From the town council: The Fountain Festival, the Carnival, and the Swimming Pool

When the town council met on Thursday, 12th September, 2013, there were no really “big” topics.  There was almost no mention of the swimming pool and almost no mention of the state of the town’s finances.  In fact, there was quite a bit of agreement about things not to talk about, but to send off to other sub-committees.

Nethertheless, there were still plenty of things to talk about.

One of the more curious set of questions during the evening came from the CDU group, who wanted to know how much the town spend on the annual Brunnenfest (Fountain festival), in particular in 2013.  They also wanted to know why the fireworks did not take place this year.  A rather strange request, considering that one of the people on the committee that organizes the festival is also a CDU councillor.

For the record then, the town pays just over €37,000 to their own subsidiary (BSO) to set up the festival, block off the roads, and clean up afterwards.  The fireworks did not take place because of safety concerns regarding the old town.

The same parliamentary group, CDU, also put forward a motion for the town to work together with the organising committee (“Vereinsring”) on a new concept for the festival to help return it to its original format where people decorated their houses and opened up their courtyards.

The motion led to a number of councillors asking for the reason behind it.  Eva-Maria Kuntsche (FDP) pointed out that this was a job for the Vereinsring, and not for the town’s executive.  Wolfgang Schmitt (Green party) wanted to know if the Vereinsring had even asked for this help.

In the end they all agreed to send the motion of to be discussed in the social and culture sub-committee.

The CDU followed this up with a motion to protect a number of events connected with the annual carnival procession.  However whilst Mayor Hans-Georg Brum agreed that the town would make sure that the procession still took place even in difficult financial times, Dr. Eggert Winter (SPD) was highly critical of the motion.

He pointed out that not only the town’s treasurer but also the district administrator responsible for approving the town’s budget are both members of the CDU party, with the treasurer, Thorsten Schorr, even being the chairman of the local branch.  Since funding such side-events would cost tax-payers’ money, how, he asked, could such a motion be put forward by the very party whose members hold the pursestrings?

He was backed up by Christine Herr (Green party), who criticised the timing of the motion, only weeks before the budget talks for 2014 when such events and their funding will no doubt be discussed in more detail.

With this motion they all agreed (except the representative of “Die Link” who abstained in the vote) to discuss the matter further in both the finance and the social and culture sub-committees.

It was the SPD who brought up the subject of the swimming pool in a motion to open the outdoor pool in May 2014, even if the new indoor pool is not ready by then.  Whilst the Green party supported the motion and the OBG would have been only too happy to take a vote on it there and then, no less than four members of the CDU were determined to make sure that did not happen.  Whilst Thomas Studanski and Jens Uhlig wanted to move the discussion to the building and environmental sub-committee, Frank Hora was concerned about the availability of toilets and showers, whilst Charmaine Weisenbach even went as far as to warn of the risks of opening too early, such as the water being contaminated by the ongoing building works inside the building.

This time there was a unanimous decision to move the discussion to the sub-committee.

 

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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