Ausländerbeirat to meet at Frankfurt International School

The Ausländerbeirat (foreigners’ sub-committee) are going out into the community next Monday and will be holding their meeting at Frankfurt International School at the northern end of Oberursel.

The meeting starts at 6pm and guests are not only welcome but will also be able to put their questions to the committee at the beginning of the meeting.

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More power for the Ausländerbeirat?

When the chairman of Oberursel’s Ausländerbeirat, Dr. Franz Zenker, made his annual speech to the town council at the beginning of February, it was hard to overlook the fact that he wanted his committee to be granted the “Antragsrecht” – the right to put their own motions directly to the council.  In fact, he used the word at least nine times during the speech!

And it would seem that he may get his way, with the SPD, Green party, and CDU all supporting motions to grant the committee that right, although not without some criticism. [Read more…]

From the Ausländerbeirat

The members of the Ausländerbeirat must be getting used to longer meetings, as the one they held on Monday, 20th January, 2014 went on until almost 8.30pm.  That is according to my notes.  The official minutes of the meeting are not yet available on the town’s website to verify this fact, and this may well have to do with one of the new rules that have come into effect for such committees this year.

Until now, the minutes of the meetings have been written by the independent town hall employees known as the “Büro der Gremien”.  Since they are understaffed, it is now up to most of the town council’s sub-committees to nominate someone from their own ranks to write them instead.

The Ausländerbeirat nominated their only paid member – Thomas Eifert – to do the job, and he started mid-meeting, however they made it a condition that he receives additional paid time in order to write up the notes later. [Read more…]

A Petition for the Yang Family

The Yang family live in Stierstadt, one of the suburbs of Oberursel.  For the past two weeks their story has hardly been out of the local newspapers, and at the last meeting of the Ausländerbeirat on Monday, 25th November, 2013, two representatives from Amnesty International came along to explain what it is all about.

The story begins 10 years ago when Mr. Yang came to Germany from China without a visa, but as an asylum seeker.  Mrs. Yang – at the time no relation – came later by foot!  She also applied for asylum, claiming that her family was discriminated against at home because her parents had had more than one child.

Their asylum applications were turned down, but as they did not have sufficient identification on them to travel back, their presence in Germany was tolerated – geduldet”. [Read more…]

A long evening with the Ausländerbeirat

If the members of the Ausländerbeirat thought they were in for a short meeting when they met on Monday, 23rd September, 2013, then they had to think again.  Lasting almost two hours, the meeting was the longest that I personally had experienced to date.

Part of the reason for this was certainly down to the questions from the public, two of which led to extensive discussions.

One question that did not was about a new playground in the town next to a building where – according to one of the town councillors who happened to be present – a lot of foreigners live.  The opening times for the playground only list work days, but not Sunday.  So is it closed on a Sunday or just open all day?

Not that the Ausländerbeirat could really be expected to give an answer to this, but maybe they could have passed the question on instead of referring the councillor to the social and culture sub-committee of which, ironically, he is himself a member. [Read more…]

From the Ausländerbeirat: Good news, Bad news, No news and Forgotten news

When the Ausländerbeirat met for the first time after their summer break they had plenty to discuss.

They had received a letter from the Chairman of the town council, Dr. Christoph Müllerleile, which their own Chairman, Dr. Franz Zenker, read out.  It announced that the town’s council of elders had decided that with immediate notice the members of the Ausländerbeirat would not be allowed to sit in on committee meetings if they were closed to the public, unless the topic being discussed was particularly relevant to foreigners in the town.

This affects their participation in the finance, social & culture, and building & environmental sub-committees.  They will also not receive the documents associated with those parts of the meeting, unless the relevant chairperson deems it necessary. [Read more…]

From the Ausländerbeirat….

The meeting of the Ausländerbeirat on Monday, 17th June, 2013, was anything less than spectacular. In fact, the most interesting item on the agenda was the introduction of the new “Geschäftsführer” for the committee, Thomas Eifert, who liaises with the town hall and who also cleared up the confusion that had been circulating about how many hours he works each week for the committee.

The answer for the record: 15½ hours per week, of which 4½ are directly for the committee work, 8 for consultation appointments and 3 for work on the town’s integration concept.

Maybe with 3 hours per week over the coming months working on it, that concept may be discussed at one of the committee meetings sometime this year? The integration news this week was limited mainly to the information about the Windrose e.V. moving into the newly renovated signal box opposite the station.

It was an evening when a lot of items could be summarised as “none”. Apart from the question about the working hours, there were no questions from the public. There were no messages from the town’s executive, and no messages from the Geschäftsführer other than his introduction. [Read more…]

19 years of helping foreigners in Oberrusel

There is a side to the Ausländerbeirat that, until now, has not been mentioned much on this site.

I have written about the committee meetings often enough, but someone who has hardly been mentioned in those articles is Peter Gröbler, the “Geschäftsführer” of the Ausländerbeirat.  He is the person who works in the town hall and looks after the day-to-day business as opposed to the elected members who meet every few weeks to discuss things like integration.

Peter Gröbler is the person that foreigners in the town can go to when they need help when they have problem making their way through the bureaucracy of the German state, if they have a problem getting a residence permit, or a work permit, need help applying for benefits, or – worst case – are being threatened with expulsion from the country. [Read more…]

When the Ausländerbeirat visited the FIS…

It was a meeting of the Ausländerbeirat like no other that I have visited until now.  Not only where all the members of the foreigners’ sub-committee present for the entirety of the meeting, but 16 guests turned up as well.

Admittedly those 16 included the press and members of the town council, with all of the parliamentary groups except the CDU represented, but at least half were simply members of the public who had come along to see the committee in action and to pose their questions.

The reason for such interest in a committee whose guests don’t normally make it into double figures was very likely due to the meeting place: Frankfurt International School. [Read more…]

Ausländerbeirat to meet at Frankfurt International School

The Ausländerbeirat (foreigners’ sub-committee) are going out into the community next Monday and will be holding their meeting at Frankfurt International School at the northern end of Oberursel.

The meeting starts at 6pm and guests are welcome.

However, the newly introduced “question time” session at the beginning of the meeting is not on the agenda currently available on the town’s homepage.  This appears to be an administrative error and it will be up to the members of the committee to add it back onto the agenda if they wish to do so.  It would be pretty embarrassing for them if a lot of guests attend and they decided not to…

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