Problematic Aspects of Organization and Activity of Local Community Units
Keywords: local self-government, participation of citizens in public governance, community, local community representative (seniūnaitis), local community unit (seniūnaitija)
AbstractThe aim of this article is to analyze the diversity of activity forms of the local community representative, efficiency of this activity and its impact on local communities. Authors seek to identify the main problems and possible solutions associated with the activity of the local community representative. Theoretical analysis is based on the scientific literature on the local self-government, the national and international legislation, documentation on local self-government and various scientific articles. The research was conducted in April 2011 by using a) the semi-structured interview with elders and local community representatives of Vilnius district municipality and b) the prepared questionnaire for local community members. The results of the research partly confirmed the hypothesis that division of the territory of neighborhood into smaller units (seniūnaitijos) is useful only if the territory is very large and if the elders act inefficiently. Residents should have the opportunity to decide themselves about the necessity of the local community representative in their community. The analysis of the research results allowed to identify the key problems related to the activity of the local community representative: lack of power and activity as a consequence; unpaid obligations, thus only voluntary performance of duties; and incomprehension by residents about the necessity of the institution of local community representative.