Today, the delegation of lieutenant governors and I met the Burgomeister (town mayor) of the Village of Lommatzsch. Like municipalities back in the United States, towns in Saxony also face challenges within the community – from proposing wind mills and initiating regionalized services to investing in local infrastructure for schools and roads.
As a former mayor, it was interesting to learn of some opportunities and challenges a Burgomeister in Germany may face. Recently re-elected for another seven year term, Dr. Anita Maab oversees a small community that includes 1 town and 38 villages. While rural, the community is considered a lot more dense than some Massachusetts rural communities in Franklin and Berkshire Counties.
Lieutenant Governor Murray signs the “gold book” in the local town hall. (Photo: Lauren Jones/Lieutenant Governor’s Office)
However, one common ground this Burgomeister shares with the municipal managers back in Massachusetts is the need to strategically invest in downtown redevelopment. The downtown district makes up a fair part of the 80 kilometers in the community, including several store fronts and small businesses like the new pharmacy and health center we visited. The Burgomeister also depends on local revenue to support the town’s budget, and bringing in new industries and small businesses can help drive critical funding.
Despite the thousands of miles that separate our communities, the core needs for municipal government remain the same. Overlooking a dilapidated building in need of repair or passing historic buildings that need to be preserved, the Burgomeister shared some frustrations in building a better community for the village while working with the state and federal levels of government.
This visit reinforced the importance of Governor Patrick and I working closely with municipal partners as we invest in all regions of the state.
Read More From the Lieutenant Governor:
- Dresden: Meeting BU Students, Touring the Technical University & NOVATIC
- Guten Tag from Dresden, Germany
- View photos on Flickr