New Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Announces National Recruitment for Leaders of City’s 24 Districts, Will Continue Commuting from Toyonaka City

The Top 10 stories in the Yomiuri Shimbun frequently feature articles about Mr. Tōru Hashimoto, a 42-year old lawyer and father of seven who served as Governor of Osaka Prefecture for the past four years before stepping down to run for Mayor of Osaka City on a platform of integrating the municipal and prefectural governments, which he says have overlapping functions. He soundly defeated the incumbent mayor, who was endorsed by all major political parties except Hashimoto’s own (which is Osaka-only), even the Communists. Now he’s getting to work again.

Mayor Hashimoto Announces National Recruitment for Osaka’s 24 District Leaders
Yomiuri Shimbun: 大阪市の全24区長、全国公募へ…橋下氏が方針
Staff Report December 3, 2011

Osaka Mayor Tōru Hashimoto, who took office November 19, informed municipal headquarters on the 2nd that he plans to recruit leaders for Osaka’s 24 districts from both within the city and without.

Mayor Hashimoto will recruit nationally for people with executive experience and personal ability who would take office next April (the beginning of the new fiscal year). He does not plan to appoint a Vice Mayor. He established the City-Prefecture Unification Committee on November 27 to undertake the consolidation of the two governments’ functions; he is preparing a preliminary budget for the next fiscal year, and in the meantime he is beginning preparations for other projects. But he is also generally continuing former Mayor Kunio Hiramatsu’s major projects, such as the Citizens’ Cooperative.

Sakai City recruited nationally to find one of its seven district chiefs, but Osaka is the first designated [national-level] city to ever recruit nationally for all its district chiefs.

According to those related to the project, Mr. Hashimoto plans to give the district chiefs higher status than even city hall’s bureau chiefs and cast a wide net for people to fill these roles. District chiefs would have the authority to make their own policy and budgets but would have to keep an eye on their own prospects for election or re-election by their residents. The two Vice Mayors who resigned November 18 will not be replaced, as the mayor prefers that district chiefs be the next most important officials after the mayor himself.

New Osaka Mayor Hashimoto to Continue Commuting to Work from Toyonaka City
Yomiuri Shimbun: 橋下新市長、大阪全体の仕事するからと市外在住
Staff Report December 2, 2011

Osaka Mayor Tōru Hashimoto, who took office on the 19th, plans to continue commuting to the city for work from his family’s home in Toyonaka.

Every Mayor of Osaka since 1963 had lived inside the city, and the 18 other mayors of designated cities all live inside their city’s limits. Mr. Hashimoto, a father of seven, chose not to move because it would cause complications for his children’s education. Some members of city hall are opposed, saying “shouldn’t a mayor have firsthand experience of his citizens’ lifestyles?”

According to the Osaka City government, because there is a strong sense that municipal and prefectural legislators should represent the residents of their districts, elected legislators are required by law to live in their own districts and lose their positions if they move away, but the same restriction does not apply to mayors or governors.

That said, the last six mayors of Osaka have lived inside the city: Kaoru Chūma (1963-’71, Abeno District), Yasushi Ōshima (’71-’87, Tennōji), Masaya Nishio (’87-’95, Higashi-Yodogawa), Takafumi Isomura (1995-2003, Higashi-Sumiyoshi), and Kunio Hiramatsu (’07-’11, Suminoe).

Crisis Management
A mayor who lives in the city could respond faster to natural disasters such as earthquakes by assuming control of the disaster response headquarters sooner. Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa walks to work during a monthly “No Car Day” in an appeal to cut CO2 emissions. Sakai Mayor Masao Takeyama walks to work to save money on public transportation.

His Understanding of Citizenship
This April, during a street oratory in advance of elections for the municipal legislature, then-governor Hashimoto said in criticism of the new electoral system for district chiefs that “mayors normally live in their cities. How would it be if a district chief didn’t live in his district?” Before November’s mayoral election, however, when the press corps asked him where he would live if he were mayor, he replied he would continue to “be a citizen of Toyonaka”: “I’m becoming mayor of Osaka to integrate it with the rest of the prefecture, not to simply be its mayor. There’s also the question of where my children would go to school.”

Original/原稿:
大阪市の全24区長、全国公募へ…橋下氏が方針

 19日付で就任する大阪市の橋下徹・新市長は2日、市幹部に対し、24行政区長を庁内外から公募する意向を伝えた。

 首長経験者ら有能な人材を全国から広く募り、来年4月の着任を目指す。副市長は任命しない方針。大阪府・市の広域行政一元化を進める「府市統合本部」は27日にも設置、来年度予算は暫定予算を編成し、その間に事業の洗い出しに着手する。ただ、平松邦夫市長が取り組んだ「市民協働」などの重点施策はほぼ踏襲する。

 行政区長の全国公募は、堺市が7区中1区で実施しているが、全区長の公募は政令市で初めて。

 関係者によると、橋下氏は、区長を一般職で最高位の局長級の上に格上げしたうえで、広く人材を募るよう伝えた。将来の区長公選制を見据え、区内の施策や予算配分を決める権限を持たせる。一方、18日付で辞職する2人の副市長の後任は「区長を市長に次ぐ重要ポストとしたい」として空席のままとする。

(2011年12月3日03時03分 読売新聞)

橋下新市長、大阪全体の仕事するからと市外在住

 19日付で就任する橋下徹・新大阪市長は、大阪府知事時代と同様に同府豊中市の自宅から市役所に通勤する見通しだ。

 1963年以降、歴代市長が市外に住んだケースはなく、京都、神戸など他の18政令市長も現在、全員が各市内に住んでいる。7人の子の父親である橋下氏は「学校の問題がある」と引っ越しに否定的だが、市議会からは「市内に住んで市民生活の実情を肌で知ってこその市長ではないか」など疑問の声も聞かれる。

 ◇危機管理

 大阪市によると、都道府県議や市町村議は「住民代表」の色合いが強いため、公職選挙法で当該自治体に住むことが義務付けられ、他の自治体に転居すると議員の身分を失うが、知事や市町村長に住所制限はない。

 ただ、最近6代の大阪市長は、中馬馨氏(63~71年在任)が阿倍野区、大島靖氏(71~87年在任)が天王寺区、西尾正也氏(87~95年在任)が東淀川区、磯村隆文氏(95年~2003年在任)が東住吉区、関淳一氏(03年~07年在任)が天王寺区、現職の平松邦夫氏(07年~11年)が住之江区に住居を構えた。

 市内に住んでいれば、大地震などの際に災害対策本部長として迅速に対応できる利点がある。これに加えて、門川大作・京都市長は月1回のノーマイカーデーには二酸化炭素(CO2)の排出削減をアピールするため、徒歩通勤。竹山修身・堺市長も、公用車などの経費節減のため、歩いて通勤しているという。

 ◇市民の理解は

 橋下氏は今年4月の市議選の街頭演説で区長公選制の導入を訴え、「普通の市長はその地域に住む。区に住んでいない区長をリーダーにしてどうするんですか」と主張していた。しかし、11月の市長選前には、報道陣からの「住所はどこになるのか」との問いに「豊中市民でいく」と答え、「大阪全体にかかわることを実現するために市長になるのであって、単純に市長の仕事をするわけではない。子どもの学校のこともある」と理由を説明していた。

(2011年12月2日14時37分 読売新聞)

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