Greens fear “shards”, commoners annoyed by late applications: heated classroom debate in Wiler city parliament
The goal of building new schools, kindergartens and gymnasiums in Wil as soon as possible is undisputed. The right way to get there was hotly debated in the city parliament on Thursday. In the end, CHF 3.2 million was approved for new jobs and further planning.
Bronschhofen, Rossrüti, Lindenhof, Allee, Sonnenhof. These are just a few of the schools in Wil that need new classrooms. In view of the development of the number of pupils, the need is proven and undisputed.
Nevertheless, on Thursday in the Wiler city parliament there was a heated argument about how to proceed with the planning of the provisional and new buildings. You can read the live ticker from the Tonhalle here.
Specifically, it was about talking money. On the one hand, a good CHF 1 million for two new positions limited to five years, which are to deal with the planning and administration of new classrooms. On the other hand 2.2 million for the implementation of the most urgent projects.
Gymnasiums, classrooms, kindergartens are needed
On the one hand, there are the so-called “A-Projects”, which should be tackled as soon as possible: a kindergarten in Bronschhofen, a triple gym for the upper school in Sonnenhof, provisional facilities in the Rossrüti, Allee and Lindenhof schools.
However, the sum requested by the city council also includes costs for the further planning of the less urgent “B projects”. This includes the definitive buildings that will one day replace the temporary structures, the planning of the expansion of the Städeli kindergarten and various feasibility studies, for example for the expansion of the Lindenhof school complex including a triple gymnasium.
The city council had packed the costs for the two posts and the bundle of over a dozen projects into an application that the city parliament was to vote on on Thursday. The Greens Prowil did not agree with this. The parliamentary group called for separate votes on the costs for the new jobs and the next project costs.
In addition, Parliament should only approve the costs for the urgent A projects, but without the Sonnenhof triple hall. The Greens also submitted an application for rejection for the loan for the B projects. Parliament should only decide about them and the hall when it knows more about it.
Greens fear “shards”
Otherwise, the Greens fear, there is a risk that the city parliament and the people will be faced with a fait accompli. Guido Wick, for example, warned that if there was resistance to the projects, there was a risk of “shattered pieces”.
Sebastian Koller, who presented the Greens Prowil’s proposals, sharply criticized the project management in the Department of Construction, Environment and Transport. He fears that resources could “boil up” if the credits for staff and planning are given at the same time.
This set the tone for the debate that followed. Benjamin Büsser from the SVP responded with sharp criticism that the Greens had only sent out their motions and justification one day before the parliamentary session.
Citizens annoyed by late applications from the Greens
A discussion ensued, which was more heated than it had been in the Tonhalle for a long time and which at times could confidently be described as an exchange of blows between the Greens and the SVP.
In addition to blame for earlier failures in school planning, such as that of the Greens to the SVP for the fact that in 2017 no additional positions were promised for project management, there was also a dispute about the future. Everyone agreed that there had to be movement in the Wiler school room planning and that additional staff was needed for this.
While the SVP, Die Mitte and the FDP believed that progress could only be made if the money for the project costs was also approved at the same time, the Greens warned of wasted resources if the projects could not be discussed in parliament at an early stage.
The SP parliamentary group also found that the Greens’ proposal would contribute to transparency. Ultimately, however, the city parliament voted 26 to 11 to vote on the city council’s proposal. The overall credit of 3.2 million francs was then clearly approved.
Sad news from the Thurvita
The annual report of Thurvita AG was discussed at the beginning of the meeting. City Councilor Dario Sulzer had the sad duty of informing about the recent death of founding President Arthur Gerber. Arthur Gerber resigned as Chairman of the Thurvita Board of Directors in March for health reasons.