What makes you get up in the morning?
I am not a territorial civil servant by chance, and even less so in Seine-Saint-Denis. I am driven by this idea that public service is the heritage of those who do not have it. And this phrase perhaps takes on even more meaning here. Our mission aims for the development of everyone. At the level of a local community, we benefit from real means of acting to improve the lives of the population, to meet important needs. For example, we are setting up free canteens in schools. This is a very concrete action that changes people’s daily lives.
How is it going at work?
Most of my work consists of translating political guidelines into administrative acts. I am in constant dialogue with the mayor and his cabinet. We work together to write a score that must then be played. I see myself a bit like the conductor of the orchestra. In fact, I assume important managerial functions to obtain an organization of services that allows the implementation of these policies. The community has 3,500 agents and I organize a budget of 220 million euros. A fairly substantial load all the same. It’s a big shop to run! But I like this balance between the management aspects and the proximity to the subjects that by definition induces a municipal level close to the action.
Who do you trust?
I don’t want this to come across as a conventional answer, but I have full confidence in my team. I am lucky to have been able to choose the majority of my collaborators and on the other hand, I am lucky that they also chose this city. I can therefore work with them with complete peace of mind because we are motivated by the same commitment to Saint-Denis.
A scene that struck you recently?
During the riots last summer, on the night of Friday June 30 to Saturday July 1, the city’s administrative center was set on fire. At this time, I am in a crisis unit with the mayor and we go to the site as soon as the fire is under control. Obviously, we quickly imagine the immense problems that this will cause, the center hosting in particular the civil status service. There are even weddings planned for Saturday. Well, we managed to open services and welcome the public the next day. I was struck, and I am still moved, by the mobilization of many agents who came to help. Some worked on Saturdays but dozens of others arrived voluntarily, to support us, so much so that there were almost too many of us. Offices had burned down, everything had to be reorganized urgently and we succeeded thanks to this exceptional mobilization. I can’t say that I couldn’t imagine it, I had confidence in the agents’ sense of public service, but it’s only when confronted with this kind of situation that you realize this strength. We were one, we were together to take on this challenge.
An idea to change the world of sport?
There may be a lack of a certain capacity to adapt in the sports ecosystem. It is not limited to this environment, but I believe that the world of sports associations would benefit from having more flexibility. Of course, the work they do is immense and valuable. But I think we could go further in the health and social aspects. For example, a parent who accompanies their child to training for one to two hours could also practice. We could innovate to jointly set up an organized practice, such as training, and a free practice alongside it. This flexibility would be useful to adolescents who often stop playing sport due to lack of time or desire. Ways to practice more freely could be a solution. And the communities are completely open to supporting associations in these reflections.
The Olympic Games will be successful if…
If the image is beautiful, but I have no doubt about it, and especially if it looks like us. I hope that these Games reflect the diversity and richness of Saint-Denis. Showing both the basilica and the neighborhoods, hip-hop and the Stade de France. We try to bring this variety into our action and it is an opportunity for France and the world to change the way we look at the city. The real issue behind this is to restore pride to the Dionysians, that they hear about their city for the best that it can give.