Now that the voting is over and we know that Nir Barkat, who won more than 50% of the vote on Tuesday, will be our mayor for the next five years, it's time to end the festivities or the tears and look at the list of tasks awaiting the new tenant of Kikar Safra. We asked several people who are considered experts in their profession or field to offer the newly elected mayor some words of advice to help him make our life in the city a little better. One thing is clear: Money is essential, but there is not enough of it. Before any funding is added to the city's coffers, the first step is to make the right decisions as to where to allocate the municipal funds. In general Haim Miller, former deputy mayor "The first thing the new mayor has to do is to authorize the construction of at least 50,000 housing units - for young couples, students, demobilized soldiers, small families and olim. It must be affordable housing, and it should be done in conjunction with the reinstatement of the housing grant from the Ministry of Housing. The second step - preferably done simultaneously - is to create jobs here. Once people have a job and can afford decent housing, you'll see how quickly all this nonsense about hatred and tension between haredim and secular will disappear." Education Aryeh Barnea, former principal of Denmark School "The first step should be to strive for excellence in every educational institution. The situation now is that parents who seek the best institutions for their children are creating a form of segregation. We see several very high-level schools where not everyone can register for various reasons, and this creates a socioeconomic ghetto of education for the wealthy. On the other hand, the academic level in many of the educational institutions is falling, making them unattractive to residents, who will ultimately look elsewhere. Instead of perpetuating the current trend, the new mayor should see to it that all the educational institutions in the city offer opportunities for excellence, in whatever subject the students choose - sciences, arts, sports. The goal should be an excellence track, not a socioeconomic one. "The second step should be the development of a social-minded education system. In every school, each grade level should be involved in a large personal commitment program. I think the best thing the new mayor can do is to bring much more social involvement, as well as striving for a higher academic level here." The environment Avraham Shaked, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel "The new mayor should make it clear once and for all that the Safdie plan is over forever. He has to stand up to the government and the relevant ministries - housing, interior - and the Israel Lands Administration and ensure plans for housing inside the city, according to the new approved master plan. "He must further as soon as possible the plans for parks in the Arazim Valley, Motza Valley and the Refaim wadi. And he must deal immediately with the plans to create open spaces within the city and, above all, the Gazelle Valley. He must see to it that every construction blueprint includes a plan for open green space between the buildings. And he has to take firm action against those who deface public spaces by littering them with construction debris and garbage. And, of course, the mayor must clean up the city itself once and for all." Culture Eyal Sher, the Jerusalem Foundation "There are so many things that are equally urgent to take care of, but I would start with simple things that could firstly change the attitude toward culture. For example, I suggest that the new mayor see to it that the city buses bear signs that include the names of important cultural institutions on their route. The bus stops could be named according to the cultural institutions that are close by. For example, we would have a Khan Theater bus stop, a Cinematheque bus stop, an Artists House stop and so on. I think it should start with some signs indicating those important institutions right from the entrance to the city. Suppose you're a visitor and you don't know the city - how would you know that to get to the Israel Museum you need this particular bus line or other? We live here and we don't pay attention to this, but in the eyes of newcomers or visitors, it is crucial. We have to find practical ways to connect the city with its large number of cultural institutions. "Next, or simultaneously, the new mayor should appoint a director of the Culture Department at City Hall. It all comes from there. Any idea, any project, any change or improvement won't really work until we have an active cultural department, and for that you obviously need a director. This shameful situation that has lasted for almost five years must end immediately. "The new mayor, and all of us who care, should fight to dispel this erroneous image [of Jerusalem as a cultural backwater] and promote the real picture of a city that has so much to offer. We should have a forum to discuss the cultural development of the city, and it is crucial that the new mayor be deeply and personally involved in the forum's activity." Residents, community and daily life Uri Amedi, head of the Lev Ha'ir community center "The new mayor must promote several urban projects as quickly as possible. But first and foremost, he has to gain the trust of the public because that is something that has been dramatically damaged during the last years - not only toward the mayor but toward all the administration and the elected officials of City Hall. This must be repaired immediately. Beyond that, I believe it is a matter of cooperation and collaboration among the residents and the mayor and his staff. If there's trust, it will work. And above all, it will work if there is an incentive to participate. "We are far beyond the era when mayors could decide matters for themselves without consulting the people. We need more communal