There is an undeclared intention, almost a hidden plan, which emerges in the debates that overlap in recent weeks in the party secretariats about the elections in the capital: that the electoral race in October will serve to measure the forces in the field for a most important issue, that of the policies to come.
This type of evaluation, and the consequent preparation of the lists of candidates and the strategies for the electoral campaign that is about to begin, risks overshadowing the interests of Rome, which aspires to a mayor able to really get his hands in the blocked engine of the city and, with the sleeves rolled up at the elbows, to get it started again.
And then it is worthwhile to outline what the profile of the mayor who will come should be, since – more and more – it seems that the choices on the candidates take into account above all the possibility of success regardless of the actual administrative skills. And to understand who could be the ideal tenant of the Capitol it is necessary to focus on its mission. Which on these columns has already been repeated many times.
The city fell like a thoroughbred horse tripped over the obstacle. She is on the ground, surrounded by people who are trying to figure out what they can take away from her in this moment of weakness. The wealth of Rome is also made up of artistic and sporting events, institutional headquarters, traditions, international economic and political events; and in a moment of objective debacle it is easier to parade this heritage piece by piece in the capital. Here is the first mission for the new mayor: put on the vet’s uniform and put the wounded thoroughbred back on his feet. It means intervening on the services, on the inconveniences, on the filth in the sector of waste, transport, traffic, which have brought Rome down in the world rankings on the livability of the world’s metropolises. But that is not all.
There are two important competitions that the Capital must play and win: the Jubilee of 2025 and the Bimillennial of Christ’s Crucifixion, in 2033. These are events that can make Rome return to the glories of the past and transfer wealth to the entire country. The expectations were well outlined by the president of Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi, in a recent interview with this newspaper: “Rome is essential to drive the South as well, a game is being played here for the future of the country”. So Rome must aim for great performance, it must amaze, it must go back to being that Caput Mundi outlined by Anneo Lucano in one of his works.
The fate of this decisive match, therefore, can only be entrusted to a capable person, who knows the rules of the game and the winning strategies, who has a competitive vision and mentality and – above all – who has already been a winner in important competitions.
Because this is the main quality that the ideal candidate for the post of mayor must have: a specific experience in administration. He must wear the most demanding uniform of the politician-manager; what you get after running, for example, a large company with thousands of employees; or after having successfully managed a public institution or a local authority of significant size. The First Citizen of the Capital must be a person who has already demonstrated that he can do it, in the public or private sector. Anyone who has an experience of this kind knows that a delicate mission like that of the government of a metropolis requires a close-knit program and team. Whoever goes up to the Capitol must have studied the problems of Rome and identified a strategy to solve each of them. And it will have to be supported by experts, one for each sector of the Capitoline machine, able to see beyond today’s deterioration. Who can imagine a modern transport network, a rational waste management, a program to make Rome more attractive in the world, a strategy to transform it into a living room that Romans can also (and above all) enjoy.
We cannot afford experiments, political laboratories, attempts in the dark. The preference inspired by the “let’s try the novelty” has proved to be a failure in the (recent) past. This is why it is no longer time for amateurism: the Romans must be able to choose from a shortlist of candidates who have a past that tells how they previously managed the realities entrusted to them. Who have shown that they operate in the exclusive interest of their fellow citizens, even in contrast with the party secretariats of which they are an expression and in any case remaining free from political currents that still today claim to orient city politics according to anachronistic logic. In short, it is a question of wearing a prestigious uniform, which not everyone is able to wear.
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