We asked, they answered. Now we have to vote.

With less than a week to go until voters decide on who they want to be the Mayor in Oberursel, it’s time to start making up my mind who I want to vote for.

Let’s start by looking at those questions that we asked last week.

Five of the questions dealt with things that foreigners in Oberursel affect directly.

The idea of the welcome meeting is something that both candidates would consider doing, and both like the idea of providing more information to new residents.  I see little difference here.  It’s different with the other four. [Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 7. Communication

Question: Many of the questions have been about communication.  How can the foreigners here be better informed?  I would claim, that many foreigners do not read a newspaper, in particular because it is not in their native language.

One example for this is the call for candidates for the Ausländerbeirat election.  This went out as a classic press release to the newspapers, but there were no information about it in their display cabinet outside the town hall. [Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 6. The Integration Report

Question: The “integration report” was released in Frankfurt this week.  Could you envisage such a report in Oberursel?  Would you actively support the introduction of such a report after the election?

It is worth noting at this point that the concept of the integration report was presented to the Ausländerbeirat several weeks ago.

[Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 5. The school grounds in the Marxstraße

Frage: What plans do you have for the area that used to be occupied by temporary classrooms in the Marxstraße?

Although the question was referring to the area between the Red Cross building and Willy-Seck-Straße, the candidates also talked about the future of the area in Im Portugall that will be vacated by the Hans-Thoma-Schule.

[Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 4. Foreign language concept

Question: why is there not a common foreign language concept for the town.  The town hall is set to have signs in English and French, the Taunabad only has signs in English and in the case of the bio-waste rubbish bins the town’s own subsidiary, BSO, issued information leaflets in English, Turkish and Polish. [Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 3. Daycare strikes

Recent strikes at child daycare centres have crippled some Kindergartens and left parents using up their holiday to look after their children. 

Question: When do you believe the striking child daycare workers will receive a better wage?

[Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 2. Culture Festival

Question: To enable a better understanding between the cultures, what do you think of holding a cultural event, where each of the cultures is highlighted – including the German culture.

I pointed out that Dr. Zenker of the Ausländerbeirat has said that the committee will not be arranging festivals anymore.  And we also have smaller cultural events such as the international village at the fountain festival and Worldfest at FIS.  But what about one large festival, which includes German culture as well? [Read more…]

EU nationals ask the candidates: 1. Welcome Meetings

A couple of weeks ago I asked for questions from EU nationals living in Oberursel to put to the candidates for the Mayoral election.

I have now interviewed both candidates and will be publishing one question each day this week with their answers.

Question: I found out that the Ausländerbeirat existed through the blog “AllThingsGerman”.  When I arrived in Oberursel and went to register, no-one told me about this committee or that there office to offer support.  What do you think about holding welcome meetings for new residents to tell them about the schools, taxes, and everyday life in the town?  e.g. every two months? [Read more…]

EU nationals and the Mayoral Election – which issues are important to you?

Residents in Oberursel cannot have failed to notice the large posters around the town with photos of the two Mayoral candidates on them.  The election takes place on Sunday, 21st June, 2015 and under certain circumstances, EU nationals will also be able to cast their vote.

Those conditions are: [Read more…]

It’s carnival time!

The carnival season in Oberursel got into full swing on Saturday morning to shouts of “Hellau!” when Princess Sabine I., accompanied by supporters, majorettes, musicians and couple of canons, made her way from the old town hall around the Marktplatz and through the town to the new town hall, where she challenged the mayor to hand over the keys and put her in charge of things until Ash Wednesday.

However the mayor, Hans-Georg Brum, and his associates were not giving up without a fight, especially to the first ever carnival Princess that the town has seen.  From over the parapet of his fortress he gave as good as he got, and even sent out his own canon – filled with confetti.

Sabine was assisted by the Pascal and Leoni, the “Kinderprinzenpaar”, the latter of whom had particular fun telling her uncle “Hansi” to surrender.

And surrender he did, but not before [Read more…]

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