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Young rural mayor, Jérémie Gaillard must fight against “headwinds”

In the south of the Gironde, the mayor of Caudrot, a rural town of 1,200 inhabitants, Jean-Pierre Jausserand, ceded his seat, in March 2020, to Jérémie Gaillard, 39 years old. A career for which the young city councilor was not destined, without a political label, despite an engagement in a town hall of Orléans, his city of origin.

“The former mayor of the town that I manage today did not represent himself, and the majority of his team followed him in this choice. It just happened, during a public meeting that was organized in town hall by the former mayor, nobody identified in the town to take over ”, he explains. And if “From a global point of view, it is extremely fascinating, almost addictive, because we have the feeling of being useful”, says Jérémie Gaillard, the course is also strewn with pitfalls.

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In May, a year after his election, the elected official published on the Facebook page of the town hall a tribune “On a number of things that do not [lui] were not suitable in the current situation “. An open letter which details the reality of its municipality. If Caudrot seems to be a long quiet river for visitors, the mayor’s text describes “The sad observation that despite [les] efforts to maintain this fragile balance, there are opposing forces and winds against which it is becoming more and more difficult to fight ”. He recalls that his municipality has only eleven municipal agents, details the financial dependence on subsidies issued by the State, the department, the region, “And a whole bunch of other organisms”.

“We find ourselves at the center of a French administrative complexity which is not easy to manage. I thought the mayor had more power than he really has. Finally, I am like the inhabitants, so it is difficult for them to understand why the mayor does not settle certain matters. It is quite simply because he does not have the power ”, he explains.

“A mandate to see, a mandate to do”

The mayor underlines another complexity of his task, that linked to “The evolution of society, today split with problems of pauperization and education”. Elected locally, Jérémie Gaillard was pleasantly surprised by “Trust and respect” des Caudrotais with regard to his role, but he is worried about“A society that is becoming more and more individualized, where it is complicated to make people understand that we are working for the general interest and not particular”.

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