On Sunday, the people of Mittelmark will elect a new district administrator. Which political goals the seven candidates pursue and which issues are most important to them.
Seven men are running to become district administrator in Potsdam-Mittelmark. We asked them why they want to be elected, what qualifies them for the office and what they want to make a difference in the county. A PNN overview with all the questions and answers about the election on 6. February.
1. Why do you want to become a district administrator?? What qualifies you?
2. What are the three most important issues for the district??
3. What would you do first, if elected?
4. What would you do differently than the previous incumbent?
Marko Kohler (SPD), 48 years old, from Bruck
To 1Out of respect for the people here. We want our children and grandchildren to grow up in a Potsdam-Mittelmark worth living in: modern, climate-neutral, well-connected and safe. I want to enforce this. And I can enforce this, because as a police officer and as a district director I have learned how to listen to people, how to get things done and how local politics works – and that means social local politics.
Ad 2First: Climate protection and sustainable transport. We want to be mobile – but that must not be at the expense of the climate. Second: Affordable housing for all, including and especially for young people, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz are my allies here. Third: Short distances to the doctor and the hospital and an efficient rescue service, because health is a high good.
Re 3: The first thing I will do is say "hello" to the employees of the district administration and ask the question: How do we implement the most important projects for Potsdam-Mittelmark? Bike path construction, climate-neutral buildings, an alliance for housing, good health care. I will also discuss this with the district council and with all the people in the district. After 100 days, I don’t just want to know the problems – I also want to have started solving them.
Re 4: Much! Every district administrator has his own style. Wolfgang Blasig was incredibly good at strengthening the economy: Hardly any unemployment, a stable middle class and a budget without debt in Potsdam-Mittelmark are the result. Now it’s time to act quickly and energetically on behalf of the younger generation so that the environment, natural resources and climate are protected – through measures that safeguard prosperity and jobs.
Christian Grobe (CDU), 44 years old, from Werder (Havel)
To 1: I have lived here all my life and have been involved in local politics for more than 20 years. I gained experience as a member of the Werder (Havel) city council and the district council. Now, I have been responsible for seven years as an alderman of the city of Werder (Havel) for daycare centers, schools, fire department, construction, order, traffic, economic development and tourism and therefore know the challenges for our administration and our citizens very well.
To 2: Application procedures are often long and complicated. Therefore, they must be digitized quickly. Waiting times like those for vehicle registration must no longer exist. Allocations from Potsdam will decrease significantly. Nevertheless, in order to continue to create good living conditions, companies must be able to develop in our region. To achieve this, commercial sites must be much more readily available. Our district must also become even more attractive as an employer in order to attract skilled personnel.
To 3: I am on fire for local politics. Citizens’ concerns are therefore a matter close to my heart. First of all, I would like to introduce citizen consultation hours and thus strengthen the proximity to citizens. With advancing digitalization, I can also very well imagine video consultation hours of the administration. Communication at eye level must also take place with the municipalities, because only with strong municipalities can we develop a strong district together.
To 4: I am happy to explain how I understand the task – but I do not give grades to predecessors in office. In local politics, I am particularly motivated by the fact that I can bring about improvements in the coexistence and cooperation of my homeland and that I can be measured concretely and accountably by the decisions I make. It’s clear that I can’t please everyone. But then it comes down to explaining why something can’t be implemented for once.
Meiko Rakhimov (Pirates), 44 years old, from Werder (Havel)
Re 1: As a district administrator, I can implement my ideas for political participation by the people, and the challenge appeals to me. Our democracy must evolve. Transparency and citizen participation, direct participation of people in power – that is something worth working for. With my candidacy I show that one does not have to be intimidated by the political theater. Go out and do something: Criticize, propose, help shape!
Re 2: With the establishment of a housing company, I would like to enable the district to create or secure affordable housing. We must take action with regard to climate change. For example, we need to modernize the water infrastructure in order to use our scarce water more sparingly. And I will push ahead with digitization. The administration must radically reform itself for this purpose, and in the district, broadband expansion must be pushed forward accordingly.
Re 3: I will campaign for the repurchase of the hospital in Bad Belzig. It is elementary part of medical care in the south of the county. The master plan for the development of the administration must be put to the test and adapted to the requirements of digitalization. And, of course, I will take care of the establishment of modern participation procedures. For this purpose, the position of a participation officer is to be advertised.
To 4: As district administrator, I will place much more emphasis on the participation of those affected and open up the administration in this regard. I want to listen to people’s concerns and ideas and therefore offer a citizens’ consultation hour. A better communication style towards the citizens is very important to me. Letters from offices can be legally sound without using command language.
