The Foundation of the Municipality
Kesariani becomes an independant Municipality
1934 was the year when Kesariani was separated from the Municipality of Athens and became a separate Municipality.
In 1934 there were 2,700 registered people, and 1,000 of them were from Vourla (in 1940, there were 20,000 inhabitants, including Armenians and Pontians). The candidates were George Kypreos-Soulios from Vourla, Themistoklis Karakasis from Magnesia, who was supported by the Tsaldari folkloric partisans, Balis /Valis Nikos, who was a printer from Vourla, Tabakis, who was a grocer, Georg. Aristos, Chr. Papagiannis and Dim. Battalion.
No one gathered 40% of the votes, which was the minimum required to get elected. That is why 4 days later-on the 1st of April 1934- the elections are repeated to determine the winner between the two leading candidates. There was more tension this time, and outside the polling stations there were horsemen to keep the control of the situation. Karakasis received 1.021 votes, and Kypreos received 21 more votes. The result was contested and was led to the appeal court. They finally announce the winner was G. Kypreos – Soulios.
The First Municipal Council
There is an excerpt from a book that provides a lot of information on this period. It is the book “The history of the Municipality of Kesariani as seen through the documents of the Municipal Council (“Edos” editions), written by the Chairman of the Municipal Council Nikos Samios.
“The first Municipal Council of the Municipality held its first conference on the 9th of April 1934, in the house of the City Councilor Ar Perimenis (Professor of Mathematics), on 55 Skopeftiriou street, then in a house on Renaissance Square, and finally, on the 19th of June, at the rented City Hall on 2, Ymittou Street”.
The Municipal Council consisted of:
George Kypreos or Soulios, Mayor (who appears to have started his duties since the 18th of May 1934) Ar. Perimeni (Mayor until the 18th of May 1934), Dim. Petmezas (Chairman of the Municipal Council), Stavros Varvagiannis (Vice-Chairman of the Municipal Council), Sarantis Voritsis (Secretary of the Municipal Council), M. Antoniadis, Andreas Argyropoulos, Vasilios Vlantis, Kyriakos Georgiadis, Patroklos Goumas (doctor), Dimitrios Davlaris, Konstantinos Tzanetis-Eisaggeleas, Savvas Eskintzis, Nestoras Zoiidis, I. Kontoleontas, Vasileios Messados, Athanasios Bavas, Christos Tsolakis, Dim. Hatzifotiadis (pharmacist). A. Angelidis (Legal Advisor) and Antonios Stathakis (Special Secretary) are also mentioned.
The Municipal Council dealt with many issues. Some of them were soon resolved, others were pending because there were no funds, and others were never resolved.
-Making the seal of the Municipality to bear the ram’s mark. They used the head of the ram as a symbol of fertility and power, having as a model the marble Byzantine fountain outside the Kesariani Monastery.
-Compilation of an organised internal service and staffing of the Municipality.
-The searching of a building, since they had changed place many times before settling in the Ymittou 2 building.
-Solving the population’s water problems. The water was transported in tanks, so taps had to be placed in different corners of the streets to serve the world.
-Construction of curbs and kennels (they defined 75 drachmas for each corner and 50 drachmas for each non-corner house).
-Construction of the boulevard and extension of the bus line to “Kollia”, in order to lead the tourist flow towards the antiquities of Kesariani.
-The cleaning up of the roads.
-Provision of a capital of 40,000 drachmas to repair the roads on the right of the boulevard. The garbages were taken away with 6 cartons.
-At the Near East gym there was a public clinic supported by the Municipality: Recruitment of a doctor, Triantafyllidis and his assistant, Ant. Stathakis, to staff the clinic.
-Establishment of a school fund for the 4th Primary School of Kesariani. They intended to name three streets after three prominent journalists of Smyrni: N. Tsouroktsoglou, Soter. Solomonidou and Miltiadis Seizanis (the Council postponed its decision).
Kesariani from 1951 onwards …
The district that shed blood on the national liberation struggle, that revealed the bailiffs, that tried to overthrow the plans of the hooliganism, is now left on the sidelines, or better said in isolation. It will pay this nonchalant attitude for several decades … The unstable situation with the mayors constanly succeding each other ends in 1951, when –after many occurrences- Leonidas Manolidis is elected.
In an announcement that was published by the combination of “Kesariani – People – Manolidis”, before the elections (on the 5th of April 1951), it is stated that:
“During those years all those appointed to positions did more damage than good. They did nothing for the good of the region, they let Kesariani on its own, deserted like a forgotten village. The roads are shabby, there is no water, and nothing is maintained or clean. There is no evacuation or sewers. The slightest rain causes floods, the dust of the avenue is stifling every time there is wind or a car passes. Our children’s schools are doing very badly. The sport was not supported as it should have been. As for medical care, it is almost non-existent for poor families. And worst of all, Kesariani has become the dump of neighboring districts’ garbages>>.
The work of L. Manolidis will continue until 1964. Then in 1964 Panagiotis Makris will be elected Mayor of Kesariani for the first time.