Provence & Côte d'Azur: Local councillor says his challenge on the Mayor left him out in the cold
Estrosi embroiled in "abuse of power" claims
In a press release received by The Riviera Times today, Bouloudhnine says he felt frustrated by the "lack of information" given to councillors ahead of voting and the passing of decrees. "Councillors are unable to make a fully informed decision," says the hand and shoulder specialist, "and we're given no opportunity to find cheaper, alternative solutions to costly projects."
Having spoken out about the issue during a recent council meeting, Bouloudhnine says he was forced to take further action when he failed to receive an adequate response from the Mayor. "I couldn't just allow this to happen," says the doctor, and on 13th April he abstained on a group vote regarding one of Nice's most expensive and divisive projects, the 760 million euro tramway.
The surgeon, who regards himself as one of the only politicians who can "sit freely between left and right policies, always working for the good of the people", then continued to make his stance as he voted against what he calls "frivolous" plans to spend half a million euros of public money on painting the region's milestone markers blue.
"The money could be much better spent elsewhere," he argues, "there are people and businesses who need it for stronger reasons than this. Estrosi has no regard for public good or public spending."
The councillor believes it was this last action that pushed Estrosi over the edge.
Bouloudhnine claims he arrived at his office in the Mairie on 1st June to find that he was unable to access his office, emails or staff and when he tried to find out what had happened, he alleges that he was met with blank stares and turned heads. "They are making me pay for having dared to oppose a system that works purely for his [Estrosi's] benefit," says the Tunisian born councillor.
Bouloudhnine says he is now seeing legal advice with lawyer Dominique Salvia and has begun the process of taking his case of "abuse of power and misuse of public funds" against right wing Estrosi to the Civil Court in Nice.
The Councillor has continued to criticise Estrosi's spending tactics, saying: "Local taxes are going to rise by 20 per cent by 2014, and it will be presented as a total surprise."
When contacted by The Riviera Times, both the Mayor and the Mairie were unwilling to comment on the accusations.