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Chers administrés si vous saviez...
Pierre-Emmanuel Begny

Look at that idiot! He should be helping us mop up instead of strutting around town!

On June 12, 2018, that sentence went off in my head like a bomb.

I had been keeping an eye on the weather since 5 AM that day. With the municipal crews at my disposition, we had done everything we could to limit the damages if the stream that ran through our small town overflowed its banks. A few hours later, despite our best efforts, despite our having removed all the branches blocking outlets, a wave of mud and water still wound up washing through our town. It was disastrous. It could have been worse. But because I was the mayor, people blamed me.

The ran had fallen like never before, but for some local citizens, it was entirely my fault if their basements had flooded.

All day long we had been running around town organizing rescue efforts and dealing with emergencies. Then as I was walking down a street, I overheard that woman who was scrubbing out her house. She didn’t say it to my face. No, she just said it loud enough to be sure I’d hear, 'Look at that idiot…'?

All the time and effort I had poured into serving my town for several years was annihilated.

At that precise moment, I knew I didn’t want to be mayor any more.

I no longer wanted to have to face the daily struggle, to be torn between citizens’ ever-increasing demands and the fact that the national government has manifestly decided to wash its hands of any sense of responsibility for the countryside. Fewer services, less assistance, funding cutbacks… I was fed up with always trying to do more for less. To keep getting more and more responsibility and less and less appreciation. I didn’t have it any me to keep at it.

A young mayor’s cry of despair as he is torn between the townspeople’s demands and aggressiveness and the nation’s washing its hands of the countryside.

Anecdotes from his daily life, and the reasons why he won’t be running for re-election in March, 2020.

Chers administrés si vous saviez... -
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  • Publication date : 03/01/2020
  • Size : 14 x 20,5 cm, 208 p., 17,00 EUR €
  • ISBN 978-2-283-03379-1
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