“It has always been a struggle”

He is still first mayor, but gerd zimmer will no longer hold his office until march. Then there is an election in hausen. The 64-year-old will only take part in it as an observer. A position he will have to get used to, because for gerd zimmer the years since 2014 have probably been the most restless of his life. "It has always been a fight."

This fight the first mayor gave up last summer. Not voluntarily. He sees the signals from his body as a "last warning" the 64-year-old understood that he had "simply tipped over" twice – late effects of a stroke he suffered in august 2015.

The traces of this suffering are obvious. Gerd zimmer has problems to walk round and when speaking some words don’t come to his mind. Despite all this, he seems relaxed. As much as he had wanted to stand for re-election in march – since he decided not to do so, a burden seems to have fallen off him as well.

A burden that was definitely heavier for gerd zimmer than is usual for a mayor of a municipality of this size. Because hausen is a conservative place, where the predominantly catholic population was used to having a csu mayor. Then came zimmer. An "immigrant", a protestant who didn’t even live in the village, but on the outskirts (in wimmelbach) and who then also prepared to become the first SPD mayor of the municipality.

Anyone who has observed council politics in hausen since 2014, even from a distance, knows what has become of it. Gerd zimmer had to contend with the boycott attitude of an often embittered opposition from the outset. He did so matter-of-factly, but energetically. Zimmer seems like someone who is late to the party, but then clearly hits the table.

The majority of the citizens were obviously behind him. The majority of the council often does not. For that reason alone, silvia zimmer thinks it’s "great" what her husband, what her husband has achieved. She calls him a "fighter. He sees himself more as a "mediator".

In any case, it must be astonishing what gerd zimmer has achieved in a single, incomplete term of office, despite all the opposition. For example, the building area lohe 5; a fire station with a building yard, which became a model for other communities; the broadband expansion; new buildings for the open all-day school and the kindergarten; a partial renovation of the school – and last but not least, an ultra-modern administration, which is not often found in the district.

Inglorious CSU hausen

"We have tackled too much, says gerd zimmer looking back. From 1. April, officially his first day of retirement, the 64-year-old will have time for all the things he has neglected: his three daughters, his four grandchildren, traveling with his wife…

Most importantly, he will no longer have to deal with the CSU. The government has not covered itself with glory, says silvia zimmer. And tells just this one, symptomatic story: after her husband’s stroke in the summer of 2015, gerd zimmer’s name disappeared from the door sign in his office. The name was immediately replaced by a sign reading "burgermeister bernd ruppert" have been replaced. And when gerd zimmer returned to work after rehab in april 2016, the first reaction he heard from a local council member was: "we need a mayor who is one hundred percent healthy."

Now that his doctor has advised him to take it easy and not even to read the newspaper, gerd zimmer no longer has to bother with such sentences. He wishes the municipality of hausen "all the best" for the future. And he would like to see a municipal council that continues the projects it has started. Gerd zimmer will continue to pursue local politics. Already because of his wife silvia and his daughter nadine. For the SPD, both are running for a seat on the municipal council in march.