Politicians postpone decision on future advisory board for seniors

Do not decorate.The city administration is receiving heavy criticism from parts of Latzen’s politicians for proposing to dissolve the Latzen Seniors Advisory Council on May 25. The draft resolution, published only the day before, was the subject of excitement at the Social Committee on Tuesday night and led to intense speeches. Instead of a vote on it, representatives of the SPD and CDU/FDP council group agreed to hold talks in due course with Seniors Advisory Council and city councilor Stefan Zeilinger.

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“We have a fait accompli,” spokeswoman Constanze Bathmaperoma said, summarizing the mood at the Senior Advisory Council. Only in the morning meeting it was discovered that the elections to the advisory council planned for May were not only postponed due to the lack of candidates, but, according to a new publication, the body was already scheduled to be completely abolished in its institutional form – before the end of the election period on June 30. Bathmapiroma angrily said that the Senior Advisory Council should likely be removed from office, significantly weakening the representation of interests and providing funds for elections. In addition to her, the meeting was attended by Fred Warnick and Heinz Lemeister, and thus two other of the Five Senior Advisers.

The administration refers to the legal information of the area

“It’s not a nice situation,” Zeilinger emphasized. He regrets the short-term information on the new draft resolution. This was necessary due to a legal notice from the Hanover District. Accordingly, it is not possible, as initially planned, to replace the election of the Advisory Council for Older Persons with a simple appointment of members due to the small number of candidates – eleven for 13 seats. Zeilinger clarified after the meeting that this pragmatic proposal by the administration to simply select candidates for four-year terms and only be re-elected in 2026, was legally questioned by one of the committee members. “And the legal review proved him right.”

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The election to the 13-member Seniors Advisory Council in theory could also take place with fewer candidates, Zellinger said, but not as meaningful. Once the fixed minimum number of members of six has been reduced, according to the statute, re-election must be made in any case.

The city council campaigned to rebuild the interest group. “Rights and obligations are very strict,” Zeilinger said. Perhaps some things that were true 20 years ago are no longer relevant today, such as tenure and body size. In addition to changes to commercial and electoral systems, alternative forms of organization such as the round table should also be considered. It is not in any way about eliminating the representation of interests as such, but rather about making it future proof.

Klaus (Freedom and Justice Party): A lot went wrong

“It was so wrong with the run-up and he can understand the anger,” said Gerhard Claus (FDP). “It wasn’t just noticed at the last minute that there were so few candidates.” Even before the application deadline at the end of March, a widespread shortage of candidates needed to become. Because of the Hanover district’s involvement, the city must act now, but new elections must be held as soon as possible. “We shouldn’t give up on the Seniors Advisory Council easily,” Klaus said. Klaus rejects the low-threshold format of representing the interests of the elderly without legitimizing elections, which the administration prefers, similar to the Youth Advisory Council.

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Rainer Becht (GFW Laatzen) has also spoken out categorically in favor of retaining the Seniors Advisory Council. It is committed, productive, imaginative and may “sometimes go against politics and the majority”. “An institutional body is more effective than a nice round table, where sometimes people come and sometimes they don’t, and everyone has something to say.”

Social Committee session boycott: The SPD/Greens/Left Party confers with city councilor Stefan Zeilinger (right) at the elementary school playground in Langenfield.

After a break in the meeting proposed by Ernesto Nebot (Social Democratic Party), the SPD/Green/Left group proposed to take note only of the proposed management’s decision and not vote on it. This is the basis for illustrating discussions between policy, management and the Seniors Advisory Board. “We want to talk about how to move forward in order to reach consensus if that is possible,” Neybot said. Fabian Bodenstab (CDU) supported the approach and explained to his group that Gerd Claus (FDP) would participate in the conversation in addition to Nebot. This was scheduled for Friday with members of the Supreme Advisory Council and Zeilinger City Council.

Mayor Eggert wants to speak to the Supreme Advisory Council on Friday

Mayor Kai Eggert (SPD), who did not attend a meeting in Latzen on Tuesday due to an all-day training session in Sudde, lamented the next day: “We communicated a little and probably underestimated the development.” Seniors The advisory board has not been the highest priority, and he regrets that he has recently been unable to attend meetings with him. Eggert said he will definitely be present at the conversation on Friday – to make it clear as well: “We want to treat older people with respect, and the ultimate goal is to shape the committee in a way that works.”

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