The city faces the first referendum in its history. Behind the scenes, preparations are already underway. The topic that will be put to the vote is the conversion of the former department store into a burger house with tourist information, hall and library.
Criticism of the architect’s design, which had emerged from a competition more than a year ago, prompted an initiative led by elfriede dickert and ronald holl to launch a citizens’ petition. The group has been collecting signatures against the current plans for the vacant department store building in the weeks since the end of may. On thursday morning, dickert and holl submitted the lists to the city of hammelburg.
There were 1141 signatures, as dickert explained at the handover. The administration will now check the lists for their formal correctness. The 1141 signatures significantly exceed the minimum of 818 signatures required for a citizen petition in the city.
On monday, 20. August, the city council’s vacation committee will decide on the admissibility of the citizens’ petition, as mayor armin warmuth (CSU) announced. "I will postpone my vacation for this", he said.
Originally, the mayor had preferred to call a city council meeting rather than a committee meeting, given the importance of the issue, but that was not possible due to the vacations. The city also cannot put off the decision on the admissibility of the citizens’ petition for too long, as it has to observe deadlines.
The referendum, which is now expected to take place – as all sides assume at present – is to be held at the same time as the state elections on october 14. October take place. "The 14. October is the intended target for both sides, as combining it with the state election will save auand and costs", holl explained.
The administration is already working towards this referendum date. For example, it must obtain permission from the state election commissioner to combine the state election with another vote. According to the head of operations, roland goerke, the city has already applied for an exemption permit.
Eligible voters will receive two separate election notifications, stefan stoth of the residents’ registration office explained. Stoth assumes that for the 14. October more election workers are needed than usual.
For the people of hammelburg, the city and its employees, this is the first ever referendum on the matter. "It’s new territory for all of us, said warmuth.