonstration, organizers say, whose main intent will be to demand the resignation of the mayor and his council. Also joining the demonstration will be some opposition councilors, who will present a motion of no confidence in the mayor. We add that the administration must not only answer for the damage caused by the flood. It must also answer for everything in Carrara that has been done (and especially not done) in recent years. At stake is the future of the city. And if until recently we were wondering whether this administration was able to guarantee a serious employment policy, adequate cultural programming, an intelligent tourist offer, a full sustainability of environmental policies, an effective fight against the social, economic and environmental imbalances due to mining that enriches a few and harms a great many, now we are also forced to ask whether this administration can guarantee our safety and security. The answers so far have been far more often negative, than positive. And it is for all these causes that the mayor and the council should stand before their fellow citizens and take responsibility. This will probably not be the case tomorrow: in fact, the administration has invited the citizenry (we learn this from the facebook profile of minority councilor Claudia Bienaimé) to go shoveling. As if these days the people of Carrara had been out for a walk. And when an administration fails even to show up in front of its citizens but, on the contrary, invites them to do other activities, we wonder if this is not perhaps one more reason that should push it to step aside.

What is certain is that from tomorrow she will have to change her mentality. Carrara, these days, is manifesting strength and unity: but this strength and unity will have to continue when it comes to information, participation in discussions, talking about the issues, and creating awareness. Because it is only with a lively and constant interest in one’s city that problems are solved.

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