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Bloated government forces citizens to demand change

Date Posted: 2005-11-11

The natives are more than restless.

Uruma City residents are angry. They are so angry, they’re demanding the city be abolished. Uruma City, formed by a merger little more than six months ago, is costing taxpayers bundles of money by not implementing reforms.

When Gushikawa and Ishikawa Cities, Katsuren and Yonashiro Towns united into a single city April 1st, the idea was to make life easier for citizens by slashing costs and centralizing administration.

That has not happened, and now it’s costing more to operate than the four cities and towns did separately. A key complaint was the inability of the new city government to decide whose jobs to cut.

Retaliation is swift in coming, with Uruma City residents signing petitions demanding a referendum to dump the new administration. Citizens have collected 29,000 signatures calling for a referendum, more than the required minimum necessary. Those signatures have been turned over to the election board for validation.

As the cities consolidated, they were supposed to form a single government. Today, the assemblymen and office administrative units are still well inflated. Critics charge the Assembly members refuse to change. The new city needs only 34 assemblymen, far fewer than the 84 assemblymen still holding office. The irate citizens say the costs are staggering, and are choking everyday financial stability in the community.

They want a return to four separate communities. The citizens group has already asked Uruma City officials if they’d take dissolution measures without a referendum. They’ve asked politicians to think about everyone instead of their own private lives. “Nobody is saying yes,” is how one angry resident lashed out. “They only think about themselves.”

The election board will confirm that the 29,000 signatures are authentic, and that they are from people residing in Uruma City. If they are certified, a referendum will be scheduled for January 2006. If more than 50% of voters agree, the city’s status will be on the road to change.

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