After many speculations, the secret was finally revealed on friday: the free voters (burgerblock) of wiesentheid will run their own candidate in the mayoral election in march 2014, 44-year-old harald robner from untersambach.
Since the burgerblock faction has often disagreed with the political style of the current mayor werner knaier (CSU) in recent years, the local association now wants to take off with its own candidate, argued the faction chairman in the wiesentheid municipal council, michael ruckel. Too many topics of public concern were moved to the non-public part of the council meeting. He also cited various specific examples that had pissed off the burgerblock rates: for example, the group had resisted when two-thirds of the community’s reserves were to be withdrawn within a year. He also complained that the designation of the mahlig industrial zone had been "postponed until never-never" and that knaier recently wanted to have the increase in costs for the renovation of the steigerwaldhalle "approved by the building committee", even though the cost increase was over 100 percent. "We demand more transparency and clarity in finances."
"Party-political guidelines are alien to us."
This was emphasized by lothar nagel, who brought over the pit of the district association of free voters. The political strength of the free voters has always been at the local level. "We make the voters feel they are in good hands."
The central questions during the selection phase were which person had the skills, abilities and human prerequisites to win the election, explained the first mayor of wiesentheid. Chairman hubertus holzmann. After all, a mayor has to master the rules of politics. "But the municipality is also a company that employs 30 people and whose annual turnover is in the millions of euros." The range of services is much broader than in most private companies, ranging from regulatory functions and social services to the promotion of the economy and employment. In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to keep the company’s finances in order. In addition, a mayor must be a convincing representative of the municipality, who maintains an open dialog with the citizens and bridges political tensions constructively for the benefit of the citizens. "In harald robner, we have found a candidate with a high level of social competence and a great deal of empathy", according to holzmann. Through his professional history, he is familiar with economic contexts and has experience in administration.
The 44-year-old works as a tax official in wurzburg.
After his training in kitzingen, he worked in uffenheim, erlangen and furth. He is currently employed as a company auditor and as a lecturer at herrsching university of applied sciences. He likes to spend his free time gardening with his wife annegret. "That gives me the necessary balance", he says. Robner collects postcards with motifs from wiesentheid and loves strategy games like schafkopf.
He has been a volunteer on the untersambach church board for many years, as well as a trainer and later as chairman of the DKJ wiesentheid. Since 2005 he is the 1. Chairman of the FSG. The merger of the sports clubs is a matter of the heart for him: "I see myself as a team player."
Robner is no newcomer to the political arena either. He was active in the young union at the district level, and from 1996 to 2008 he was already a member of the municipal council in wiesentheid, albeit for the CSU at that time. His decision to leave the CSU in 2010 was not a spontaneous one. "I did not like the way they treated each other", he explains. "But today I did not want to go back on that."
He has never lost sight of local politics, however.
"The call from hubertus holzmann asking me if i could imagine running for mayor in the 2014 free elections woke me up from my slumber.", he confesses. Of course, he didn’t agree right away; everything had to be discussed with his wife first. But when the green light was also given, he decided to take on this responsibility.
He describes himself as conscientious and straightforward and as a man who lends a hand wherever he goes. He has a good grip on the finances that are entrusted to him. Proof of this is his time as chairman of the DJK, during which the clubhouse was built. Nevertheless, he was able to hand over the association free of debt. He has a positive attitude to life and can fight. "I can look people in the eye even when things are unpleasant", he is sure. And he will never allow himself to be manipulated – or try to manipulate others, either. "I was not going to become a different person as mayor."
These statements were spontaneously supported by alexandra kriebel, one of the guests: "i have known harald since my schooldays, he is really the way he presents himself." Heinrich worner of the free voters says about robner: "in our time together in the municipal council, he was always a unifier, not a divider."
In the ensuing speeches, harald robner patiently answered many of the guests’ personal and political questions.