"I am Thomas Baumann, known to the people of Ludwigsau as the former mayor. I had held this office as mayor, elected directly by the citizenry for the first time, for 4 terms from 1994 to 2018.
I am a qualified financial economist and was employed by the Hessian Tax Administration from 1975 to 1994 in many different positions, especially in the areas of tax collection and general procedural law, in recent years as a lecturer at the
State Finance School of Hesse entrusted with the training of tax officials. I was born in 1956 in Celle in Lower Saxony. Due to my father's occupation in the potash industry, I came to Hesse for the last 3 school years while I was still at school, where I was the first class to complete a classical Abitur without a course system at the Obersberg Model School in Bad Hersfeld.
After working at many locations in the south of Hesse, we returned to the district of Hersfeld Rotenburg.
Even in my youth, I was very interested in politics and articulated a socially oriented view of the world, which I also carried out by holding offices in staff committees. I became a member of the SPD Ludwigsau only after my active service time, whereas actually everybody knew before where I stand politically.
Since the local elections in 2021, I am directly elected to the district council in the district of Hersfeld – Rotenburg, but I am invisible to the outside world as a member of the district committee.
The district committee is the administrative authority of the district and, together with the district administrator and the also full-time first district councillor, is responsible as an honorary officer for the day-to-day administrative activities and supervision and execution of the affairs of the district. I assume to be able to contribute here experience from more than 2 decades of local political activity. It is important to me to incorporate municipal concerns into the work.
I activate myself as a senior to document, also here we can make a contribution and go literally no discussion out of the way. Only through active communication can we make progress.
It is important that the rural area is recognized politically. We are not only the space for the discharge of problems of the agglomerations and cities, so z.b. to the inclusion of infrastructure facilities with emissions and space for energy plants and distribution facilities, we have our own identity and expect as a rural area attention and appreciation. We also expect development and not paternalism and disconnection from a general development. In our country, public transport is provided at most in the form of school transportation – in the morning, at noon and in the evening. We need other mobility structures, this also includes the private car. We also go by bike when the infrastructure allows it. We can't go to work by bus or bike, we need other structures and not well-founded and unimplementable advice. For us, the nearest grocery store is not around the corner, we have to drive 20 km. With us, shopping is not a leisure experience.
In our case we have to travel 25 km to the nearest family doctor, if he still exists. It is just as far to the pharmacy and cash is not available on every corner. We are not only beautifully restored half-timbered houses and do not only own former dung walls with flower boxes, with us agriculture is still livelihood and food production.
In my political work, I am particularly interested in emphasizing our living space development and constantly reminding the decision-makers of this fact. We need a fast Internet not to watch TV, but to work! We need this infrastructure as a service of general interest and not for a happening! Action must finally be taken across the board here, so far all programs and efforts have only been patchworks. The white spots are still widespread.
Besides my work in several associations, I am very committed to quality of life in rural areas and noise protection along roads and railroad lines. People live here too; continuous noise makes people ill and is fatal in the end. I am involved during the Corona pandemic as a vaccination pilot through the association BUS Ludwigsau – citizens support each other – e.V. .
Where possible I try to work for justice and equal treatment. Sometimes I am considered annoying, but sometimes you have to be like that to achieve a goal.
As mayor I was aware, the credits and debts of today have to be repaid by following generations. From there, I made sure we always managed within budget in Ludwigsau, having paid off all the old debts by the turn of the millennium. That was not without its difficulties either, but we had a goal and pursued it clearly. Many a convenience we sacrificed for this, but it was worth it to us! This is what I try to consider and implement in my current political activities as well. Every generation should be balanced and not leave debts, mortgages and burdens to the next generation. This is sustainability in action! Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it doesn't quite, but the direction is clear."