“The main thing is not about roads and construction, but people's activeness” - head of Dubivska hromada
A little more than two years ago, Roman Trotsyuk headed the Dubivska amalgamated hromada. During this time he managed to do so much that he can speak about successes for hours: school construction, energy efficiency, lighting, cooperation with schoolchildren... Yet even more – about future plans.
Roman Trotsyuk, head of the Dubivska AH
– You once worked as a teacher at Dubove school. Why did you leave this job and went into business?
– I worked as a physics teacher for 7.5 years, 3 years as a school principal, my wife was a teacher as well. But this was the time when I did not receive salary for seven months – it was very difficult to be the breadwinner in the family. My wife stayed at school, and in 2000 I agreed to work at Ukrtelecom. I started as electromechanic, then worked as an engineer. Seven years later, Datagroup invited me for an engineer’s position, then – for a position of the head of the Kovel branch. In addition, I was also a private entrepreneur. Working at Datagroup, I bought machinery and began to farm the land.
– Why then, having a successful business, did you decide to become an AH head?
– Several times people asked me to run in the elections, but I constantly refused. I did not see my self-fulfillment in this. When I learned about hromadas’ amalgamation, I realised that it was about completely different authorities. I saw that decentralisation provides opportunities for hromada development.
Surveys showed that I had an initial rating of 4%, and as a result I got 67%.
Three oaks are a symbol of the hromada formed of three village councils
– What did you do that your rating increased so much?
– I was going from the house to the house, told about my plans, asked about the wishes of people. I was in all eight villages and visited almost every house. I also met the residents in cultural centres.
– The Dubove village council amalgamated with Horodyshche and Oblapy. What did this give you?
– Now our budget has about UAH 18 million, and more than 40 million together with subventions from the state budget. Prior to amalgamation all village councils together had about UAH 4.5 million.
On the one hand, we amalgamated with poorer villages, and on the other hand decentralisation gave us finances.
– You are one of hromadas, where a new school is being built. It is a considerable expense. Is there something left for other institutions?
– In December 2017, we put the school building in the village of Verbka into operation. This is a large institution for 14 classes. The total cost of construction was UAH18 million. We plan to construct one more building.
We established a good hub school in Dubove. 30 children from other villages are now being brought there for studies.
Dubove school became the hub institution. Children are now brought there from neighbouring villages
School building was completely renovated
Children have what to do at the school yard
There is modern equipment in the canteen
In the sports hall children are not only engaged in physical training classes, but also in after-school sports sections
We allocate scholarships to pupils for their academic success. It is also planned to award the best educational institution. We will allocate approximately UAH30 thousand for this.
Over the past year, about three million hryvnias of educational subvention remained unused in the hromada.
– Horodyshche school was closed, as promised?
– Yes, since there were only 22 pupils and 18 teachers. The school was long balancing on the brink of closure.
– Have you closed paramedic and obstetric stations?
– Not yet, but they will not exist in future. The reform does not foresee paramedic and obstetric stations. We will maintain them until new quality medical services are available.
– People say that Dubivska hromada is implementing many energy-efficient measures.
– Yes, we have already insulated the Dubove and Bakhiv schools, the village council, we are building a thermo-modernised school in Verbka, this year we will insulate the sports hall of the Oblapy school.
I was one of 50 people trained by the Germans within the framework of the “Energy Efficiency in Amalgamated Hromadas” programme. Now I have the right to give advice on this issue.
– Your village council has obviously been recently renovated. How much have you spent on it?
– Previously, it used to be an old collective farm office with a leaking roof. We have invested more than UAH 2 million in intermediate slabs, insulation, and are currently carrying our internal repairs.
Previously, it used to be an old collective farm office with a leaking roof. Now it is a modern administrative building
– Are you repairing roads?
– We constantly carry out road grading and construct two roads – put asphalt coverage to Oblapy and Horodyshche. We have already spent more than two million hryvnias on it. I know that in 2020, Kovel-Domanove road is planned to be repaired. This is a great benefit for the hromada, since the highway passes through four settlements.
Roads’ grading, says the head, is a constant process
– Are hromada residents active? Do they care about what's going on?
– It's not easy to engage people, but if you do not try, nothing will happen.
Recently, there has been a meeting with schoolchildren. We got a lot of interesting ideas: on landscaping, joint work, waste sorting.
Our main goal is not the roads and construction works, but the change of attitude. People need to understand that our lives depend on ourselves.
Hromada wants to turn this pond into a recreation area
– Are you sorting garbage?
– We are sorting garbage only in school so far. Children themselves offered to put paper, glass and plastic containers. We have an agreement with the entrepreneur who will take it all out and give money to the pupils. Perhaps they will collect some funds to go for an excursion somewhere.
These garbage containers were put at the initiative of children
– Given that you are located nearby Kovel city, wasn’t the option of forming one hromada considered?
– Previously, it was considered, but now we went far beyond the rayon and in fact approached another rayon centre. We develop rapidly and have doubts whether the city will do the same. Today, I do not see the reasonableness of joining Kovel.
– What is harder – work as businessman or as hromada head?
– Wherever it is, if you work, it’s always hard, but if you do not do anything, it’s easy. I am such a person. If I take on something, I do it seriously.
– What would you recommend to heads of village councils, who have not yet amalgamated?
– They may not run in the next election, because people will properly evaluate their inactivity. Sometimes I meet people from other hromadas. Those non-amalgamated are now in despair, since they have lost a lot over the years.
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