Barkat lays out plan for Jerusalem in his first 100 days in office

Issues like transportation and keeping young people in the city will be dealt with by separate teams of experts.

nir barkat great 224 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
nir barkat great 224 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
Less than two weeks after his election victory, Jerusalem Mayor-elect Nir Barkat on Monday outlined the work plan for his first 100 days in office, which included an unenviable list of long-term city problems he seeks to resolve or at least ameliorate during his tenure. The issues - which include education, transportation, sanitation, keeping young people in the city, infrastructure projects for east Jerusalem, and enlisting philanthropic donations - will be dealt with by separate teams of experts. The teams will also include residents and municipal officials, a press release from Barkat's office said. Barkat is due to take office on December 3. The teams dealing with the municipal issues will pass on their recommendations to Barkat, who will make them public after reviewing and accepting them, and then work toward implementing them. Public opinion polls have repeatedly shown that the dearth of jobs and affordable housing are the two most pressing issues in the city. Barkat has said that the repeatedly delayed light rail project, which has turned much of the city center into a traffic- and dust-clogged nightmare, would be one of his top priorities, even suggesting that he would weigh alternatives such as hi-tech bus lines. Among the experts the mayor-elect has enlisted are Hebrew University economics professor and former Finance Ministry director-general Avi Ben-Bassat, who will be charged with economic affairs, and Hadassah College president Prof. Nava Ben-Zvi, who will be part of the team dealing with education. Barkat is expected to form a city council coalition that will be Zionist-based but will include nearly all the parties represented in the council.