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Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Tomzak’s new title: Burgermeister

UPDATE (10:50 a.m., Aug. 5): Thanks to Marcel Rotter, an assistant professor of German at the University of Mary Washington, we can read the article that appeared in the Schetzingen newspaper. You can read Rotter’s translation here.

Rotter said  he is excited about the possibility of partnering with Schetzingen because of the opportunities it could provide for his students.

— 

That’s mayor in German, not a position of employment at McDonald’s. It actually took me a while to figure that out when trying to read this story about Fredericksburg that will run in the newspaper in Schwetzingen, Germany, tomorrow.

I can’t tell you that it says glowing things about the city, because I can’t read it, but it can’t be too bad, because Schwetzingen Mayor Rene Poltl sent it to the city manager’s office. As you can read in tomorrow’s City & Spotsy Extra section (thanks to reporter Cathy Jett), Fredericksburg and Schwetzingen are talking about becoming sister cities.

Fredericksburg really gets around in the sister-city department. I am not sure how Frejus and Princes Town feel about Schwetzingen’s appearance on the scene, but I am pretty sure Frejus is planning to try to regain our attentions before too long with another one of her giant omelettes.

On Wednesday, some City Council members will meet with Poltl at the Burgermeister’s house to have "the talk" about where this relationship is going.

Fredericksburg isn’t exactly a rich suitor. The city this year has appropriated a total of $2,500 toward sister city activities. Of course, in a tight budget year when taxes are going up, some say that’s too much.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/citybeat/2009/08/03/tomzaks-new-title-burgermeister/

  • glasshouse

    So if the burgermeister is having a get together (across the street from the burger-king house)with the Germans and some council members (implies more than one), then is this the advertisement for a public meeting? Do German autos play into the ‘sista city’? Are the German’s bringing good beer or does the City supply American beers? Will they offer you and I a beer?

  • mydar

    I know Schwetzingen quite well — lived near there for six years. It is well known for its Palatinate palace and gardens (Mozart played there as a child), fine restaurants; the “Spargelfest” (white asparagus!) and the hub of activity when the German Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in Hockenheim. IT would be a fine association to be involved in.

  • EmilyBattle

    Yes, this is a public meeting. The city put out a meeting announcement about it.

  • glasshouse

    Emily, can you please post the notice or a link to the notice? I searched the City’s web site and could not find the notice but I only searched for Poltl and the City he is mayor of. I also searched press releases and council agendas and the city managers calendar.
    Thank you,

  • EmilyBattle

    The notice went out to the list of people who have asked to be notified of all City Council meetings. Shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. FOIA provides that you can request to be notified of all meetings of a public body. The notice is also posted on the public notices portion of the city’s Web site. Here: http://www.fredericksburgva.gov/uploadedFiles/City_Manager/GeneralContent/Reception%20with%20Mayor%20Renee%20Poltl%20of%20Schwetzingen%20Germany.pdf

  • glasshouse

    Following is from FOIA:
    § 2.2-3707. Meetings to be public; notice of meetings; recordings; minutes.

    C. Every public body shall give notice of the date, time, and location of its meetings by
    placing the notice in a prominent public location at which notices are regularly posted

    FOIA is clear on how to give notice and sending out emails to individuals is not sufficient notice, nor is posting in an inconspicuous place. Technicality? Yes. but then aren’t most laws?

  • mrcaus

    I think it’s safe to say that most people do not care about the notice of this breakfast meeting. I imagine that it was perfectly legal and done to the letter. But in this one, small, completely well-intentioned case, if someone slipped up, I think most people won’t go calling for the heads of the council members.

    Emily, please make another blog posting so readers can comment on something else.

  • mrcaus

    I think it’s safe to say that most people do not care about the notice of this breakfast meeting. I imagine that it was perfectly legal and done to the letter. But in this one, small, completely well-intentioned case, if someone slipped up, I think most people won’t go calling for the heads of the council members.

    Emily, please make another blog posting so readers can comment on something else.

  • EmilyBattle

    Look, we take FOI very seriously, and I have questioned notice procedures for some pretty trivial meetings before, but this one was done correctly. If you want to know about meetings, you can (a) request to be notified of all of them (email list) (b) frequent the “public notices” section of the city’s Web page, which is pretty prominently linked from the homepage, or (c) walk into the city clerk’s office on a regular basis and look at the bulletin board. I haven’t been there this week, but I would bet you this is up there. As to the mrcaus’s comment: Yes, I agree, I am working on that.