The mayor of kups, herbert schneider (no party affiliation), has privately used vehicles and machines belonging to the municipality for the construction of a house.
We reported on this in january, after we had learned about it through an anonymous letter. As a result, the bill committee demanded a statement from the mayor. Subsequently, this topic was no longer discussed in public.
But now things are moving again. As was to be learned, the legal supervision in the landratsamt was now concerned with it.
The mayor, meanwhile, wanted to know from the members of the town council who is in possession of the documents of the audit committee and how they were leaked to the media.
Hans rebhan (CSU/CSB) now admits to this in a letter to the mayor: “I am in possession of the relevant information from the audit committee, to which every market town council is entitled, and I have deliberately passed on this information.”
and rebhan justifies this as follows: “as a market town councilor, I am convinced that the citizens of kups have a right to be informed about these proceedings. The municipal code stipulates that the market town council must always meet in public and that information from the market town council must be available to the burgesses. This rule is an expression of the principle of democracy and serves the transparency of the administration. Exceptions apply only if justified interests of the common good or of individual citizens are opposed to this. This was not the case. Neither were the interests of the community opposed, nor was there any personal interest in secrecy that required protection. Transparency is needed, especially where there are fears that the integrity of the administration is in question. The trust of the citizens in a clean administration is a high requirement in our constitutional state and is to be valued more highly than the humanly understandable interest of the mayor in keeping things out of the public eye.”
Because, in rebhan’s view, the classification as a non-public matter was legally incorrect, he decided to pass on this information after intensive consideration. “I believe that such actions play into the hands of the frustration of the people.” and this ultimately leads to the fact that the citizens are disappointed about the abuse by public officials. And this, in turn, rebhan sees as a reason why people are increasingly “turning away from elections and public engagement” averts.
“35 years ago I took an oath for the first time as a market town councilor in kups to prevent damage to the market of kups and I have taken this into account here as well”, he declares in the letter to the mayor. And further: “not only i knew this fact, but also a large part of the burghers, who daily came from the shopping markets opposite their building project, asked themselves how this was actually possible. I have been repeatedly approached by citizens with the motto “how long are you council members going to stand by and watch this happen??'”
There are countless officials who have had to resign for much lesser offenses, rebhan writes. Schneider is however obviously “no guilt consciously” – in spite of the official decree issued by the mayor himself in 2007, in which it is literally stated: “therefore, from now on, the private use of facilities, vehicles, machines and equipment of the building yard is strictly forbidden”. In individual cases, the first mayor may grant an exemption for such use of staff.”
According to rebhan, schneider has repeatedly and knowingly violated his own constitution and is attempting to “make a point” with his “unstoppable inquiries” to open up a side show for the members of the market town council and to distract them from their own failures.
“There are always rules with exceptions, and there is always someone who can approve those exceptions. But there is also the principle that no one may be a judge in his own cause. If, then they had to have this approved by a mayor’s representative or by the building committee. This would have been a requirement of transparency”, hold rebhan up to the mayor.
And he goes on to write to schneider: “that this was not dealt with in the building committee, you justify afterwards with lack of time. You will allow me to form my own opinion on this argument. I think that when it comes to the cleanliness of the administration, one must take the necessary time.” rebhan is still waiting for the mayor’s declaration “in which, according to the daily newspaper, you want to inform the public after the next market town council meeting”. In the meantime, two municipal council meetings have taken place “which offered the opportunity to take a stand in the public meeting”. – schneider could not be reached for comment yesterday.