On 01/17/2022 – 9 views
By Auriana Castro & Mathieu Hutin
Antoine Grange, member of the political group Les Annéciens, municipal councilor, vice-president of the SCoT of the Annecy basin, was “L’invité.e H2O” for this Sunday, January 16, 2022. The youngest member of the Annecy municipal council lent himself an hour’s interview to talk about the policies of the city of Annecy and the Greater Annecy conurbation. A former student of Sciences Po Grenoble, the interview is also an opportunity for Antoine Grange to return to the controversy that affected the Institute of Political Studies in March 2021.
“We are building a fantasy environment of Sciences Po Grenoble […] » (Antoine Barn)
In March 2021, on Twitter, student unions had shared photos of posters posted on the facade of Sciences-Po Grenoble on allowing one could read “Fascists in our auditoriums. Klaus Kinzler and Vincent T. Resignation. Islamophobia kills”. The public prosecutor of Grenoble had then opened an investigation for public insult towards an individual, and the management of Sciences Po Grenoble, had “condemned in the strongest terms” these posters. Klaus Kinzler then multiplied the media statements. The teacher described Sciences Po Grenoble as “political re-education camp”, accuser no “hard core” of colleagues, followers, according to him, of the theories ” wake up “, to indoctrinate the students, and the management of the IEP to let it happen. Politicians had seized on the controversy denouncing the “wokism” of higher education and research. Namely: “Wokism” is an originally Anglo-American term used pejoratively to describe progressive ideas defending minorities. In December 2021, Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, announced the suspension “all funding and all cooperation” with Sciences Po Grenoble, following the dismissal of the German teacher for these “libelous statements”.
As a former IEP student, Antoine Grange returned to the controversy: “When you are a student, you do not feel concerned by such comments. There was an instrumentalization of this news item by some politicians. » Faced with Laurent Wauquiez’s decision, Antoine Grange responds: “I am sorry that politicians take dogmatic positions and interfere in research that must be independent. By cutting the suspensions, who are the ones criminally punished in the end? These are the students. »
Antoine Grange says: “ The student community is unanimous on this: we are building a fantasy environment of Sciences Po Grenoble that has nothing to do with reality. »
Unanswered questions after the decision of the Council of State?
Asked about the outcome of Jean-Luc Rigaut’s appeal concerning the result of the municipal elections in Annecy, Antoine Grange said he was relieved: “We will finally be able to move forward”.
If finally having a definitive answer on the appeal is a relaxation. Questions remain unanswered for the municipal councillor: “To what extent does a decision like this, which comes a year and a half after the start of the procedure, harm democracy? A lot of questions have not really been judged, need procedure or what. I would like some points to be clarified. Did Frédérique Lardé use her means as a deputy to campaign? Today, in the judgment of the Council of State, there are questions that remain unanswered. On the impression of having a justice that has not been pronounced. »
If the Council of State did not answer this question, it is because it was not seized of this interrogation. But for the National Commission for Campaign Accounts the answer is no.
The stud landscape park project “too luxurious”
While residents of Annecy have not experienced a tax increase for 20 years, the Multiannual Investment Plan (PPI) requires an increase in property tax. A tax increase which surprisingly did not affect the group “Les Anneciens”: “During the municipal campaign debates, we were the only ones to say that taxes were likely to be increased. […] I see only two possibilities: either there is a lack of knowledge of the files, they did not envisage it and they are now up against the wall, or it is dishonesty. »
A tax increase deemed necessary for the municipal councillor: ” It’s urgent. » The heritage of the city of Annecy is much too dilapidated in his eyes: “On one of the schools that have been in critical condition for ten years. »
If for the municipal councilor a tax increase is necessary, it is also necessary to take into account the context in which this increase takes place: “We are in a particular period, many people have suffered, we are going through an economic crisis, and the most precarious have found themselves increasingly precarious. Today, I really regret that we are not talking about the context. »
However, the use of this public money in the PPI deserves to be questioned for Antoine Grange: “We are obliged to find the means to use this money to be able to invest in the daily things of Annecy residents and not in luxurious projects like that of the stud farm. »
The stud farm’s landscaped park project deemed “too luxurious”, he explains: “Can we justify spending 8 million euros on a city center park which, from the point of view of many annecians, just waiting to be opened. »
