The city councils say almost unanimously yes to the budget

The city councils say almost unanimously yes to the budget

It is just two years until the next local elections, and yet the budget discussion on Thursday evening in the City Council was peaceful and manageable with a good two and a half hours. A clear sign that there is nothing to doubt about the city’s figures, that the city continues to do well. Thus, the budget was also approved almost unanimously (26 yes, two no). Only the medium-term financial plan received somewhat more headwind (twelve rejections).

38 million euros in investments are planned in 2018, plus budgetary residuals in the same amount. On the “savings book there are 70 million euros in reserves, more than ever before, while the city has virtually no debts. Thanks to the good economic situation of its companies, Herzogenaurach is in a position to shoulder all the planned projects, including the major projects worth millions, as the mayor had already made clear in the run-up to the meeting (the FT presented the most important and projects in detail).

The fact that there were nevertheless dissenting votes was due to extra requests that were not taken into account. The CSU had once again brought up a long-running issue: the further expansion of the northern bypass and, in connection with it, a pedestrian tunnel. With this, however, the group bit on granite and rejected the medium-term financial plan, together with the two Free Voters.

The latter also generally refused to approve the budget, because they are against the southern bypass. The Greens are also against this road project, but they supported the budget. Complete approval was given by the SPD faction, the FDP city councilor was absent from the meeting.

Mayor German Hacker (SPD) placed his remarks under a central theme: “Times are changing. Therefore, it is not the question whether the city should change, because it does in any case. “The only constant is change”, Hacker quoted the philosopher Heraclitus. Rather, one must look at the “how” ask. The city is in a good financial position to be able to shape the future, and it must do so quickly. “I see change as positive, said Hacker and explained the approach: “Historic is preserved, but change, where possible and meaningful, is good.”

Highest level ever

Hacker, who passed his tenth budget as mayor and was in total on 22. The first city councilor to take part in the budget also announced records. The reserves and liquid funds at the beginning of the year with 70.7 million euros “the highest level ever” achieved, but also the district apportionment is this year with 28.3 million on record height. As a whole, he said, the “Herzogenaurach City Group” could be a success invest 44 million euros this year, including urban drainage and Herzo Werke. The almost 13 million in loans and capital increases for the municipal subsidiaries are not even included in this figure.

The SPD parliamentary group chairman Curd Blank said that due to the excellent revenue situation, it was more likely to be a “boring budget” has. He said it was particularly noteworthy that Herzogenaurach now had another positive unique selling point, as the number of jobs exceeded the number of residents. Blank described the budget, which leaves nothing to be desired, also with the following detail: One has so much reserve that the treasurer “must be quite creative to avoid penalty interest”.

Peter Simon of the Green Party pleaded for citizens to be involved in the planning process for urban projects in good time, because “we want to shape the future of our city together in a sensible and sustainable way. This also applies to the major issues such as the town hall and the community center. Simon: “A city lives from such facilities, here meetings and culture take place, which give a city a high quality of life.” He also assessed the start of planning for a new triple hall as very positive.

Manfred Welker (Freie Wahler) also addressed the issue of citizen participation. In the future, citizens should be consulted beforehand about projects worth more than ten million euros. He could almost agree to the budget, but the construction of the southern bypass and an overly large city hall were unacceptable.

Bernhard Schwab, head of the CSU parliamentary group, reported in detail on the issue. His speech contained a lot of approval (“The figures of the budget are comprehensible for us in its entirety. On the income side very pleasing and on the expenditure side not exaggerated”), but also reminders. Schwab mentioned the high budget residuals of 40 million euros, i.e. sums that have already been approved but not yet processed. One demanded therefore that such titles are deleted after some years from the budget and taken up only again, if they actually lining up. Because otherwise “a shadow budget” will be created.

Schwab defended the commitment of his group to the businessmen of the city center (“If they point out grievances to us, it is our damned duty as city councilors to report it”) and criticized that the mayor had gone straight to confrontation (“It is noticeable that the thin-skinnedness of our mayor is increasing”) The group leader listed the demands of his group (the FT reported), among other things the expansion of the fiber optic network, and brought a “walk of fame” into the conversation.

Finally Schwab sent a greeting to the Greens, regarding their refusal of the south bypass: “I can only save skylark and culture days, if traffic and taxes flow.”