Governor Shakes Up City Hall

Governor Shakes Up City Hall

Published: September 14, 2011 (Issue # 1674)

New St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko has finalized his new cabinet team, proposing three new additions, while deputy governors Alla Manilova and Alexei Sergeyev are set to leave City Hall.

Poltavchenko nominated his candidates for the positions of deputy governor to the Legislative Assembly on Friday, according to a member of the assembly. They are due to be confirmed by the assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 14, which would increase the number of deputy governors from eight to nine, he said.

One of the new deputy governors will reportedly be Sergei Vyazalov, who is currently deputy head of the Russian presidential office for foreign policy, who will be put in charge of City Hall’s financial-economic bloc, according to three deputies. The bloc is currently led by Mikhail Oseyevsky, head of the governor’s administration, who will remain in that position. City Hall’s press office declined to comment on the reshuffle.

For the position of deputy governor in charge of housing and municipal services, Poltavchenko nominated Sergey Kozyrev, a deputy governor and supervisor for the governor’s administration and government of the Leningrad Oblast since 2005. He will replace Alexei Sergeyev. Kozyrev’s move to City Hall is known to an official of the regional government. According to him, Kozyrev has no background in municipal services. This year the committees on redevelopment, energy and housing have been allocated 60 billion rubles ($2 billion) out of the city’s 432 billion-ruble ($14.3 billion) budget.

Kozyrev, 46, studied at the military academy in the city of Ordzhonikidze, the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow and the Northwest Academy of Governmental Service, serving in the army until 2000. He became a deputy of the regional legislative assembly in 2001. According to an energy specialist familiar with the official, Kozyrev was supervisor for the regional gasification program. It was not possible to reach Kozyrev for comment.

The outgoing deputy governor Sergeyev has been criticized for the city’s failure to clear the streets of snow adequately during the winter. In early September, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak stated that St. Petersburg “had successfully overcome the challenge of cold temperatures, but not the challenge of snow.” Sergeyev said via a representative that for now he “would rest.” He may enter one of the city structures of Gazprom, said one of its employees.

Alla Manilova has also vacated her place in City Hall, having previously been in charge of education, culture and the administration’s press service. She resigned last week. In her place, the governor has proposed 57-year-old Vasily Kichedzhi. Kichedzhi graduated from the Institute of Soviet Trade and National Economy, after which he was involved in the meat industry and the gambling business, and was the co-owner of the Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant. From 2000 to 2003 he was deputy to Poltavchenko when the latter was envoy to the Central Federal District. Later he became the general director of Dorinvest, the State Unitary Enterprise of the city of Moscow for the Maintenance of Roads and Public Works.

Deputy governors Yury Molchanov (investment and transportation), Roman Filimonov (construction), Igor Metelsky (property), Lyudmila Kostkina (social policy), and Valery Tikhonov (legal affairs) will keep their jobs.

The financial-economic bloc is the most important, says a former City Hall official, and so new governors typically start with it when initiating change.

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