Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Board Chair McDonell, County Executive Falk Announce Intentions to form a “Sister-County” Relationship with County in Germany

February 06, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and County Board Chairman Scott McDonell today announced their intentions to form a “sister-county” relationship with the Main-Taunus County (referred to as Main-Taunus Kreis in German) in the state of Hessen, Germany. Last week, McDonell introduced a resolution to the County Board that would establish the relationship and today Falk sent a letter to her counterpart in Germany, Mr. Berthold R. Gall, to begin the process to signing a formal relationship. Gall originally wrote to Falk to suggest forming the relationship, in conjunction with the Madison Area Technical College’s (MATC) sister-college relationship with the Kathe-Kollwitz-Schule in Marburg, Hessen. Faculty from MATC have met with the County Executive’s staff to begin the process of establishing the relationship, which also will leverage connections already built through the State of Wisconsin’s sister relationship with the State of Hessen. “There are a lot of opportunities here, including cultural exchanges and the possibility for sporting events surrounding the World Cup tournament and possibly some winter sporting events,” said McDonell. “I am hopeful this relationship will have economic development impacts for Dane County, as well as serving as an important cultural learning experience,” said Falk. Dr. Bettsey Barhorst, president of Madison Area Technical College, said she “looks forward to expanded cultural exchange opportunities for faculty and students,” and notes that in August 2005, faculty and staff at MATC hosted three students from Konrad Adenauer Schule in Kriftel, MTK. The students, studying to become multilingual computer data entry workers, spent a month in Dane County working with Great Lakes Higher Education. Main-Taunus Kreis is a county of approximately 220,000 people and is located in between the two major cities of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The City of Hofheim is the county seat and also the county’s largest city, with 38,000 people. The name “Main-Taunus Kreis” comes from the contrasts to be found in the countryside, with the Taunus hills serving as the northern perimeter and the Main River as the southern boundary. The towns of Eppstein and Kelkheim are tourist and recreational areas. The county is home to several famous vineyards, the headquarters of globally operating corporations, the production site for internationally famous products and many successful small businesses. # # #
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