Result of the hammelburg referendum causes confusion

Both sides are surprised: the last days before the referendum on sunday, she had doubts whether the citizens’ initiative could prevail, says her representative elfriede dickert. Even the majority of the city council members who supported the burgerhaus plan did not expect the result to be like this.

The representatives of the burgerinitiative are happy that they were successful and that the voters rejected the burgerhaus plan. Those who have campaigned for the city’s plan, on the other hand, are talking about disenchantment and frustration. "We don’t know how to deal with the result", says a city councilor. The decision was not only very close, with 169 votes in favor of the citizens’ initiative. The outcome of the vote also raises a number of questions in terms of content.

With their decision in favor of the citizens’ initiative, the electors spoke out in favor of the city council’s decisions being rescinded "with the aim that a more cost-efficient citizens’ house be built on the same site". The initiative’s question was therefore aimed at the costs alone.

Theoretically, the city could now simply try to make its design for the burgerhaus cheaper. But in doing so, it went against the grain of many citizens’ feelings: the opponents of the burgerhaus plans were at least as concerned with the architecture as with the costs. Many rejected the design for the burgerhaus because it didn’t suit them for the marketplace. A redesign or new planning would not become cheaper in view of the previous advance payments – all burgerhaus supporters assume this to be the case.

The question remains as to how the project can be saved, especially since the citizens’ initiative has repeatedly emphasized that it is not opposed to a burgerhaus in principle. No one has a solution at the moment.

"I don’t know how to proceed at the moment", explains mayor armin warmuth (CSU). He must first discuss the further procedure with the city council. This should happen in the next or next meeting.

Warmuth and some city councillors see the burgerinitiative as responsible for making a proposal. The mayor signals willingness to talk.

But so far, the burgerinitiative has not submitted a design proposal of its own. When asked whether the citizens’ initiative will be involved in the search for a solution, dickert says: "we are waiting to see if the city will take any steps towards us." If it is desired, the burgerinitiative will talk with the city.

"We first have to see what happens next", says architect rene rissland. When asked, he confirms that his office has a complete contract for the town hall. Further speeches would have to show what happens with it.

Another project is linked to the burgerhaus: the city is one of the municipalities in the district that applied for the position of the nature experience center. The city relies on the kellereischloss. The building, owned by the state, was vacant after the planned move of the bookstore, tourist information and council hall to the new burgerhaus. The city still wants to hold on to its application. Upon inquiry, warmuth refers to the unanimous decision of the city council. He could not say more at the moment.

On wednesday evening, the voting committee meets to determine the final result of the castle decision. This shows some anomalies. So the number of invalid votes is quite high, as stefan stoth from the city administration confirms. This was allowed to be due to the complicated vote. There were three questions to be answered on the ballot paper: the question of the citizens’ petition, the council’s petition, and a trick question. This also made the payout more difficult.

The overall result was close. In individual districts, however, there were clear majorities. In the referendum in obereschenbach, around 67 percent of the valid votes were cast in favor of the citizens’ initiative. In morlesau it was about 61 percent and in feuerthal even almost 80 percent. Only in obererthal and pfaffenhausen did the council referendum find a majority: in obererthal by a clear margin of around 60 percent, in pfaffenhausen by a narrow margin of just one vote.

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