From the Ausländerbeirat: The Last and the Longest

The last meeting of the Ausländerbeirat in 2013 was also the longest this year, lasting a staggering 2½ hours.

One of the reasons was no doubt the visit by members of Amnesty International to talk about the developments in the case of the Yang Family, which have been reported on in detail in a separate article.

But financial discussions also led to a heated and prolonged debate.

The evening actually got off to a disappointing start, with there being no news or replies from the town’s administration to the committees outstanding questions.  There were no new questions from members of the public, and so things moved fairly swiftly.

It was when the committee decided to talk about their budget, that they launched into what was probably their longest discussion about any single topic in the past year.  On the one hand, they had hardly touched their annual budget, and with only a few weeks left to go, they were eager not to lose the money but to put it to some good.  At the same time, the town’s twinning association had requested a €1,000 contribution to their activities during the fountain festival.

Committee member Chantal Le Nestour put forward a motion to donate the remaining budget to projects in the town that offer afternoon childcare for foreign children.   Although their liason in the town hall, Thomas Eifert, pointed out that he would need to ask if this was possible, the motion was carried with 6 votes in favour, 2 abstentions and 1 against.

As for supporting the twinning association, there was some confusion as to how much the committee actually wanted to do so in any capacity, not just financial, even though at least one committee member is also a member of the association.

Chairman Dr. Franz Zenker eventually put forward a motion to not support them financially at all, which was defeated with 3 votes in favour, 4 against, and 2 abstentions.  So the question was “how much do we give them?”

At this point, some of the committee members started to leave, making it even more difficult to keep track on how much was being suggested and how the voting was going.

According to the minutes of the meeting, a motion to support the association with €400 was passed with 4 in favour and 3 against.

This was followed by a motion for a working group to decide on how the rest is spent, which was carried with 4 votes in favour, 2 against and 1 abstention.  It will be interested to find out if they make the decisions of that group public at the next meeting.

With the meeting drawing on, the reports and preparations for other sub-committee meetings were kept short.

Committee member Giannoula Kalargali was asked to explain why she had not been to the meeting of the planning sub-committee.  On replying that she had, Dr. Zenker pointed out that minutes contradicted this fact.  It turned out that she had tried to attend the non-public part of the meeting, had not been allowed in, and rather than wait for the public meeting to start had left.

Dr. Zenker asked to at least report from the minutes, in particular about the planned “Plus Energy Quarter” – an area of the town known as B-Plan 233 which was supposed to be a model of energy efficiency.

“It was not discussed” she replied.  The minutes, and the 14 councillors who voted on it, the report to the town council, and the 8 councillors who went on to debate it in the full council session all suggest that her answer may not be entirely accurate.


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 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.

Speak Your Mind


Please click on ACCEPT to give us permission to set 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 or to revoke permission.