Residents of Šolta Kicked Out From Public Meeting of Municipal Council

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President of the Municipal Council of Šolta island decided to kick out representatives of the public from a Council meeting convened to discuss waste management

A meeting of the Municipal Council of Šolta island was convened on Thursday, August 24, at the request of independent councillors and HDZ. The subject of the meeting was the Borovik landfill site, as well as the waste management plan that obliges Šolta island to build recycling units before 2020, in order to ensure the majority of produced waste can be managed and disposed on the island itself. It’s an interesting subject, relevant for all Croatian islands.

The Council meeting began at 9:00, attended by the councilors and a couple of outside guests. The meeting also saw the attendance of Maja Jurišić, the head of the Island Movement.

She issued a public announcement after she was made to leave the Council meeting. You can read her original post below:

“This morning at 9:00, apart from the councilors, numerous experts arrived at the meeting to present the Borovik project, invited by the President of the Municipal Council Mr. Ante Ruić. There were also two persons who came as representatives of the public, one of them me, Maja Jurišić, leader of the Island Movement.

At the very beginning of the meeting, president of the Municipal Council Ante Ruić asked the uninvited guests to leave the meeting. Resident of Šolta island Joško Ozretić immediately walked out, remarking this is just another proof of Šolta municipality being one of the least transparent municipalities in the Republic of Croatia. I didn’t leave the meeting, invoking public disclosure and enraging the Council president in the process, so he threatened to call the police and kick out the unwanted public in the manner of Pernar getting kicked out of the Parliament.

The Council president boasted that meetings have been run this way for 20 years, saying he wasn’t prepared to change his opinion; according to his own interpretation of the Municipal Council’s Rules of Procedure, no one can decide to attend the meeting if they weren’t granted permission beforehand. Other arguments cited by the Council president included saying he didn’t want to turn the meeting into a circus but get to work instead, as well as stating he would pronounce every following meeting closed for public if the need arises.

This is not the first time that I requested to attend the meeting, interested in the work of the Municipal Council as a resident of Šolta island. Last year, upon my first request, I was granted official permission to participate, but after that, my second request to attend the meeting got turned down with the argument that there wasn’t enough space available, and my two other requests never even got a reply.

Waiting for someone to call the police, I remained seated. The president of the Municipal Council then decided to close down the meeting for public on the basis of the councilors’ vote. On multiple occasion, head of the Legal Department of the Municipality of Šolta, Mrs. Nataša Nazor, tried to emphasize that such meetings are open for public everywhere, alluding to the fact that this manner of work wasn’t legal. However, most councilors raised their hands and thus closed down the meeting, so the independent councilor Goran Tvrdić and I left the town hall. We were met by two interested residents who decided against entering after they heard the discussion inside.

The President of the Municipal Council of Šolta island heavily violated Title XV, Article 84 of the Rules of Procedure of the Municipal Council. The article defines the public disclosure of the Council – the meetings are public, and they can be attended by representatives of citizens’ associations, the media, and the local residents, the only limitation being the available number of seats. According to this, he had no legal ground to kick us out. Article 84 doesn’t entail any kind of attendance announcement, nor does it imply the media and the citizens can participate only upon invitation from the Council president himself. Referring to Article 62 isn’t relevant, as it relates to inviting guests who will have a particular purpose at the meeting. The Rules of Procedure also don’t state that meetings can be closed for public, only that certain materials discussed at the meeting can be classified as secret. There is no basis for closing down the meeting, especially after our attendance was made known. Apart from the Council president, many other councilors showed their ignorance when it comes to proper functioning of the Municipal Council.

As a resident of Šolta and a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, I will not stop here, but will continue to insist on stopping the sheriff-like behaviour that’s increasingly present on the island of Šolta. I will use all existing lawful regulations that enable me to participate in the work of the Municipal Council, and keep informing the public on what goes on.”


Translation from Dalmacija danas.


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