The citizens’ voice is always most important
Komorniki is located 14 km from the center of Poznań city, it is the municipality which has gradually turned from an agricultural village into a region with a well-developed investment facility. The head of this municipality – Jan Broda – has been nominated to the True Leader’s award, as he advocates for economic growth, cultural development and open communication with the municipality citizens.
From involvement to achievements
The head of Komorniki municipality has been acting on behalf of the local government for thirty years. In 1988 he worked for the Council of Plewiska village administration. – As citizens, we decided to do something important for the municipality , meaning for ourselves – Jan Broda recalls. The role of a social activist and the willingness to improve the citizens’ lives has always been the driver for Jan. In the times of political transformation in Poland people focused only on basic needs. It was similarly in Komorniki, where there was no sewage system for example. – I was not aware how much this investment would cost, but I was convinced that we could do it on our own. – says the head of municipality. He convinced the citizens and they set up a Social Committee for Construction Works, and he became the leader of it.
Involvement and concern for the municipality induced him to support the campaign slogan “Don’t stand alone, don’t wait, but do something for the municipality”. It is worth adding that he has been acting in accordance with this idea until today. The time of transformation was not favorable to people who tried to “act against the tide”. They all, however, noticed the need for communication, which meant telephones in the municipality. Therefore, in that period they set up a Committee for Telephone Infrastructure and about 170 telephones were installed. At one of the meetings devoted to sewage system and telephone lines installation, the representatives of the Citizens’ Committee from Komorniki arrived and informed they looked for people willing to work. Tough experiences and also determination in investment realization resulted in appointing Jan Broda and a few others committee members to the Municipality Council. In the first term of office they managed to develop the concept of sewage system for the whole municipality. Since that time the role of a local government activist has been an integral part of Jan’s life, he has been given the trust of citizens for nearly fifteen years.
The first direct elections for executive bodies at the municipality took place in 2002, before all decisions were taken collectively, by the Management Board or the Municipality Council. The new times and even bigger challenges did not discourage Jan Broda from taking over the position of the head of municipality in the next terms of office. There were a lot of difficulties because he encountered some things for the first time. Just one term before, it was the Municipality Management Board that adopted resolutions and issued decisions. – I asked some experienced colleagues who were administration workers about what I should do in some cases, for example in case of application for remission of tax liabilities – says the head of municipality. It turns out, when facing the reality, the head of Komorniki municipality did very well, and this gave him experience in many fields.
The administration workers in Komorniki have been developing infrastructure consistently, which improves the living conditions for the citizens. Every year several thousand million zloty is spent on investments. The Programme for Roads Construction in the Municipality has been realized since 2009. The education, sport and entertainment infrastructure has been developed. The kindergartens and schools have been renovated. – We are thinking about upgrading the sewage treatment plant. We may also consider selling some sewage quantity to Poznań. These decisions are not for this year, but for next years, but we need to have a vision about what to do next. The sewage treatment plant that was built for three municipalities is too small already, although it provides service only to the Komorniki municipality – says Jan Broda.
The great potential for development of the municipality has been confirmed in the nationwide rankings, in which Komorniki are hold the top position, for example in the Ranking of Business Friendly Towns and of the Sustainable Development of Local Government Administration Units.
There are almost 4300 companies in the area of the Komorniki municipality, including 80 companies with foreign capital. It is also noticeable how fast the technical infrastructure has been developing. – The real “boom” for investment in our region started in 2014. We found partners that construct production-warehousing plants for rent – says the head of municipality Jan Broda. They stress strongly their presence in the construction industry by building attractive turnkey houses and apartments. The business chooses Komorniki as the place for various production, commercial, warehousing, and logistic activity.
It is great there are both Polish entities and international companies, for example from automotive industry: Volkswagen Distribution Center, STS Mercedes, Toyota, ESA Trucks, Begerat Monnoyeur. There are also branch offices of: GLS, DPD, DHL, Poczta Polska, Eurocash and Goldbeck.
Cultural attractions and the role of communication
The municipality administration workers get the citizens involved in the town’s cultural life. They organize concerts with participation of local bands, and many stars from the Polish artistic scene. The works of local and national artists may be admired every year at the exhibitions of artists from the Komorniki municipality. A discussion forum about arts gives an opportunity for frequent meetings at a film and photo club. They also organize workshops and exhibitions on specific subjects. – We have a lot of events at the Culture Centre, which have become part of our local tradition for good, these are for example, New Year Meetings or the Komorniki Municipality Days. The Harvest Days are also an important event in our calendar, which is going to take place on the 4th of September – says the head of municipality.
A cultural attraction are: the National Festival of Organ and Chamber Music, the new year concerts and the concerts of local backyard bands called “Kapeliada”. They also organize meetings with classical music, with music made by Chopin, Wieniawski. The already mentioned Festival, in which concerts are given in four different places , also in Poznań, has been really popular. – These concerts have gained a large circle of audience, which makes me really happy – adds Jan Broda.
The cultural life has been developing also at the Public Library, which besides the traditional activity, takes part in activities promoting reading and focuses on spreading the widely understood tradition of that region. The head of municipality dreams about having a big arts center there in 4-5 years. Jan Broda would like to place there a local library, which currently is located at the Health Center. For this purpose the municipality has been purchasing land. – I think it will be an interesting place which will bring more life to Komorniki – says the municipality head.
The municipality authorities hope to get support of their citizens when executing the investments. There is a citizens’ meeting at every village. The municipality issues a monthly journal “Nowiny Komornickie” which he uses to communicate with the citizens. Moreover, an application KOMORNIKI has been launched on the Internet, which is a local portal used for example to carry out the necessary public consultation concerning the school elevation outlook. – We presented three designs of the school elevation outlook and we took into consideration the one chosen by our citizens – informs the head of municipality.
Challenges for the future
As every host that takes care of his municipality, Jan Broda is planning a lot of important investments for the nearest years: – Our local company ran in a competition for new buses. We also have a chance to obtain subsidies for construction of a new school in Plewiska – says the head of municipality. – We are included under the plan for passenger change points construction for Poznań city, and also for parking places nearby.
A vision and a clear message seem to be particularly important for young citizens of the municipality, it is the key point in making decisions about living in that place. Unfortunately, as the research shows, a lot of area in Poland is exposed to be “swept over” by bigger cities in the future – metropolises, and to be transformed into satellite districts. Within the next years this may happen also to Komorniki, which is within the interest of Poznań city administration representatives. – Everything depends on the of decision-making procedure. Is it going to be the citizens’ wish, or a decision taken by the high level administration authorities? – considers the head of municipality. Of course, we will never find the perfect solution, and for other solutions the citizens and the municipality will have to wait.
Komorniki is the municipality located in the vicinity of Poznań. It includes: Plewiska, Komorniki, Wiry, Chomęcice, Głuchowo, Łęczyca, Rosnówko, and Szreniawa. It is one of the most dynamically growing areas in Poland in terms of demography. Interesting venues located within the borders of the municipality are the National Museum of Agriculture and Agricultural-Food Industry in Szreniawa as well as a viewpoint from which you can watch the whole municipality, Poznań and the National Park of the Wielkopolska province – the Bierbaums Mausoleum. This is the place where national roads are crossed leading to cities and regions of economic importance. There is a strategic part of A2 motorway Warszawa-Berlin running via Komorniki with interchange crossings: Poznań Komorniki and Poznań Zachód, connecting the planned express road S5 and the existing express road S11, forming the southern by-pass around Poznań. The area of municipality is 66,55 square km. The first information about Komorniki was given in the Pope’s Innocent II bull dated 1136.