Rinat Ziganshin, candidate of philosophical sciences
Local self-government in Russia implies self-government and self-organization of citizens, which is necessary to solve pressing social issues of local importance. It is one of the foundations of the constitutional system, it is the level of power closest to the population. In practice, however, local officials often abuse the literal reading of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which supposedly leads to an unambiguous conclusion about the isolated status of local self-government, excluding any of its dependence on state bodies. That they are not subordinate to the authorities of the subjects of the Federation and, therefore, should not bear any public responsibility. This is often reflected in the replies sent to citizens who write complaints, where the argument is often made that local governments are completely independent and independent in making their decisions.
It is likely that few of the citizens who apply to local self-government bodies have not heard intricate words from local officials that essentially boil down to such a phrase! More or less disguised, little or completely incomprehensible to people who are not legally savvy. Often one specific example speaks more about the essence and nature of local government than detailed theoretical descriptions. So a story happened to me in which bureaucratic swagger, negligence, and irresponsibility were fully manifested.
It began in 1997, when my neighbor died in an old private house in Alexandrov, Vladimir region. With his small room (15 sq.m.), I have a common entrance, gas boiler, electric meter, common areas (my room is 30 sq.m.). They are actually a single room, separated by a thin partition. He left no heirs. I immediately began to go to the authorities in order to arrange his share for myself - to buy it out. According to the law, the state, represented by the local administration, takes ownership of the escheated property and disposes of it. But wherever I went, everywhere I was escorted out with different verbal formulations, but their meaning was the same: “Get out, you fool!”.
No one wanted to waste their precious time on this little room! I walked for a long time and to no avail, until one woman in the city administration took pity on me and gave me advice - to wait 15 years and calmly, without problems, take ownership under the law on acquisitive prescription. I followed this then good advice. But 15 years later, by 2012, an amendment to the plenum of the Supreme Court arrived in time, according to which, if a person knew that he did not own his own property, he could not be considered a bona fide user. On this basis, the court denied me the rights to this share.
As a retired judge I know explained to me, this amendment distorts the very essence of acquisitive prescription. Because it ALWAYS acquires someone else's property! He then gave me another piece of advice - to induce the city administration to take ownership of this escheated property with complaints, and then it will sell this tiny share to me. Since, according to him, she must dispose of it within one year, after taking ownership. I complained to the governor of the Vladimir region, the president of the Russian Federation, wrote numerous appeals to various authorities. As a result, he made sure that the administration (18 years after the death of the owner, finally!) Takes over the property.
But then new problems arose! The local administration turned out to be very offended by me because I dared to complain about it, and encouraged me to do my direct duties. In the end, it turned out that I only made life difficult for myself in this particular problem and made it even more difficult for myself to solve this problem, which was frankly pointed out to me. It turned out that it was a matter of principle for them not to comply with my legal requirements. Because complaints cannot be left unpunished! They told me: “Why did you decide that we would sell it to you. We have many people in need. We'll allocate it to someone." "You shouldn't have complained!"
Only extreme outcasts will agree to move into this small room without the conveniences of an old house, who, at the first drunkenness, will burn the whole house for three owners. But KUMI will report that it allegedly improved someone's living conditions. This is at its best! But rather, they will install professional tenants in order to turn the life of the owners into hell. What was pointed out to me! The fact is that I made fierce enemies in the administration, which by that time had become the administration of the Aleksandrovsky district, because of which I had to endure rudeness, outright indifference, spitting, and threats from its employees. And they fooled me many times! For example, the deputy chairman of KUMI P.V. Gusev and the then chairman of KUMI A.V. Kuznetsova (the current head of the district administration) offered me to redevelop in 2018. It consisted in the fact that I made a separate entrance from the street to this room. Then, allegedly, they will be able to transfer this premises from residential to non-residential and give it to me completely free of charge.
Valery Alekseevich Shukaev, the retired judge of the Aleksandrovsky City Court, mentioned above, did not allow me to deceive. Now deceased, may his memory be blessed! He said that since I have a common entrance and common areas, they will not be able to move anyone in to me. And they would need a separate entrance just for that! I could not even imagine that local officials could go to such meanness, baseness and deceive me so insidiously! And one of them is A.V. Kuznetsova - now heads the district administration! The current chairman of KUMI, Aleksandrova M.V. Pozhilov also deceived me more than once. For example, he said that in order to sell this share to me, one application is enough from me, which I wrote. But he cheated! This will be confirmed by the assistant commissioner for human rights in the Vladimir region M.A. Tarasova. Head of Privatization and Registry KUMI E.V. Orekhova turned out to be even more deceitful! She repeatedly convinced me that they were solving my problem and that they would soon, just about to solve it, asked me to wait a bit. And then, as it turned out, she was the executor of the replies sent to me, in which it was stated that the problem was generally unsolvable in principle!
As a result, because of this situation, for the above reasons, I cannot fully manage my own property. Those. violated my constitutional rights to dispose of my own property!!! In particular, I cannot do overhaul, redevelopment, etc. In addition, further non-possession, non-use, non-disposal, etc. on the part of KUMI inevitably leads to damage and destruction of property, tk. This old building is long overdue for renovation. And the officials of the local Administration are well aware of this! In response to my complaints, they send me only replies. Although I have repeatedly proved the falsity of the arguments of these replies and the falsity of references to laws, but they send them to me again and again! They write, for example, that the current legislation, regulations, etc. allegedly do not allow them to solve the problem, citing false, untenable excuses.
Local self-government bodies do not actually represent the interests of citizens. This is not the power of the people at the local grassroots level, but the power of bureaucrats, clerks, officials, local kings - anyone, but not the people! The decisive factor in making any decisions is not concern for the interests of the population, but personal, corporate, clan interests. In my specific example, it is clear that the district administration does not fulfill its direct duties, if there are the slightest gaps, shortcomings in the legislation that allow it to do this. Especially if the people writing the appeal are not quite legally literate. And she sincerely believes that it is not she who should help people solve their problems, but people (ordinary residents of Russia and, in particular, the city of Alexandrov, Vladimir Region and District) should serve them. (Because they are in power!) Any other opinion its workers consider blasphemous, outrageous and insulting them "in the best of feelings", which cannot be left unpunished. This is what I experienced for myself! In fact, it turns out that the more autonomy and independence local officials have, the less rights citizens have. They understand and interpret it only to substantiate and justify their actions and inactions that violate the rights and interests of people.
Thus, my sad story reveals the systemic problem of state and municipal authorities, which, unfortunately, is typical for all of Russia! It is long overdue, overripe and requires its decision on the part of the highest echelons of power (legislative and executive) and supervisory bodies. It has long been no secret to anyone that people go to power, even at the grassroots level, not in order to serve the people and the state, but more often for the sake of personal selfish interests. People who dealt with the local administration have been telling me for a long time that until I bring them money, i.e. bribe, this problem will never be solved! This is the main principle of the work of local officials: to do bad things to people, create problems from scratch, and then solve them for a bribe! Those. to see in the problems of citizens a resource for corruption, however, as in everything that is possible. These, of course, are words and rumors, but this clearly speaks of the reputation of our self-government bodies in the eyes of the population!