The Same Procedure as Last Year at the Ausländerbeirat

Regular readers may have noticed that there have been less articles about the Ausländerbeirat on this blog in the second half of last year. There are a number of reasons for that, but one is the lack of new things to write about. One meeting is very much like another, and the few highlights that did happen didn’t always make it as far as an article.

But with the committee’s attention turning towards their own election on 29th November, 2015, would they make an effort to be more productive? Maybe even come up with their first motion for the town council?

The first meeting of the Ausländerbeirat in 2015 took place on Monday, 19th January, 2015. All members were present, except for their man in the town hall, Thomas Eifert, who was on holiday in Thailand.

There were very few guests, and when it came to the public questions part of the meeting, I was the only one who had anything to ask.

So I asked if it was possible to inform the foreigners in the town about the forthcoming election by writing to them directly with unbiased information, and not just send them the usual voting notification postcard. [Read more…]

Dealing with the problem in the Eppsteiner Straße

“An accusation has been made, unlike anything the town’s administration has ever been accused of before” was how Dr. Eggert Wintert (SPD) commented on the claims by the BUND (the German branch of “Friends of the Earth”) that the removal of toxic waste from a piece of ground in the Eppsteiner Straße had caused health problems for one family who had run a shop there.

He quoted from the dossier, commenting on the fact that setting free toxic gases can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

But he also made clear that to make such claims, BUND must be able to prove them and take responsibility for the consequences of making them, concluding that the way the dossier had been distributed by e-mail and social media that it had been designed to cause a scandal. [Read more…]

From the town council: Swimming, Sewage, the Station, and the Saga of the Bärenkreuzung

The last meeting of the town council in Oberursel was a long, drawn out affair, which even prompted Mayor Hans-Georg Brum to refer to part of the debate as a “Gebetsmühle” – literally a “prayer wheel”, ie. a discussion that was taking a long time and going round in circles.

It was also the point in the council year for treasurer Thorsten Schorr to make his annual budget speech, the debate on which was deferred to a later date after the Bürgerversammlung about the proposed savings.

Part of that budget may have played a role in the OBG asking what the pre-requisites are for town employees taking on committee roles in charities such as the Förderverein Taunabad during their work time and whether this was not something that the town was doing voluntarily and hence should possibly be reduced or stopped altogether under the budget constraints. [Read more…]

Getting to the root of the Sycamore Tree problem

There is a tree in the centre of Oberursel that has been receiving quite a bit of attention recently.  Called a “Platane”, a type of sycamore tree, it is located at the junction of the Adenauerallee, Oberhöchstadter Straße and the Liebfrauenstraße, next to what used to be called KDM – “Kaufhaus der Mitte”.

Whilst KDM is in the process of being modernised, the crossing itself has been in discussion for re-development at some time in the future, or even re-configuration you might say, considering that part of the discussion focuses on how the traffic lanes should be laid out.

At one point there was talk of planting a replacement tree and removing the current one, but this met with such resistance – even among members of the town council – that just two months ago the town hall scrapped those plans and came up with new ones leaving the tree in place.

“Not a branch will be damaged” claimed the Taunus Zeitung in March. [Read more…]

OBG says sauna would pose a risk for the town’s finances

Local political group the OBG do not belive that adding a sauna to the new indoor swimming pool would make financial sense, as they claim it would cost more to build and run than it would make in revenue.  In fact, the leader of their parliamentary group Georg Braun says that this has been clear to them since the summer of 2011.

According to an expert opinion, the income from a sauna would cover the running costs, but not when the cost of building it is added to the equation.  Georg Braun was quoted as asking “What use would the higher revenue be, if the investment costs are not covered?”

The OBG went into the pedestrian area of the town on Saturday morning, and reported that in many of their conversations with passers-by the people of the town are confused by what they call the “half truths” of the sauna supporters.  They also warn that if the sauna were to make a loss, then the taxpayer would have to pick up the bill. [Read more…]

The tale of the Ausziehgleis and the Pförtnerampel

One of the most hotly discussed topics in Oberursel this month must surely be the re-development of an area called the “Bahnhofsareal”.  Roughly speaking, that is the area between the flyover at the “Drei Hasen” where the Homburger Landstraße meets the Nassauer Straße, and the other end of the Nassauer Straße where it almost – but not quite – joins up with the Weingärtenumgehung.  Not quite, unless you include the temporary road that was put in place for the Hessentag to give residents access to the area.

In the middle of this area is the newly restored station, hence the term “Bahnhofsareal” – the area around the station.

The future of that area is not just being discussed now, it has been a topic of discussion and in the town council for the past 25 years, as Councillor Dr. Eggert Winter of the SPD reminded councillors last week before launching into a blow-by-blow account of the various plans that had been on the cards in that time, including plans for a tunnel under the area and closing the level crossing at the end of the Adenauerallee, and a new station combining both S-Bahn and U-Bahn tracks.

“It is good in part when things take longer, because sometimes you notice that the things that you have decided upon are not good”, he said. [Read more…]

Carnival Procession 2013: Magistrat der Stadt Oberursel

(Click to enlarge)

Who says that we can’t afford a swimming pool?

The Bürgerversammlung about the new swimming pool last week appears to have a lasting effect on many in Oberursel, because in the space of just a few days the political landscape in the town has changed dramatically.

Let me try and explain the past few years in simple terms first:

1. The indoor pool in the town was closed because the roof was deemed unstable.

2. The coalition of CDU and FDP wanted to sell of a sports field (Altkönigsportplatz) and the swimming pool car park to finance a new building, and an architect came up with a design to include a sauna and modernise the outside pool at the same time.

3. At the town parliament elections last year, the SPD, Green party and OBG were all behind the swimming pool, but did not want to sell of the sports field, and although the CDU remained the largest party in the parliament, the SPD/Green/OBG coalition gained a majority.

4. SPD/Green/OBG drew up a coalition agreement that they would build a new swimming pool, but would borrow at most only 20% of the capital needed to do so and would not sell of the sports field.

5. It was then decided just to build a new indoor pool and leave space for a sauna, moving work on the outdoor pool to a later date.

6. Planning permission was given, changes to Bebauungspläne were approved, and companies started giving quotes on the cost of actually building it.

7. A few weeks ago they even held a press conference to announce that building work would be starting soon.

You could say that everything was going swimmingly, until the town’s treasurer explained why the town could not afford to build it. [Read more…]

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details.

Close