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Hans-Peter Goetz (FDP), 60 years old, from Teltow
To 1: My home is close to my heart. I want the people of Potsdam-Mittelmark to be able to shape their lives the way they want to. Among other things, the district must create the conditions for this. What I want to do. As a lawyer with over 30 years of professional experience in public law, I know on the one hand how government works and on the other hand what problems people have.
Re 2: The immediate task is to overcome the Corona crisis, with its consequences for coexistence and the economy, some of which are not yet visible. The division of society must be overcome. We need economic success to be able to afford social projects. Relations between citizens and the authorities must become easier, for example through digitalization and branch offices of the administration.
To 3: I would like to thank the competitors for a fair election campaign, ask the administration staff for a friendly reception and to point out any mistakes I make as early as possible. I will try to fill the many vacancies in the district administration. That’s the only way the county can perform at full capacity. And I would have to completely reorganize my everyday life.
Re 4: I would seek more direct contact with Central Marchers: At fire departments, at sporting events, in the clubs and also in meeting places. I would try harder to convey that for all the good ideas, our possibilities are finite and that’s also why some things take longer than we would like, but work on becoming faster. Everybody should be happy according to his or her own liking.
Georg Hartmann (Greens), 50 years old, from Werder (Havel)
Re 1: I am guided by the conviction that I have a responsibility for our community. At the moment I can do her justice as district administrator. I have a healthy respect for the office. At the same time I am sure to fill this with my personality, my knowledge and my abilities. As a lawyer, I am familiar with procedures, committees and authorities, and at the same time, as a self-employed person, I bring exactly the degree of freshness and inventiveness that Potsdam-Mittelmark urgently needs.
Re 2: The development of cycle paths must be accelerated; there is a threat of a loss of funding. Groundwater management is necessary. The landfill Fresdorfer Heide is to be prevented. We need a cultural and artistic promotion of children and youth to process Corona, as well as a real school needs planning. We need a positive climate in the administration that binds creative and ambitious employees, and clear commitments for Bad Belzig as an administrative location.
Ad 3: First of all I will introduce myself to the employees of the administration and the mayors. The administration is the backbone and I need its enthusiasm for the many tasks ahead of us. This applies equally to the municipalities. Furthermore, I will work with the municipalities to initiate the development of a strategy for a regional energy supply, municipal climate protection and a turnaround in transportation for the entire district.
To 4: I will revive the cooperation with the cities and municipalities of the district, which had fallen asleep for a long time. Because the district also fulfills municipal tasks, which works best with the cities and towns. Unlike in the past, I will give priority to climate protection and a change in transportation, as well as to the establishment of good public secondary schools. With an early citizen participation I would like to make the administration more open.
Jens Hinze (independent), 43 years old, from Niemegk
Re 1: I have the feeling that we do not move any more, we only administer, one has lost the confidence in the administrative district Potsdam-Mittelmark. Anyone can complain quickly nowadays. Even if one does not belong to a party as I do, this office can be filled by any citizen. This requires a lot of communication, trust and the will to change something! I am convinced of myself, I have.
Re 2: There are not the most important topics. Each topic is important in its own way. Communication to the people is enormously important as well as their participation in politics. In addition to digital networking, analog networking must also be expanded, in addition to public transport, transport routes, cycle paths or. The whole mobility of importance. Daycare centers, schools, educational opportunities, dealing with people of other origins. We want the climate and energy turnaround, so there is a lot of work to do.
Ad 3: Turn off the cell phone, sleep in and then do something with the family. But on the subject: We all have one of the most challenging tasks to master right now. This must be mastered. Here, the health care system must become much more professional, we owe it to the people here. The goal must be, first and foremost, to rebuild trust in the administration. And then there are the other topics mentioned.
To 4: The district and the district administrator must be there for the citizens as well as for our communities, offices and cities. I see the district more as a service provider than as an administration. We need trust and communication also within the administration. We have to make it so that the municipalities, offices and cities tackle all the challenges together. The most important thing is to be and stay honest and to take responsibility!
Stefan Schwabel (independent), 55 years old, from Treuenbrietzen
Re 1: I love challenges, and as district administrator I have the opportunity to implement them for the benefit of and with citizens. I am qualified not only by my work as a mediator, but also by my non-partisanship. In my opinion, you can only act as a non-partisan candidate, free from the constraints and ideologies of the parties, in order to find the best solution for the citizens.
To 2: Potsdam-Mittelmark must be made more attractive as a place to live and do business. In addition to expanding digitization, this includes improving daycare centers and schools, and especially ensuring medical care for the population. Administrative hurdles should be as low as possible to support motivation to move in and develop villages.
To 3: Celebrate!! Toast with my family and neighbors. Thanking my constituents for the trust they have placed in me and promising not to let them down.
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Re 4: From my own experience with the district administrator, I would respond to inquiries, be open even to controversial discussions and in any case act more impartially.