Local elected officials could also have their salaries increased, after Wednesday’s vote in the Senate. The parliamentarians threw the responsibility in the court of the mayors on the grounds that they needed extra money. I checked the situation in the field, in several areas of the country. Some mayors have tens of thousands of euros in their accounts, two or three houses, land and luxury cars. Others have less, but they are not doing badly, with salaries of over 7,000 lei per month.
Podari, Dolj county
I made my first stop a few kilometers from Craiova, where I spoke with the PSD mayor of Podari commune, Aurel Gheorghiță. His family owns seven plots of land, two apartments, two houses and several commercial premises. To which are added two luxury cars, plus a boat. From the start, he tells us a truth that many know from his wealth statement.
Aurel Gheorghiţă, mayor of Podari commune: I don’t live off my salary. My family has several companies in its portfolio and the financial part, in principle, is provided from there.
Reporter: What do you do with your salary?
Aurel Gheorghiţă: What to do with the salary? Like any human, for home utilities, for…
Reporter: But for holidays, for something else?
Aurel Gheorghiţă: Now, if you are thoughtful and it depends on your standards, I think you can fit into this salary.
Calopăr, Dolj county
Then we go to Dolj county, Calopăr commune. Daniel Bobin was elected mayor from the PNL. In terms of wealth, he passed five plots of land, two houses, an apartment and two cars. With a net monthly salary of 7,000 lei, the mayor is still waiting for the increase voted by the senators.
Reporter: Is your salary enough for you, for your family?
Daniel Bobin, the mayor of the municipality of Calopăr: As much as you had, you would like to have more, but for the times that are.
Reporter: But from your salary you can’t tell me now that you are going on holidays?
Daniel Bobin: It’s more difficult, taking into account how much we pay for utilities, bills, it’s very difficult.
Reporter: And how are you doing with the holidays too…with…?
Daniel Bobin: Supplement the wife from her income. We can handle it.
Negresti-Oaș, Satu Mare county
We also go to Satu Mare county. The mayor of Negrești-Oaș has been in office since 2012. In the declaration of assets, Aurelia Fedorca (PSD) listed two houses, three plots of land, a car, and a bank loan. The net monthly salary he receives is approximately 6,000 lei. He says it’s worth more and even invited us to see one of his houses.
Aurelia Fedorca, the mayor of Negrești-Oaș: We got an inheritance, a dowry, from our in-laws, my husband got it. And since then we keep working and arranging and arranging. We have a living room, three bedrooms, kitchen, pantry, outbuildings.
Aurelia Fedorca: To the work that I do every day, I say that it is insufficient today. I look at the hospital director, he’s at least twice my age. I look at school principals, but I don’t end up comparing myself to school principals anymore, I compare myself to school teachers. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. If this were to happen, we would be very well off.
Vetiș, Satu Mare county
Something more modest is the mayor of the UDMR from the commune of Vetiș. Two plots of land, a house and a car appear in his wealth declaration. The alderman says that a salary increase would be good for him.
Iuliu Ilyeș, mayor of Vetiș commune (UDMR): I manage to manage the amount, I don’t want to complain about the salary. It is not a sin to want higher wages. I don’t know if it’s the right moment. It would be justified.
Without worrying about tomorrow, thousands of local elected officials still hope that the elders in Bucharest will not forget them and will increase their levies. What’s more, special pensions await, until the elections in 2024. And one more piece of information, so that the picture is complete: the mayor with the lowest salary in Romania leads a commune with only a few hundred souls. His gross income is 8,320 lei, which means that he receives almost 5,000 lei net per month.
Reporters: Elena Alexandru, Ioana Mihalca / Operators: Adrian Niță, Sebastian Codrean
Editor: Liviu Cojan