Opposition leaders call on Haifa mayor to quit

Green faction leader, fellow opposition launch attacks in latest of a series of increasingly fraught council meetings.

Yona Yahav 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy )
Yona Yahav 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Haifa's opposition leaders called on Mayor Yona Yahav to resign and termed Deputy Mayor Israel Savion a "property speculator" in a particularly stormy city council meeting last week, reports www.nrg.co.il. Green faction leader Shmuel Gelbhart and fellow opposition leader Yaakov Borovski of the Mahapach faction launched their attacks in the latest of a series of increasingly fraught council meetings in recent months. According to the report, Gelbhart went on the attack over a planned building project in Rehov Ilanot, saying that municipal engineering managers were advancing the plans of one entrepreneur to build dozens of apartments, while arousing the ire of hundreds of residents who would suffer in surrounding neighborhoods. Gelbhart said that while it was "necessary and possible" to build numerous additional apartments in Haifa, this should be done in large stretches of land designated for the purpose, and that this project was "not what the city needs" and would add thousands of vehicles to the already busy beach road. Gelbhart described Savion as a "property speculator," and said the deputy mayor had "returned to his regular mantra of counting cranes." At the same time, Borovski presented a motion calling on Mayor Yahav to resign, saying that he should do so over a string of incidents not specified in the report. But Yahav won the day, calling for the motion to be removed from the table, and obtaining the support of the majority of the council for the removal. An unidentified municipal source later said the job of opposition leaders was to attack. "They speak and defame, while we build and do," the source said. No responses were reported from Savion or Yahav.