A new mayor
Before Vlado Toleski became mayor, he was the director (and partial owner) of the company Tajmiste, one of the few socialist-era companies in Kicevo that managed to survive the end of Yugoslav socialism. With 320 employees it is the second biggest company in the Kicevo area after the thermal power plant in Oslomej. His entrepreneurial success was one of the key reasons why local people voted for him. Furthermore, the fact that he had also employed Albanians and Turks in his company earned him some points with these constituencies.
His management style and hands-on approach set him apart from his predecessors. Toleski explains: "Given that the municipal budget is small, we have to use the human resources that are available. When I talked to the director of Komunalec [the municipal utility company] about the garbage collection problem, he pointed out that he had only three trucks. I told him, 'no, you have nine!' – 'Nine?' – 'Exactly: three in the first shift, three in the second and three in the third one."
People appear to value the improvement in garbage collection. Also the fact that the new mayor started asphalting the main roads only a few months after he took office created the impression that something is moving.
But there are many challenges. One is to increase the employment of Albanians, Tolevski points out: "Now there are only 5, out of 54 employed."