Vanya Andreeva inherited the mayor’s chair in Arbanasi after 20 years of working with Tosho Krastev

Vanya Andreeva inherited the mayor’s chair in Arbanasi after 20 years of working with Tosho Krastev
Vanya Andreeva inherited the mayor’s chair in Arbanasi after 20 years of working with Tosho Krastev

The old mayor of Arbanasi, Tosho Krastev, and the new one, Vanya Andreeva, have been working as a team for two decades, but for him it is time for a well-deserved rest, and she inherited the post with the desire to be a worthy successor of her successful predecessor.
On October 24, 2003, exactly on his birthday, Tosho Krastev was elected mayor of Arbanasi and remained in office for 20 years. He started working in this position with absolutely no management experience in the administration, although he had been the head of other departments, but he quickly got used to it and learned what was needed to cope with his duties.
“When a person has a desire, things happen. And even then, already in the pre-election campaign, my motto was “All together!”. My team and I identified our tasks and began to execute them. Thus, 20 years passed imperceptibly”, says Krastev and adds that in each subsequent mandate he set new goals to be completed. Of course, there were often other problems that a mayor had to deal with, but that never scared him either. During these two decades, Krastev worked with two municipal mayors – 2 terms with Dr. Rumen Rashev and 3 with Daniel Panov. In 2 of them he was appointed, and in the remaining 3, with the change in the electoral code, he was elected by voting by the residents of Arbanasi.
During the 5 mandates of Krastev, a lot was done in the village. In 2005, the eco-path “Lakoto” was made, which stretches between the television tower, the horse base and the city. The eco-trail is located on 75 decares of municipal land that has been repurposed for this purpose and is currently one of the most visited places in the Arbanasi area. There are always people there, it is kept clean, there are designated bicycle lanes, a path for pedestrians, sound systems have been installed, and the panoramic view further attracts visitors.
In 2006/2007, the construction of the sewage system was started according to a winning project for its 100 percent financing from the pre-accession funds. The town hall managed to realize half of it, but the funds have been stopped and it remains unfinished. Subsequently, another 15% of the network was completed with their own funds by hoteliers and private individuals. In the meantime, projects have been prepared and approved for the rest of the settlement, divided into several stages, which, if funding is found, will be able to be implemented much faster and easier, says Krastev. In Arbanasi, there are 25 hotels that have 1,200 beds, and 90% of them have joined the sewerage system with their own funds and part of the project’s financing, he adds. There are also about 25 establishments, and organized tourists alone vary between 100,000 and 150,000 people per year. In connection with this, during the administration of Krastev, another, additional reservoir was built for the water supply of Arbanasi, which currently solves this problem for the settlement.
Every year in Arbanasi, the street lanes, which have a total length of 13 km, are rehabilitated. At the moment, about 85% of them have been renovated, and the rest are waiting because there are construction sites there or sewage is about to be built. Sidewalks in the central part connect the historical and ethnographic monuments, providing tourists with easy and convenient movement. There are 5 churches in the settlement, and one of them – “St. Dimitar”, is to be restored according to the project.
During Krastev’s mayorship, at the beginning of Daniel Panov’s term as mayor of V. Tarnovo, a pensioner’s club and a center for working with children and youth were established in the village, which play an important role in social life in Arbanasi. Over the years, several children’s and sports grounds have been built, as well as a mini football stadium with lighting and automatic irrigation, which is used not only by children in the village, but also by hotel guests, says the former president of the champion football team of “Eter”. Video surveillance has been carried out in the settlement and a security company has been engaged to ensure the security of residential properties, which gives peace of mind to local residents and guests. In the dark part of the day, everywhere is illuminated, with over 400 street lamps. 11 substations have been built in each district, which provide enough electricity, and if there is a problem in one of them, the rest of the districts are not affected. For the winter, a snowplow was purchased to clear the sidewalks, and a contract was signed with a snow removal company for the street surface. During the warm seasons, the lawns are regularly mowed and sprayed against insects.
In the cultural life of the village, several major holidays are emblematic. The traditional Todorovden attracts many guests because Arbanasi is home to the largest equestrian base in the region. It has 80 horses, 60 of which are racing horses, and for the last 15-16 years the club’s jockeys have been state champions in all age groups. The town hall works in good cooperation with the equestrian base, which in turn cooperates with the hotels, providing their guests with visits to it and horses for riding. The other important holiday for Arbanasi is the Great Mother of God on August 15, which attracts people from all over the country. Together with the community board of the local community center “Ilarion Dragostinov”, the City Hall creates the festival “In the middle of Megdana” for processed and raw folklore, which in its last edition brought together over 2 thousand individual performers within 3 days. Arbanasi was also the first inhabited place in Bulgaria, where wedding tourism developed and rituals were performed abroad, and to this day it remains a preferred destination for wedding celebrations.
One of the most important tasks that Krastev leaves for his successor, Vanya Andreeva, is the completion of the village’s sewage system. For her, the mayor of V. Tarnovo, Daniel Panov, has given an assurance that he will do everything possible to find funding under European programs. In the center of the village, the construction of a public toilet has also begun, for which an application will be made under the investment program.
Arbanasi has an impressive nearly 180 real architectural monuments, but their list has not been updated for a long time. Recently, an interdepartmental commission was convened, in which the Ministry of Culture, the Regional and Municipal Administration of Veliko Tarnovo, RIOSV in the old capital and other interested organizations participated, and it was decided not to allow the expansion of the village beyond its current borders. In the urbanized area, construction is currently underway mainly on guest houses, which have recently been preferred by tourists. Plot and property prices are among the highest in the region, and those living in Arbanasi are above the average financial level. With their own funds, some of them also help the village by making improvements around their properties, by financing holidays and events, as well as other things.
“Many people asked me why I give up the mayoral seat and do not run for another term, but I think that 20 years is enough. Until now, the public interest has always stood above my personal interest, and maybe the time has come for that to change”, says Krastev, but he promises to help his successor in the mayor’s chair as much as he can. “We worked together with her for all these 20 years, and before that she had another 12 years of work experience in the City Hall, so she has more experience than I do,” added the former mayor and thanked Vanya and his team for the good work and understanding between them.
“I can say that I am lucky, taking over the position from such a professional as Tosho Krastev, and inheriting such a well-organized settlement. When people ask me what I will do for the village, my answer is that the most important thing is to preserve what has already been achieved and build on it. I will try to continue the implementation of the sewage, public toilet and parking projects, which we failed to mention”, says Vanya Andreeva, who is the new mayor of Arbanasi. She adds that CCTV cameras are likely to be installed in several more locations and suitable land will be sought for another new recreation area.
Vanya Andreeva started working in the City Hall of Arbanasi in November 1991, when she was only 19 years old, and the mayor was Valentina Koycheva. Those were very difficult years for Bulgaria at the beginning of the transition. Vanya works on a “Maritsa” typewriter, on which he types all the documents. At first, the stress for the newly graduated student is enormous, but gradually she builds herself up as a professional with good administrative experience.
“People in Arbanasi can safely say that they live in one of the most beautiful and well-organized settlements in Bulgaria. We all feel like a family here, and I think it’s important to keep that. That’s why I want to form a public council, in which people from the business sector, from different age groups, from every neighborhood in the village will be involved, so that we can work even more cooperatively”, wishes Vanya.
Nikolay VENKOV
dream the author

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Vanya Andreeva inherited mayors chair Arbanasi years working Tosho Krastev


PREV The winners of the 34th edition of the Christmas teachers’ tournament were awarded