Asked about the expectation in front of the inhabitants who supported the project, he replied: “There is an expectation but you have to make choices. We met the package for a gourmet room, for a city of animated cinema… Who benefits from this equipment? To the old-timers in the city center, and rather well-off. Are these really those audiences who need to be offered a space like this? » For Antoine Grange, he should have questioned the legitimacy of the project: “We could very well have done a lot of things to review this project, we could have revised its cost downwards and not increased taxes. ” He assures : “There would not have been a tax increase if the price of the project had been revised downwards. »
“Jean Luc Rigaut wanted the merger to get a boost […] » (Antoine Barn)
The interview then focuses on the new town of Annecy. For the elected official, if it had been presented as a means of achieving economies of scale, the objective is far from being achieved. 53 people were hired, even though recruiting in early childhood and health is particularly difficult in Haute-Savoie. For Antoine Grange, if the merger does not fulfill its objectives, it is because of “services not yet structured enough, always changing. »
But also the very origin of the merger, he confides: “I think Jean Luc Rigaut didn’t want the merger to make economies of scale, he wanted the merger to get a boost. This merger is a question of prestige. Today, Annecy is the 6th city in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region and it feels good. But it’s wrong. We are weakening our local fabric and economies of scale are difficult to achieve. »
Nevertheless, the merger allows the new municipality, by moving to a larger scale, to realize certain projects, difficult or even impossible to carry out for Annecy alone: ” That’s why the subject of mergers is complex. But these are problems to be seen as a whole. Today it is levels of cooperation that you have to know how to put to music as best as possible. They should not be taken for personal ambitions or “ego trips” to project themselves politically into other bodies which have nothing to do with the daily life of the inhabitants and which are far from the needs they express. »
Antoine Grange also returns to one of his statements, during the press of the political group Les Anneciens. He then declared that the presence of Jean-Luc Rigaut prevented the center from being recomposed. The chosen one says: “We have seen with this new mandate a rejuvenation, a handover between two generations of elected officials. I salute the work that has been done so far, without saying that these people are no longer useful. I believe that Jean Luc Rigaut has a difficult record to defend on certain points, many people in his group have not participated in this record and they do not have to support a legacy that is not theirs. »
The withdrawal of Jean Luc Rigaut will be done according to Antoine Grange to find “a healthy debate”:” […] it must fade away and make way for this new generation of elected officials so that we can give hope to the citizen in our local democratic bodies. »
Participatory budget: “[seules] the most informed, most integrated people take part in it. »
For Antoine Grange, the measures taken by the municipal team of Annecy, such as the participatory budget, have not succeeded in mobilizing the majority of citizens. For the city councilor, these projects have social biases: “It is the most informed, the most integrated people who participate. » Participatory democracy must be based on other devices according to the elected official, one of them: the neighborhood council. He explains : “The neighborhood councils with a portion of people drawn by lot make it possible to have diversity and a certain representation of the entire population. » On the potential risk of the draw (absenteeism, refusal, inefficiency, etc.), Antoine Grange is confident: “Today, on expertise, on firms that offer very interesting services. These are new forms of project support. The district council does not advance if it is not animated, it is necessary to appeal to those who know how to animate them. » If the implementation of these devices and the advances of the city of Annecy towards a more participative democracy are progress, the municipal council criticizes the disorganization of these projects and “their improvisation”.
Greater Annecy conurbation
Asked about the Tram/BHLS question and the new vote to come, Antoine Grange recognizes that it is difficult to have a clear vote on such technical and complex subjects. But for the elected official and his political group, it is the BHLS that represents the best means of regional planning.
But the complexity of the debate, and this new vote still postpones to a date after the launch of the work: “The question is what are we doing in the near future to improve mobility. Antoine Grange defended his group’s bias: “Our position has always been to favor the line which will start from the west bank and which will arrive at Glaisins. We have to position ourselves to start before the end of the mandate, otherwise we won’t do anything. A need to go quickly, it is urgent. The inhabitants of Annecy want a means of transport. We’ve been waiting for a means of transport for decades. »
For the municipal councilor, the debate is bound by the divisions of the political groups of the city of Annecy: “It’s a way of displaying totems for New Year’s Eve Annecy within the conurbation. It is terrible for the city of Annecy how much it is weakening with its partners and other mayors. It is obvious that the creation of the city is attached. »