There are enough despisers of democracy who would rather spread the word than that city councilors and local councils cook their own soup in the town hall. Anyone who claims that simply misjudges what a volunteer effort is associated with such an elective office. Many free evenings with the family can be cut short. Instead, elected officials spend what feels like eternities in meetings and, if something doesn’t suit the citizen, they can also be publicly scolded for their commitment. The accusation of representing one’s own interests is no accident. Sometimes private and public is not so easy to separate when you are involved in a community.
Because of course a voluntary municipal councilor, whose main job is a shopkeeper, cares about the expansion of the shopping street and the association chairman, who is also a municipal councilor, is committed to his association. These people, who are networked locally and have a variety of interests, are precisely the people who want to have a say and are elected to the political committees. There they sit with the dignitaries. In every city or community council there is at least one scion of a family that has shaped the place for generations and often has massive interests of its own because they own a lot of land here.
For this reason, the municipal ordinance stipulates, for example in the case of real estate transactions that are dealt with in closed meetings, that those affected are not allowed to take part in votes. But there are also other situations in which a city or local councilor gets out of the public session as a biased party – voluntarily, so that no smacks arise. Where this does not happen because individuals lack sensitivity and awareness of the credibility of a democratically elected body, the mayor is called upon to intervene. CSU councilor Gabriele Stießberger should have stayed out of the dispute over the Maibaumfreunde hut in Haar – or Mayor Bukowski should have asked her to do so. Because Stießberger’s husband, the immediately affected chairman of the association, was sitting directly among the spectators. It’s almost impossible to get closer.