AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Ten city directors and representatives of governmental departments joined Mayor Latif Obaid Ayadah for a city directors meeting in Central Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Feb. 12.
The meeting was the second of its kind to be held since the appointment of Mayor Latif in early January, and served as a forum for the discussion and solution of the city’s municipal problems.
Representatives from Ramadi’s Water Department, Sewage and Sanitation Department, Electricity Department, Municipality Department, and a few supervisors of other areas attended the morning meeting.
The collection of professional leaders addressed a variety of topics during the meeting, all focused on increasing the quality of life for Ramadi citizens.
The main topics of discussion for the meeting were the importance of electricity and water for the upcoming summer months, obtaining smooth communication between city departments and Iraqi Army units, providing honest jobs for the citizens, and identifying the “bad elements” of city departments.
Feeling strongly about the subject, the mayor made his stance on the “bad elements” of his city workers clear to the community leaders.
“Our work must be honest work, not work from fear and threats,” said Mayor Latif. “The bad elements will be fired and we must do our jobs.”
After bringing all of their concerns to the table, the community leaders discussed projects and solutions that would immediately affect the lives of the city’s residents.
Paving roads, cleaning up neighborhoods and other small projects to provide work to the people were a few of the immediate improvements discussed.
Although the majority of discussions centered around immediate improvements, the long term goals of the city were addressed as well.
The overall security of Ramadi, via local police forces, was seen as the most important task for the city’s success.
“Our goal for Ramadi is to make it a safe place to live and that means all of Ramadi, not just the Abou Reesha area or the Abou Alwan area or the Abou Chlaib area,” said Mayor Latif. “All of Ramadi will become a green zone.”
With one discussion carrying into the next, the government representatives debated the situation of the city for nearly two hours in a casual environment.
Each of the government representatives came forward with all concerns and ideas, encouraged by the mayor to be comfortable in approach.
“Do not think of me as a mayor, but as your brother,” said Mayor Latif during the meeting. “Ask my advice and let me know all of your needs.”
The overall meeting was a large success because of the increased participation by government officials, said Mayor Latif.
City directors and government representatives will continue to meet with the mayor on a regular basis as the community leaders take charge of Ramadi’s reconstruction.