An apartment building will be built next to the property of former Osnabrück mayor Wolfgang Griesert. Now Griesert wants to prevent construction.

Wolfgang Griesert

He was still mayor then: Wolfgang Griesert in February 2016 Photo: dpa | Gentsch Frieze

OSNABRÜCK taz | Wolfgang Griesert? Anyone who can stand watching RTL from time to time knows: this is the father of Niko Griesert, the always-smiling rose distributor in 2021 on the embarrassing dating show “The Bachelor”. But of course Wolfgang Griesert is not just a father. The CDU politician was for eight years, until 2021, the sometimes embarrassing mayor of the city of Osnabrück, and before that he also headed the city's construction and environment department for eight years.

But the retiree is still not calm, as she recently learned New Osnabrücker diary To report: Griesert, who during his time as head of the department was also responsible for housing construction, campaigns against the urgent need for living space and wants to prevent a new apartment building from being built in Osnabrück. He filed an objection to the building permit through his attorney. The new building is supposed to be built on Griesert's neighboring property, which apparently doesn't suit him at all: not in my backyard! The result is still open.

Even during his tenure, Griesert sometimes did not look good. Unforgettable is the bitter indignation of the well-known Osnabrück cycling activist Daniel Doerk, who attacked Griesert in his blog “It all started with a fight” in mid-2016, when the “Haseuferweg” was inaugurated in Osnabrück: There are many cyclists there, Griesert also . But: “Of course he didn't come by bicycle, but by car and with a driver,” Doerk said. “Once again a clear signal of what he thinks about cycling.”

The affair ended with Griesert mischaracterizing the tourist route as a bicycle highway, and Doerk became convinced that the city leader “doesn't understand much about cycling.”

There were good moments too.

In 2018, Griesert suffered a crushing defeat when he recommended that the city council not join the alliance's call “Seebrücke Osnabrück”, declare the city a “safe harbor” and accept more refugees. The Greens, the SPD, the Association of Independent Voters/Pirates, the FDP and the left ultimately voted against.

Of course, Griesert also had good moments as city leader: After the murder of George Floyd in mid-2020, when he raised a “Black Lives Matter” banner in the plaza in front of City Hall, he said it was “indisputable that the people of color are being persecuted because of their ethnic origin. Attributions are exposed to everyday institutional racism and other forms of racism.” There are “structural inequalities, even here.”

But there's also his raw dispute with the city council over the redevelopment of the city's troubled area, Neumarkt, in which he caused quite a stir with an irritating solo effort. Even when he approved the Muslim calls to prayer in Osnabrück in 2020, Griesert decided “sovereignly on his behalf,” as Volker Bajus, leader of the Green Party parliamentary group, wrote in an open letter at the time. Griesert had to apologize to the council.

What do you remember about Griesert? Lots of nice photos with a chain of charges. And maybe also his dispute over the construction. He remains silent about him and the taz asks him for comments.