frankfurt will have a new mayor in march. Incumbent Peter Feldmann (SPD) has been deselected. That’s good news. Feldmann has achieved historic things: He is the first mayor of the city to be voted out directly by the citizens. Feldmann had decided to let this deselection and the associated election campaign come to the fore. Because no city councilor could or wanted to rely on his withdrawal announcement. The voted-off bears sole responsibility for the fact that his behavior had to be meticulously scrutinized. Because at least 30 percent of those entitled to vote had to vote against him. It was always clear to Feldmann, who had his gut feeling, that this high hurdle could only be reached if the greatest possible attention was paid to the vote.
Measured against this, the election campaign – contrary to what the remaining supporters of the mayor claimed for lack of other good arguments – remained fair. The presumption of innocence was never violated in reporting on Feldmann’s criminal trial for taking advantage in office. A precise analysis was carried out of what he has achieved and what he has not achieved in the past ten years in office. Opportunities for reporting were not sought specifically, but Feldmann reliably delivered them again and again: on the plane, in the Römer, in court. Anyone who has dug up other points in recent weeks, to the point of claiming that their religion or political views per se are the subject of a class struggle, has been intellectually dishonest.
Mortgage for the state election
In the overall view of what Feldmann (himself) has achieved, which is easily made possible by the broad reporting, the Frankfurters have come to a very clear conclusion. And the sigh of relief at the deselection could be heard deep in the SPD parliamentary group in Wiesbaden: What a burden it would have been for the state elections in the coming year if Feldmann had had to continue in Frankfurt. In case of doubt, even Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) in Berlin was relieved, as she is considered the most likely top candidate in her party.
Right at the beginning of the new year, the city will face another election campaign, and it will also be exciting: who will be the new mayor? Will the election campaign give city politics new impetus? Can the new person work more harmoniously with the governing coalition in the city parliament to work through what has been left behind? The station district, which is rotting away, needs a new start. A functioning solution must be developed for traffic in the city, which is geared towards ensuring that nobody pushes through their maximum demands – and then explains and conveys this.
A flagship project would also be good for the city: there is much more to the city than was called for during Feldmann’s tenure thanks to its traditionally high level of civic commitment. Whether cultural mile or something else, sometimes things can happen quickly: In Helsinki it took just about three years from the decision to the opening of a fantastic new hands-on central library in the city. Let’s go, Frankfurt, the city can do so much more than Feldmann has ever seen. And for this awakening, the parties must quickly come up with suitable candidates. Democracy is so beautiful.