As many of you readers know, Odessa City has its own website to promote or record the events in Odessa. On the whole it is not a bad website. A little dated and boring for the site visitor given the funds that could be made available for an upgrade, but then my websites are not exactly exhilarating to the eye and I could of course spend some money on them. Yes I hear you all shouting “Pot and kettle!”
Odessa City is also on twitter (@odessa_ukraine) but not a tweet from them since I have been following it.
Anyway, on the Odessa City website, on the right hand side under the “Announce” block is a section called “Essential” which lists causes for which the city is trying to raise money via public donation. Now of course it is worthy to raise funds to safeguard Russov’s home as an architectural monument and maybe it is not essential but no less worthy to raise funds to erect a statue to Issak Babel (who wrote Tales of Odessa amongst many other famous works), however I cannot help but feel the “Essential” section could be redirected somewhat to benefit those who are alive today and the issues they are facing and about to face.
For example, energy bills have gone up twice under the current government by huge percentages (at IMF insistence) and there is incredible pressure from them to do so again by another 50%. As Ukraine is absolutely terrible at energy conservation which is normally the base of any energy pyramid, let alone energy efficiency you would think it “essential” in view of recent and projected energy price hikes, that the city website at the absolute minimum, have an idiot’s guide to energy conservation and also energy efficiency for both homes and business premises alike.
It is just as essential to find willing citizens or home owner groups to engage with the authorities over both issues and encourage occupants to engage in energy saving technology. It is surely in the long term interests of Ukraine to subsidise energy conservation and efficiency rather than subsidising energy for it to be simply wasted as it currently is.
This is of course but one example that is “essential” to the city looking forwards if current and future Mayor’s wish to avoid being rudely and publicly carpeted each year by the Kyiv administration for not having enough money to pay Naftogaz as their predecessors have been.
There is possibly an endless list of “essential” issues the city could use the “Essential” section for when it comes to public awareness and public engagement that would benefit both public and city administrators if it had the political will to force any issue into the public debate/awareness arena.
There is, after all, no point in achieving 19% of Ukrainian energy from renewable sources as is the goal, if much more than 19% of energy used is wasted. To conserve and be energy efficient must be economically and environmentally “essential” surely?
As I say, this is but one issue the city could and probably should promote under the “Essential” category. Recycling, preventative health awareness etc. are no different to my example and equally essential to the city. They are probably more essential that a statue to Issak Babel that would be lost amongst the other 250 statues in the city when all is said and done.
Maybe it is just me that thinks the “Essential” category is somewhat misaligned?