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Interview with the Mayor of Manziana, Italy
Bruno Bruni was born on 8 August 1954 in Manziana. He is a Former Municipal Councillor at the Municipality of Manziana. Mr Bruni has held the position of Mayor of Manziana since 2012 and was reelected in June 2017.
Mayor Bruni, how would you briefly describe Manziana?
Manziana is a town that has the great advantage of being surrounded by greenery. Our woods are a real oasis in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Furthermore, its proximity to the lake, the sea, the most important tourist port in Italy (Civitavecchia), and above all Rome, makes it an ideal location for those who want to relax in many different ways.
You have been mayor of Manziana since 2012. What were the biggest challenges in your work?
If you had asked me before March, I would have replied that the biggest challenge I had faced was to restore the municipal accounts but, after Covid-19, this answer is no longer valid.
The difficult period that has passed and the one that we are experiencing is certainly something that is unprecedented in our recent history and I admit that having faced it as a mayor has taken on an even deeper meaning.
In the darkest days for our community, I cannot deny that the burden of holding a public office, of having to make decisions in the interest of my fellow citizens was really heavy. I had no examples to refer to, I just had to deal with my own intuition and rely on my skills and those of my staff.
How has the municipality of Manziana handled the Covid-19 situation?
Between March and April, Manziana risked becoming a red zone. The number of positives, due to a real outbreak originating in a local gym that counted more than 600 members, grew day by day and, compared to the situations of the local realities and the number of inhabitants, made us reluctant to take decisions that would have had even heavier repercussions than those we were already dealing with.
In the end, in collaboration with the ASL Roma 4 and thanks to the maturity of our community, we managed to contain the infection, even if unfortunately our town has one death due to Covid-19. I will never forget the day our fellow citizen died.
What are the advantages of the proximity of your municipality to Rome? Have you ever implemented common projects and initiatives?
Rome represents a great opportunity but also a great limitation. On one hand, the tourists who usually visit the capital every year are in the millions, thus representing a significant pool of potential visitors to our area, but on the other hand, the many attractions of Rome make it difficult for these same people to come and visit our beautiful area.
Territorial projects have been carried out several times and I have always considered it relevant to participate because I believe that a region can express itself at its best only if it thinks in a synergistic way and not by following local selfishness, which is not to the good of local communities.
What other good practices are developing in the municipality? How do you finance them?
For three years, Manziana has been distinguished as a Recycling Municipality (Comune Riciclone) for the high percentage of separate waste collection and in this sense, there are many initiatives implemented by the Administration.
For example, we were the first municipality in the district to make a compactor for plastic available to the citizens. By returning plastic bottles (PET) you get a credit, which can be spent on the purchase of filtered water from the water stations, designed to reduce the amount of plastic produced.
What will be the main goals you are planning to develop in the near future to make Manziana a better place to live in?
Shortly before the start of the Covid-19 emergency, I had a piece of wonderful news: we were able to obtain an area owned by the state. Abandoned barracks that, thanks to a project we refurbished, will become a museum centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, a space for discussion and even a nursery.
What are your thoughts on TheMayor.EU portal as a unifying platform for European municipalities? How can it be useful to you and your citizens?
The pandemic has taught us a lot and clearly shown that Europe must learn to move together. Only in this way is it possible to overcome important challenges to all of us.
In addition to numerous PSR calls, we as a municipality have also participated in an edition of LIFE, another European program that has allowed us to recover an abandoned industrial area. Here, your portal could be a valid opportunity to network and share experiences, best practices and useful news.
The coming months will be very difficult for Manziana, for Italy, for Europe and for the whole world ... we need to team up; unite and not divide. Only in this way will we put this year 2020 behind us and regain momentum to face the future which we will be able to build together.
To find out more about Manziana, visit the profile of the municipality.
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