Tel Aviv's coalition and opposition councilors alike are criticizing Mayor Ron Huldai for his creation of a glossy new brochure titled "2025 - The Future Now," saying the mayor is grandstanding in the lead-up to next year's municipal elections, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. The brochure, which cost several hundred thousand shekels to produce, was distributed to residents' homes in recent weeks, and describes a vision for the city 18 years from now.
According to the report, even Huldai's faction partners are accusing him of pre-election campaigning. "Let him say how Tel Aviv will look in two years' time," scoffed one senior coalition member. "Huldai is using public money to make himself look good before the municipal elections in 2008."
The report says the brochure details a number of projects currently underway or planned in areas such as transport, culture and the environment, with a preface by Huldai stating the importance of preparing the ground now for the future. Councilors were angered that although they helped create or promote many of the projects, the only name in the brochure is that of Huldai.
"There is nothing new in any of these projects... but only he gets the credit for all the activities there," one councilor fumed.
A municipal spokesman responded that with the elections moving closer, "every action" is being seen as campaigning. "But in this case we are speaking about a brochure that is the result of a process that began at the start of this decade, not something that stands by itself," the spokesman said. "The brochure was produced out of a world view that says that planning for the future, based on existing values and forecasts, makes the municipality work more efficiently, enabling targets and solutions to be set for the benefit of future generations."
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