Time to make a choice for change in Peyia.
We have local elections here on the 18th December, where those who can and will vote, will vote for their chosen candidate for Mayor and for the councilors who will support the Mayor.
We’ve lived here for 14 years and realized that, it’s our village every bit as much as it’s the village of the Cypriot residents. We’ve invested everything we have in this place, from building our home to setting up our businesses. Now, with 12 on the combined staff, plus our two selves, we’re are probably one of the largest employers in the village – so we’ve registered to vote and will choose who we vote for, very carefully.
It’s very difficult: Peyia is a traditional village. For years, it has been led by a ”traditional” local person whose supporters are old school Cypriots and potentially, not open to change nor understanding of the nuances of running the business of a Municipality on an island which is a part of the EU and as such, is accountable in so many ways. This doesn’t make the present people bad – it simply seems that life in Peyia and on Cyprus has moved on and requirements have changed but the leadership hasn’t..
Tony and I love Cyprus – and chose Peyia because we loved the fact that the village had a heart: built on a difficult and interesting past, this lovely place seemed to also have the capacity to open it’s soul to embrace the ever changing present and sail into the future with confidence. Sadly, the years we’ve lived here have seen the village start to lose it’s soul: the old stories and storytellers have given way to a plethora of commercially driven drinking establishments, many of which would be unrecognizable from those in UK main streets. It’s sad – but please don’t get me wrong: We love to socialize and we love to welcome visitors to the village BUT we need to find the balance between Cypriot charm and manner in which all who live in the village, can make a sustainable life. Peyia and the whole area embraced by the Peyia Municipality needs to retain it’s charm and celebrate the very real natural beauty that is here – not try to be something else.
Add to the challenge that the ”flavour” of the peoples living in the area has changed dramatically too: gone are the Cypriot mainstay in terms of numbers and in have come many people from Russia, China and the UK – many great people with much to offer and a love of Peyia, so it’s time to step forward as a community rather than collection of separate entities.
Yesterday, I went to listen to the presentation from Pantelis Harpas , who is one of three running to be Mayor. I was not only surprised by the sincerity of the presentation from him and his team but also taken aback by the fact that, as a lone voice and one of the few non Cypriot people there, my thoughts and perspective were welcomed. It was encouraging to feel the suggestion of genuine understanding of the needs of the Peyia area – and to see the beginnings of a plan to begin to make change possible.
Tony and I know another of the candidates , Marinos, very well. He’s a lovely , professional and hardworking man. A great father, competent business man and genuinely good person, it’s very difficult to separate how we feel emotionally about him from what we’ve seen and heard from the support team to Pantelis Harpas – but wé will have to.
Marinos will speak on the 12th December – and I hope to hear the feedback /recommendations after that meeting. Sadly, I’m in hospital for some major surgery tomorrow so ‘won’t be around to attend but I’ll be there in spirit – and have formulated my list of questions for Tony to ask! (yes, am a bossy wife!).
This is such an important time for Peyia. It’s time that people like us, realized that we DO belong and DO have the right to know what is happening and try to shape the future of , to quote a man from yesterday, is our ”second mother home”. We’ve no plans to leave this area or island and every intention of continuing to work hard to bring even more people to Peyia, where we want them to fall in love with everything this area can give them: from the history and colour, to the natural beauty of what is here now and the promise of great things to come.
Peyia matters: if it matters to you and you’re reading this and can vote, please make that vote count. It’s our future and it’s time to change things so we can play an active part in our chosen home.
Photo is of beautiful Peyia, today, 4th December.