Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kiel's Mayor

Quote of the day:

"There is no democracy in the election monopoly; just officials, lawyers, and particularly hard men."

-- Susanne Gaschkes, former mayor of Kiel

Roughly a year ago.....Gaschkes rode into office in Kiel with ambitious ideals.  She was a journalist...not a political figure.  She was well liked by the public and most figured she would be around for a number of years.

It took eleven months for Gaschkes to make the decision to leave office.  She's a bit bitter, angry, and frustrated with politics.

The stumble?  It's best to say around fifteen years ago....some local doctor rigged up some real estate deal, which had a price tag attached to it.  There was a disagreement by the local city hall, and for well over a decade.....this went back and forth.  One felt the property value was "X" and the other felt it was "Y".  The difference in the disagreement?  Approximately 400,000 Euro ($500,000).  Well....it was there at the beginning, then interest got piled on.....and the modern day bill (with default fees) came to around 3.7 million Euro (4.4 million dollars).

If the good doctor had paid this all in the beginning....none of this would have come around as an issue.  But he simply didn't agree with the original city hall argument.  To be honest.....if you figure administrations in city hall....at least three or four mayors have come and gone since the beginning.

Sometime this last summer....the mayor sat down and worked up a deal that would help the doctor in some ways, and simply end the whole mess passed onto her.  The problem?  As this deal came out in public....it was attacked.  It was later deemed illegal in some fashion, and the various political figures used the moment to continually attack Gaschkes in some public forum.

Yes, it would have been better to simply allow the mess continue, and be fought month after month in court....until the doctor was either dead or bankrupt.  That's the reality of the situation.

The last month?  It was a daily dose of frustration.  Gaschkes woke up each day....found a new attack.....new questions....new hostilities.  In a sense, she was right.  Surrounded by bureaucrats, life-long political figures, and men heavily dosed in political extremes.....democracy has fled the real world and left us in the pit of sorrow and woes.

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