Germans From Evansville's Sister City Make Most of Visit

About 4,414 miles separate Evansville and Osnabrück, Germany. Despite the distance, the two cities are not as different as one might think.

"There’s a saying, you know we all have far more in common than we don't,” Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said Wednesday.

Siblings are known to go at each other from time to time, but for 26 years, Evansville has had a steady relationship with its sister city, Osnabrück.

This week, a delegation from Osnabrück is visiting the river city to exchange ideas, and see the sights.

Education was at the top of Osnabrück’s Lord Mayor Wolfgang Griesert's mind as he and fellow delegates visited the University of Southern Indiana.

His fellow mayor, without lord in the title, seems to feel the same.

"Arguably, the most critical piece of the relationship is really educational. USI has an extraordinarily strong relationship with the university of Osnabrück, and the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück,” Winnecke said.

USI wasn't the only stop, however. Over the last few days, the Germans got a front row view to Evansville’s progress.

"Also, very impressed by all of the investment, and the new building that's going on in Evansville, in particular the ford arena, the new conference hotel, the medical center downtown. That's all made a really strong impression on the delegation,” Griesert’s translator said.

On the Evansville side, the visit is also a chance to pick the brains of Osnabrück’s city officials. Mayor Winnecke said one common issue the cities have isfinding qualified skilled labor to work in key positions.

"This has been a chance for us to really spend some quality time, and again, talk about best practices. He was amazed, for instance, that i as mayor get to appoint the police chief. He does not have that luxury in Osnabrück,” Winnecke said.

Differences aside, Osnabrück broke bread with its sister city, filling up for a long flight back.

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