It is served on this sunny August morning on Rosenstrasse in Eichen. The chairman of the city association CDU, Otmar Wörner, invited to his home together with the leader of the parliamentary group, Thomas Warlich. Sandwiches and coffee on the table. Above all, however, two representatives of the strongest opposition party in Nidderau want to use the summer talks to prepare a political meal.
Nidderau – Because in her opinion, the city is not going well. “The Nidder crossing, the extension of the town hall, the central sports facility – these are the topics that we are deeply touched on at the moment,” Otmar Wörner interjects. “They are neither permanent nor in the interest of the citizens.”
Nidder Crossing Example: During the land consolidation decided in 2018 under the ‘rough concept’ a circular path around the floodplain and a bridge over it is to be built to guide walkers and keep them away from sensitive areas of the protected area . The pedestrian and bicycle bridge is also intended to create a direct connection between the new center and the Bertha von Suttner school with the train station and the orchards. Higher authorities must approve the project. The administration assumes a total cost of around EUR 4.35 million, which can be financed up to 70 percent.
The Nidder Crossing is a “prestigious project” for the CDU
From today’s perspective, the CDU expects at least 4.5 million and notes: “Even subsidies are tax money.” After the family park was set up on Allee Süd a few years ago, the Nidder crossing is another “prestigious project”. for Christian Democrats it causes further costs above all.
“The concept will lead to an even greater revitalization of the floodplain,” say Warlich and Wörner. “Garbage flies off the bridge, lighting causes light pollution. And how many people use the connection to the train station? Most of the students get off at the Windecken train station and the commuters get off the bus. “
The planned expansion of the town hall is also seen as oversized for the CDU. “Otherwise you will get outside expertise for everything, why not here?” Warlich criticizes. However, planning has not yet started, only the spatial requirements were initially defined.
Fortify neighborhoods, no central sports facility
When it comes to sports facilities, the CDU lives up to its core credo of strengthening neighborhoods, not centralizing them. “We are in favor of the artificial turf pitches in Eichen, Ostheim and Heldenbergen,” explains Wörner. “If the Windeck players came to an agreement with the gym, a circular track for Windecken could be built on the Windeck pitch.” Sports fields would be accessible to children and adolescents by bike, it would only cost half and everyone would be happy, ”predict the representatives of the CDU.
For Wörner and Warlich, such “prestigious projects” do not fit in with the times when citizens struggle with rising energy costs, inflation and interest rates. Instead, the CDU wants to exempt citizens from property tax. He sees sufficient leeway for this, even if Treasurer Rainer Vogel (The Greens) repeatedly draws attention to the unknowns of the coronation crisis that would be delayed in a trade tax, and cites surrounding municipalities that would even have to raise property taxes. . In addition, the CDU is against any further increases in day care fees. At the same time, the coverage of fees from parents’ contributions is much below the 30% share recommended by the financial supervision authority.
“Enterprising” city management.
“The city of Nidderau has 200 employees and an annual turnover of 50 million euros,” emphasizes Wörner. “You just have to take a more entrepreneurial approach.” “Every employer offers public services, not only municipalities. And in comparison with local authorities, the duty of care in a free economy comes with many more offers. This is not an argument that applies in particular to the city council. “
Warlich and Wörner see above all an income problem. “Where is something going on in terms of economic development?” Asks the head of the city’s association. “Large halls are built on Lindenbäumchen, but there are hardly any jobs. For example, we did not allocate space to create a data center like the one in Schöneck. We are a great city with so much to offer. But we’ve slept through the last 30 years of urban development. “
The CDU sees deficits in economic development
An example is the lack of connection between the new center and the ring road, which means that Heldenbergen is “drowned in traffic”. Added to this is the lack of cheap housing. “Where is ABG’s next home?” representatives of the CDU asked about the construction of a multi-storey building with 32 social flats at a small railway station in Windecken by a Frankfurt housing cooperative. “It was also possible to build a 100% social housing in Mühlberg in Windecken,” says Thomas Warlich of the project, which requires a third of free, inexpensive and social housing as a requirement in the investor competition. The CDU also knows that these guidelines were chosen to enable social integration in the district and be economically attractive to investors.
In any case, Warlich and Wörner still have a lot of tipping points. They ask themselves why there is such a high turnover of staff in the administration, which means that investments and other tasks remain unfinished, and the agendas of committees become more and more complete. Besides, there were ad hoc templates from the town hall. “If you not only raise your hand when voting, but want to read the documents in advance, this is not possible for working people and young parents.”
The CDU is based on working groups
The CDU therefore relies on the newly created working groups “Urban development”, “NXT-Gen” and “Family and social matters”. Their goal is to draw the attention of all citizens from all districts to the party and forward them through a parliamentary group to the city council. “We have doubled our membership in recent years,” says Wörner. “There is a high level of motivation to get involved. We have an ear for the rail, we want people to be visible and use their professional competences. “
The maintenance of infrastructure, the renovation of tenement houses and streets, the concept of municipal energy in the face of global crises, which above all makes better use of the possibilities of photovoltaics in the sunniest city of Hesse – all this is missing from the CDU in Nidderau.
But Wörner and Warlich believe in change. With 13 seats on the city council, the CDU managed to catch up with the SPD in the local elections in March 2021. “Our group is on an equal footing,” says Thomas Warlich. “The goal of the next local elections is very clear that nothing works in Nidderau without the participation of the CDU” (Jan Otto Weber)