When Maximilian Böltl was first elected mayor of Kirchheim in 2014, he was one of the youngest heads of town hall in the Free State. A few years later, praise came from the highest level: Prime Minister Markus Söder once said about the 38-year-old that he was one of the greatest political talents in the CSU. Now Böltl is aiming for the state parliament, he is officially applying for the candidacy in the Munich-Land North constituency and wants to succeed Ernst Weidenbusch there, who will no longer be a candidate after 20 years in the Maximilianeum.
SZ: It is quite possible that you will no longer attend the opening of the State Horticultural Show in your community in 2024 as the mayor, but as a member of the state parliament. That was definitely not planned.
Maximilian Böltl: In fact, that was the most difficult part of my decision, of course my heart is in this project. There’s never a good time to retire as mayor – and a community never ends in development. But the field in Kirchheim is well tilled and I fulfill my responsibility conscientiously and carefully to the end.
When did you become convinced that you wanted to apply for the state parliament candidacy?
At my age, you keep thinking about professional development, even outside of politics. It was always important to me not to be dependent on politics.
Nevertheless, you now want to climb to the next level in politics.
The consideration then became concrete when Ernst Weidenbusch announced that he would no longer compete. Incidentally, Ernst Weidenbusch was one of the people in the district association who supported and encouraged young people to get involved and get involved. It was also important to me personally to listen to the party. The support signaled so far is very broad.
Would you have run against Ernst Weidenbusch if he had declared his willingness to run again?
This question does not arise.
Are you following a call from the party, based on your party leader Markus Söder’s demand that the CSU also have to realign itself in terms of personnel?
no The local associations decide on the question of candidacy.
You are a local politician through and through. With what content do you want to go into this election campaign?
This local political idea, which I want to bring back into the state parliament, is very important to me. Listen to opinions, identify problems and find solutions. As the mayor, it can happen that a problem is brought to your attention in the morning and you have to and will have solved it by the afternoon. The crises surrounding Corona and now Ukraine have shown that many problems can be solved locally – and local politicians also listen directly to the people. I know that this will be more difficult in the state parliament, but I want to help achieve quick solutions there as well.
So you want to represent the interests of the municipalities?
Yes, because it is of central importance to properly equip the municipalities, and that doesn’t just mean more money for the cities and communities. But, for example, simplifications in procurement law, municipalities must be able to make decisions independently. And we also have to work through what we promise at state level.
in energy policy. Bavaria has to become much stronger in the field of geothermal energy and also wants to be a sunny country for power generation. We now have to implement this in detail and not open a new topic every week.
Does a member of the state parliament who was a mayor and is a district councilor also remain a representative of the interests of his own constituency, his own district?
Definitely yes. Of course, as a member of parliament and district councilor, I would continue to deal intensively with all local issues that affect the district. When it comes to creating equal living conditions for all regions throughout Bavaria – which is correct – I have to look at the district. In principle, it’s also good for us if other regions become more attractive, but we have to be careful not to cut back on the investments we need to make in infrastructure. In the case of traffic, for example, the collapse has long been there.
You want to run in a constituency that could be one of the hardest fought in Bavaria in the state elections. A risk?
We as the CSU have to convince each other. In 2014 I was elected mayor of five opposing candidates and in 2020 I got almost 75 percent in the first ballot. So my personal bar is relatively high. And I know: I have to give everything.
What happens if you miss the entry into the state parliament. Will you then return to the Kirchheim town hall?
Of course I will then remain mayor, I’m not fleeing from the town hall and I still enjoy the office very much. And I’m also a little tormented by the thought of no longer being able to support local issues as mayor once I’m elected. But even as a member of parliament for the constituency, I would work actively for the concerns of the people in Kirchheim, Heimstetten and Hausen.
The timing of the election is somewhat unfortunate for you. In Bavaria, mayors are only entitled to a pension after ten years, in 2023 they will be in office for nine years. Did that play a role in your considerations?
Of course I checked that for myself. But one should not make oneself dependent on such questions. Anyone who goes into politics knows that there are risks associated with it. And one shouldn’t be so vain when it comes to the State Horticultural Show and other projects.
There is still a long way to go before the nomination in autumn and the state elections next year. How are you approaching the coming months?
It’s a process, we can’t line up until August 15th at the earliest, so we don’t have to rush into it. As mayor, I still have a decent package of tasks ahead of me.