The mayors’ concerns and political maneuver are at the origin of a spectacular offensive against the environmental executive of the metropolis of Lyon. Forty-four of the fifty-nine mayors of the municipalities located within the perimeter of the second largest agglomeration in France, co-signed a forum calling for the abandonment of the particular model of the metropolis of Lyon, while severely criticizing the governance of the ecological majority, judged “Dogmatic and vertical”. These elected officials come from or are close to two opposition groups in the metropolis: the Rally of the Right, the Center and Civil Society, mainly made up of elected Republicans (LR), and Synergies elected and citizens for a democracy of daily, made up of elected officials without a label from small towns.
“The majority of municipalities are not represented within the deliberative bodies of the metropolis. (…) By wanting to dispossess elected municipal officials of any means of action, even though they are the only ones in contact with the inhabitants on a daily basis, it is local democracy that we achieve ”, write the mayors in this text published on Saturday 11 September on the website of Sunday newspaper. During a press conference organized on Wednesday 15, some threatened to no longer sign building permits, or to stop certain municipal police missions, to challenge the power of the metropolis. “Three quarters of the mayors have signed this protest text, it is a transpartisan groundswell. Mayors are not only decorative, they can no longer bear to be ignored ”, explains Philippe Cochet, mayor (LR) of Caluire-et-Cuire, who hopes “Attentive listening to the Senate”.
A feeling of exclusion
The mayors are asking for the revision of the law on the modernization of public action and the affirmation of metropolises (Maptam), initiated in 2014 by Gérard Collomb and Michel Mercier, former mayor and chairman of the Rhône general council. Before the reform, all mayors were automatically appointed in the inter-municipal assembly, as well as municipal councilors, in proportion to the populations of the municipalities. The Maptam law changed the method of electing the Lyon urban community, by creating for the first time in France a metropolitan ballot by direct universal suffrage, organized in fourteen constituencies. The metropolis has become a community with new skills, with a budget of 4 billion euros, absorbing part of the Rhône department. The direct election of metropolitan councilors mechanically removed the mayors from the assembly. Hence a feeling of exclusion, which the metropolitan conference did not compensate for, bringing together mayors once or twice a year, in a purely consultative exercise.
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