Augsburg: In the Sportkind case, Eva Weber has the courage to start with an uncertain result

Eva Weber scores points in the Internet debate about “Sportkind” but stabs her construction officer in the back. He probably cannot count on the unity of black and green.

The size of the two monitors at issue is precisely in the municipal file. Each of them measures 1.1 by 1.928 meters. They are located in the shop window of the “Sportkind” brand tennis brand, in a prominent place on the town hall square. Less is known about how great the trust is between Augsburg’s mayor, Eva Weber, and her construction officer, Gerd Merkle. It can be assumed that the relationship has been damaged. And this is directly related to monitors. Merkle believes Sportkind has violated city regulations and monument protection – and presented it to the city council’s construction committee. Eva Weber looks at things differently and goes on the offensive. First to our editors, then also via social media. “Sportkind’s entrepreneurs are brave,” she wrote on Facebook. “You, like many others, are the fuel of our common good.” Policy must be enabling, not preventing. Of course, he accepts that he is taking a confrontation course with a construction worker. This is the showdown – and the outcome seems open.

No compromises: the founders of Sportkind play high

Sportkind’s two bosses, Nadine Lux and Gabi Windisch, also played well. They do not want to be content with the compromise proposals that were discussed in the construction committee. If the monitors can’t stay as they were, there’s also the possibility of a company shutting down again just weeks after it opened, they said recently. Models wearing the Sportkind collection can be seen on the screens in shop windows – no videos, but changing photos. In last week’s building committee, monitors were a problem for the third time. The city councilors made the “last offer” there – the smaller monitor should have been on the window facing the Rathausplatz, and the second, larger one in the window facing the Philippine-Welser-Straße.

The mayor was not happy with this result. It is said that she previously campaigned to tolerate observers, but apparently did not reach out to a construction clerk or black-and-green coalition councils. You can hear from the ranks of the CSU that they have sympathy for Sportkind, but also did not want to backstab the construction officer and his administration. Faced with concerns, mainly due to the protection of monuments, at the request of Eva Weber there was no safe majority – hence the compromise.

Eva Weber says in the screen debate: “We have to rethink”

Now Weber is taking a risk. He goes public to Sportkind and says, “We have to rethink.” I want to look for a solution again. It is gaining great approval on the Internet – incl. from the architectural historian Gregor Nagler. He comments that the building authorities have done a detriment to the protection of monuments. He wonders where the “monument protection watchmen” were when the Hasenbräu area was demolished.

Also read about it

Gabi Windisch and Nadine Lux (from left) with Sportkind argue with monument protection.

Photo: Silvio Vyshengrad

The trick now will be to find a political majority for this. Because Weber cannot rely on the unity of black and green. Probably the majority of sports children are in the CSU, the insiders say. “We will not close ourselves to a solution that will satisfy everyone,” said parliamentary group leader Leo Dietz at the request. Greens are different. Apparently they don’t want to come to terms with Sportkind anymore – even if the mayor would have to accept defeat. Group leader Verena von Mutius-Bartholy says: “We will not support individual permits due to social pressure and the threat of closure.” Otherwise, according to the administration, you are creating an example case. You have to think about new design rules – but calmly and without pressure.

The Sportkind case: The social fraction in Augsburg’s city council is very critical

The opposition uses the matter as a passing ball. Florian Freund, leader of the social faction of the SPD and the Left Party, calls “brazen” that Weber introduces city councilors as students and wants to explain to them how the modern city center works. “Either she doesn’t know what her administration has presented to the building committee, or it doesn’t see it,” grumbles Freund, who now wants to consult his parliamentary group. Freund says that Weber, as head of administration, set the fire first and is now celebrating to put it out. “I’ve never experienced this before.” For the social group, it is also important to strengthen the city center and settle attractive companies. That’s why Freund says: “Perhaps this is a reason to start thinking about what fits in the urban landscape these days and what doesn’t.”

Beate Schabert-Zeidler, chairwoman of the parliamentary faction of the middle class, is more reserved. Eva Weber’s intervention was received with surprise, as the pro-Augsburg city councilor, who also sits on the construction committee, put it. The Commission has put a lot of effort into the discussion of monitors. The last compromise proposal came from her group. “We made it clear that the screens can remain and only the size of the image needs to be reduced.” The group, which also includes Free Voters and the FDP, will now discuss how to proceed. FDP and FW city councilor Peter Hummel has already announced via a press release and Facebook that they want to support Eva Weber.

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