What did the Ausländerbeirat learn at FIS?

For all of the articles on this website that have criticised the work of the Ausländerbeirat in the past year, none caused such a stir as the one that appeared in the Taunus Zeitung after the last meeting at Frankfurt International School.

To be fair to the members of the Ausländerbeirat, the article makes no mention of the questions from teachers and parents that were answered, no mention of the tour of the school, and in fact does not even mention that the meeting even took place there.  All it does it criticise the formal part of the meeting for many of the things that I have written about in the past.

It was one of the first things to be discussed when the committee met this week, and one of the lessons learnt was that they should work more closely with the town hall press office, rather than doing their own thing.

Generally, though, the members of the committee found the outing to FIS a positive experience and plan to hold a meeting there in future at least once a year.

Another good piece of news was the announcement that the committee has a new “Geschäftsführer” in the town hall called Thomas Eifert, who has been working as a social worker for the town for over 20 years.  He will be working for the committee for 15 hours per week.

Another positive announcement was the fact that the committee will have an information stand in the Strackgasse to talk to people about their work at the fountain festival (Brunnenfest) this weekend, even if it will only be staffed on Saturday and Sunday from 3pm until 6pm.

After all of this good news, it was time for the “Berichte aus den Ausschusssitzungen” – the reports from the other committees.

Now, you would think that since this was main part of the criticism in the Taunus Zeitung (and on this website), that they might have made an effort to be a little more prepared.  As is usually the case, the report from the finance sub-committee was very much off-the-cuff and the report from the social and culture sub-committee was out-of-the-minutes, although to be fair the member concerned had actually been to the meeting and was only using the minutes as a basis for their report.

However when it came to the report from the building and environment sub-committee, let’s just say that I’ve promised not to talk about it too much, because the report given was from the part of the meeting when the public is not allowed in.  I guessed, and the town hall employees present confirmed my suspicion, at which point I stopped taking notes and promised to forget what I had heard.  But if other guests or even someone from one of the newspapers had been there, they may not have been so forgiving.

As if to make matters worse, when it came to prepare for the next meeting of that sub-committee, there appeared to be a lack of knowledge of what Bebauungsplan Nr. 140A “Unter der Hohemark – Frankfurt International School” is all about, and members were referred to the documentation that they had received.

Considering that the meeting was on the next day, the school must surely be a key topic for the Ausländerbeirat, and that they had had a tour of the grounds where the building works will take place only the month before, would it not have been reasonable to have expected the member attending that meeting to know a little bit more about it?

Whilst the first half of the committee meeting was very positive, that faux-pas coupled with the lack of knowledge about the FIS building plans must surely earn the second half the comment “must try harder”.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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