This is Antena 3 - Eforie's leading news channel.
Anchor: Good evening Eforie, and welcome to this special edition of our newscast. Tonight, our guest is mayor Clover, in his first news interview since the campaign in 1995. Good evening, Mr. Mayor.
Clover: Good evening.
Anchor: Of course, the issue that we are going to start off with tonight obviously has to do with the recent media outburst about your new house, Mr. Clover. Allegedly, it cot $1.7 million and many people are wondering how you can afford such a place.
Clover: Obviously people are always interested in scandals, and this is a perfect opportunity for those seeking it. However, the answer is not as complicated as it seems. First, the house cost only $1.4, has been in construction for over two years, and, as for the money, I have an outstanding $500.000 loan, that you can check. Also, before being a mayor, as everybody knows I have been the CEO of Freedonia Karlsport Logistics, one of the biggest freight operators in the country. I saved a lot of money doing that and I was able to pay for this house. Our city budget is tight and very transparent, therefore people that might infer that that is the source of the money are uninformed.
Anchor: Do you still earn money from this company?
Mayor: No, the moment I was sworn in as mayor I sold all my shares in the company and stepped down. I owned 46% of that company, and selling the shares has brought me a substantial amount of money from which I built this house and I am able to maintain it. I just want to make this clear for all the conspiracy theorists out there: there is no funds embezzelemnt or anything of that kind.
Anchor: OK, now to a differnt issue. Today is July 14, 1997. The company building the now famed Ring Road has yet to finish it, over three months after its deadline. Why so late?
Mayor: Bechtel, the contractor had to do some new plans for one particular intersection in town, specifically the one in the agricultural area, to avoid congestion. As you know, two bridges were built and that slowed construction down by a few months. We are expecting it to be finished by November.
Anchor: What are the costs of this new development?
Mayor: The price of the completed Ring Road has risen just slighly, by about $14 million over the projected price because of these bridges, but the new solution is much more efficient for everybody. Once the ring road is completed, a lot of traffic problems in town will be solved. Actually, already the part of the road that has been completed is under use, and traffic is flowing exceptionally well there.
Anchor: How is the relocation in that area proceeding?
Mayor: That was one of our main concerns in the beginning. There have been demolished currently 6 buildings, the houses there have been evaluated and people have been given 105% of the evaluated price and most of them have moved elsewhere in town. I see an image of the area where construction is udnergoing now, a key element is that green areas will be arranged where you see the construction site now, and that will offset the effect of the new heavy traffic in the area.
Anchor: Can people refuse to move out of their houses?
Mayor: When we started this plan we consulted most of the Owners Associations in the area, and 98% of the people have been OK with being relocated. However, this project has been started as a "strategic infrastructure element" of Eforie, which means that pretty much even the ones who refused to move volutarily have been relocated. We cannot halt the proces for one single person whi didn't want to move out. But, generally we have had no problems.
Anchor: There is a new hospital in town.
Mayor: Yes, we have had that in mind ever since I started my term. There was a big need for a major hospital in Eforie, and I am thankful we got all the funds for it in time. It is now one of the most modern medical facilities in the area, and we have not received any complaints.
Anchor: Also, we have seen a new Police station in town.
Mayor: Yes, we also needed that, and since last year we had a substantial budhet, we decided to relocate the old police station to the city center in a new modern building. The old station is still there, but it is being used for adminsitrative purposes. We believe that the location of the new one is much better, in the Eforie Central Park, and thus will serve more people much faster.
Anchor: We have seens some pretty expensive villas being built next to the City Hall. What can you tell us about this?
Mayor: Yes, as you know, we have a strict policy about the area surrounding the city hall, the old historical center, and we have been against expanding the Central Business District towards that area. However since land in the center has become more expensive than it used to be, many people living there were attracted to selling their plots to people that have built some pretty impressive residences. I see them from my office window every day, I can't say I don't like them.
Anchor: What is happening with the cathedral in the park, and actually the park as a whole?
Mayor: We are working on a plan to make it as cost efficient as we can. s for the cathedral, its costs are enormous, and it will be built, but we are doing it one step at a time. Momentarily, we have halted construction, we shoudl resume it by next spring, once the new budget is approved.
Anchor: What future plans do you have?
Mayor: As you can see on the screen, we have approved in the last city council meeting two residential areas, one in the continuation of the Constanta district, and another one withing the boundaries of the ring road SE of the city center. We have also approved new Business developments and blocked an area from expanding until the Eforie Park is done, so about 5 years. We are also in the last stages of approving a new school in the Constanta district, and a new fire station in the Patriarch district, as well as adding some more leisure facilities for our citizens.
Anchor: Why block an area?
Mayor: Because at some point in time we want to develop tourism in this city, and if some developer decides to build cheap housing there, or even small density houses, it will be difficult for that to happen. It sounds for many as a communistic decision, but let's remember that I, as a mayor have changed a lot of the ways this town develops, including approving huge residential areas as you see now, instead of individual projects as it was in the past.
Anchor: What does that mean? What is the difference?
Mayor: It means that, for example, things like the new Oracle Complex can be built easier. In the past, the procedure was that you had to present your completed blueprint to city hall, then we would approve it and than you had to build the building exactly as the blueprint you had provided, or else you would either pay fines or would have the whole project reapproved. It was a timely uneffective procedure. Now, you can just pruchase land in the are that we have zoned, build your buildings, and just ask us for approval of infrastructure
Anchor: Last question, what is happening to the intra-agricultural road network. There have been no new developments in a while.
Mayor: The new studies we have done since we finished the sections that are now in use show that as of now there is no need for expanding the network. The old plan was too expensive, and virtually would not have changed the situation much for the better. We are working on a solution for the East side of the agricultural complex, where there are some problems with lack of freight, but that will take some time. We are one of the major agriculture towns in the country, and for now things seem good.
Anchor: Mr. Mayor, thanks for being here today.
Mayor: my pleasure.
Anchor: This has been a Special Edition if our newscast. We are ending with a beautiful panoramic shot of our city from News Chopper 3. Good night, Eforie. You are watching Antena 3.
Satisfaction levels for Eforie as of yesterday:
Health 100% (+33%)
Education 77% (-3%)
Police 99% (+24%)
Leisure 71% (-1%)
Retail 99% (-)
Nature 78% (-1%)
Traffic 88% (+2%)
@Larks: Thanks man for always commenting. You are the only one that probabily reads this, but it doesn't stop here. Thanks for all the support. You rule!