Penza governor Vasily Bochkarev’s initiatives in last 5 years in office
Penza, 25 May 2015. PenzaNews. Vasily Bochkarev, 66, who led the Penza region since 1998, went into the annals of history as a generator of ideas for improvement of various areas of people’s life. Some ideas of Vasily Bochkarev were seen by his subordinates as direct orders, while others remained but points of avid public discussion.
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Among the ideas announced by the governor in 2010 was the recommendation to construct a sculpture complex to immortalize the well-known sportsmen, that was supposed to be located in Arbekovo neighborhood and dedicated to Boris Klinchenko, Yanina Zatuliveter, Natalya Lavrova and other outstanding coaches and sportsmen.
Vasily Bochkarev suggested to create a moral police branch to regain the lost foundations of the family that “would reduce the numbers of divorces and especially irresponsible cohabitation practices.”
At approximately the same time, the head of the region suggested to create Internet-centers for the youth in the Penza region that would be located in the innovation assistance centers, designed as replacements for night clubs and house affordable cafés, dance zones and bowling lanes.
The 2011 initiatives expressed by Vasily Bochkarev were mostly dedicated to improving the effectiveness of his subordinates.
In March of that year, the governor demanded to seize the work cellphones of the regional officials and give them back only during business trips in the region or to the capital.
Less than a month later, the head of the region recommended several city heads to swap their cars for motorcycles and control urban improvement progress on their own. The officials bought their first mopeds and scooters as quickly as several days after the suggestion.
In a month, Vasily Bochkarev decided to again punish his officials by promising to fire all smoking public workers.
Another prominent suggestion of the governor is dedicated to re-education of chess and dancing teachers who were axed during the job reforms. The head of the region voiced his suggestion during the meeting with the Russian Minister of Education and Science Andrei Fursenko on April 22, 2011, during the regional visit of the high-ranking official.
In 2012, the governor, criticizing the work of Roman Chernov, then head of the Penza city administration, at a meeting, suggested to disable water supply to the mayor’s flat, as the high ranking official was thought to be working in the urban amenities area very poorly.
In 2012, Vasily Bochkarev expanded his 2011 policy on mobile phones and banned using them during the work time completely. According to the governor, all members of the regional government were instructed to leave their personal belongings at entry in order to deal only with work in their offices, as “if the official wants to work for the sake of the people, the only things they need is a workplace, a computer and a landline phone.”
Vasily Bochkarev’s suggestion to flog the doctors who take bribes caused a debate in the community. The head of the region suggested to set up a special penalty bench in the regional oncology treatment center for those medics who demand money from their patients.
In 2013, Vasily Bochkarev demanded the regional ministers to lose weight. Vladimir Zhuchkov, 51, chairman of the Penza region committee on physical education and sports, took this suggestion most seriously, and led an online diary called “Fighting Weight” for 2.5 months, describing his actions. Vladimir Zhuchkov did manage to lose weight, going down from 96-98 kilograms to below 90.
In the same year, Vasily Bochkarev demanded to install banners with the phone numbers of the mayor or the area administration head at the entryway to each regional area, which was done. He also suggested creating Public Official Day, again banned smoking for the regional officials, and instructed them to memorize the Hymn of the Russian Federation using pocket calendars.
The governor’s idea to translate all public signs into Russian caused a large public outcry.
In 2014, Vasily Bochkarev suggested to locate a picture gallery in a maternity clinic building on Pushkina street, but changed his mind some time later: as a result, the building will work as a maternity center in the future.
Moreover, the governor once again raised the weight issue and instructed the regional Mister of Health Vladimir Stryuchkov to weigh each official in order to establish their optimal weights. This time, it was Vladimir Torgashin, head of the regional Department of Industry and Energy, who ended up in the focus of the governor’s outrage: the head of the region criticized the official’s exterior look, saying some men look like pregnant women.
In September 2014, Vasily Bochkarev gave a speech at the second stage of the 19th conference of the regional United Russia branch, and asked the members of the ruling party to stop acting against the people, promising those who continue doing so to pull their legs off, seize their badges and put them on place.
In 2015, the uneasy economy caused Vasily Bochkarev’s initiatives to become more pragmatic. In particular, he suggested to recruit the pensioners as price control agents, and shake up the CMOs of the city hospitals to improve the medical situation.
Also, the governor suggested to set up toll booths around the square by the Penza-1 train station.
Moreover, he instructed to issue the officials plots of land for growing potatoes.