workers, and that means more money, a larger budget for the social and community aspects. I'm not talking about workers who will bring in money by selling activities to children or the elderly - I'm talking about people who will work hard to increase the number of residents who are active and involved. "The second urgent issue is to repair the tense relations between the downtown merchants and City Hall. The situation in the city center is catastrophic due to the light rail project. It is urgent to create a compensation fund for the merchants who are facing terrible losses in their businesses. This fund would work closely with a committee that would check the merchants' request for help. I hope the new mayor will be courageous enough to head this committee. Commercial life in downtown Jerusalem has been dramatically hurt, and it is the mayor's duty and responsibility to help the merchants, not abandon them. "Apart from these two issues, the most crucial test will be the new mayor's ability to bring in more funding and support from the government. Without that, there is no way this city can recover." Young generation Teddy Fassberg, student at the Hebrew University "One of the first things the newly elected mayor should take care of is the traffic situation in the city. It is far more than just traffic jams - it has reached such a level that you can't make plans for your day here - you have traffic jams at all hours, in every place. A distance that should be a few minutes' drive can turn into a nightmare of an hour or more. And I'm using a car; I can just imagine how unbearable it must be for those who use public transportation or are in a taxi. "And something must be done to bring more young people to the city - both to the center and to the city in general. The fact that we are now seeing haredim moving to French Hill makes many people who live there consider leaving for Tel Aviv or at least somewhere close but out of Jerusalem. Non-haredim actually feel they have no choice but to leave. "Another issue is the unaffordable housing. At the moment it is not a problem for me, as I still live with my parents. But I know that when the time comes, it won't be possible. But I hear that in Tel Aviv the situation is the same. "Regarding employment after I graduate, it also doesn't seem very promising, even for those who are studying more practical topics [Fassberg is studying linguistics and philosophy]. At the moment, I am not sure if I will stay here in the future. And that is what I hear from most others around me." Preservation, building and architecture David Kroyanker, architect "What this city needs in terms of historic buildings and new construction plans is tougher application of the law. We don't need any more meetings, seminars or conventions - we already have too many of these, and we always hear and say the same things. "Jerusalem is not lacking plans for preservation. On the contrary, there's hardly one neighborhood where we don't already have a detailed plan and registration of buildings to preserve and so on. The problem is that the municipality doesn't apply the laws. We have plenty of awareness, not enough supervision - to put it mildly - and even once things are taken care of, the penalties in court are not sufficient and do not provide the necessary deterrence. In some places in the city, we are already facing kinds of 'extra-territorial' areas, where the inspectors don't even dare to step in and write tickets, and this might spread to other neighborhoods. "Another issue that requires urgent attention is the look of the city - not to mention the road works and all that. A tourist or a visitor will see beautiful monuments and breathtaking views but will travel on roads that look like Third World pathways. This is intolerable and unacceptable. "The mayor has to see to it that the city is not only beautifully built and preserved but is well taken care of. Just look at the way it looks now - cables, cracked roads, broken sidewalks, ugly buildings probably constructed without permits, to say nothing of the dirt. All this must be taken care of immediately." Hi-tech start-ups and investors Jacob Ner-David, hi-tech veteran "First of all, it is an issue of atmosphere. We have to make this city a place where everyone would like to live. It's connected to many fields - education, culture, housing - everything. Take Manhattan, for example. Not everyone can afford a five-room apartment on Fifth Avenue. People live where they can, and sometimes it's not very comfortable, but New York and Manhattan have such an attraction that people accommodate themselves with what they can afford. Why? Because there is something there that is important enough. There's no reason it shouldn't be the same here in Jerusalem. It doesn't mean it suits everyone - there are people who will always prefer a suburb, okay. But what about the others, like start-ups and hi-tech companies? They have to be a part of something larger, part of a community. "One of the first things the new mayor could do to improve the situation would be to offer every new start-up an arnona [property tax] exemption for the first year. That could be a very effective - and very inexpensive - 'marketing' strategy that could so easily change something in the atmosphere here. And he should do more in that vein. The new mayor should offer some attractive incentive packages to those who would choose to establish themselves here. That's the way to encourage more hi-tech companies and start-ups to come here, and it will of course initiate a very positive change. "In addition, I think it's time the Jerusalem mayor appointed a special municipal adviser for hi-tech and start-ups. The mayor needs someone at his side who is well known in the hi-tech community, in Israel and abroad. In any event, the new mayor must create a momentum here that will project the city as a place where things happen, a place one has to be."