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German Mayor from Zeitz Explores Sister City Relationship With Prescott

28 February 2012  

Councilman Kuknyo Hosts German "Partnerstadt" Entourage

In November, 2010 the Arizona Sister Cities organization notified the City of Prescott that Zeitz, Germany had expressed an interest in forming a Sister City link with Prescott.

Following a community meeting led by Arizona Sister Cities president Bob Greninger yielded positive interest, further development of the relationship with the German city was placed in the hands of Prescott City Councilman, Chris Kuknyo. "President Eisenhower created the Sister City program as a people-to-people initiative and we support that vision," remarked Kuknyo. "However, German city governments characteristically take the lead in pursuing Sister City relationships, so we're reciprocating along with the help of our citizens."

Kuknyo recently hosted visiting Zeitz Mayor Volkmar Kunze and Andreas Huke, CEO of the German city's Public Utilities services for a three day whirlwind tour. They were joined by interpreter Herb Windolf and tour guide, Mike King. According to Kuknyo, the group toured local museums, dined at the historic Palace restaurant and Rosa's, were treated to a reenactment scene by the Prescott Regulators, and attended Prescott and Prescott Valley's Centennial Celebrations.

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Mike King, Mayor Kunze, Andreas Huke, and Bob Greninger

Following the visit, Kuknyo was extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities. "This relationship has the potential to be our best Sister City engagement. Economically, we're on par with each other, which creates excellent tourism opportunities."

Kuknyo noted that tourists from Zeitz have historically been drawn by the allure of the old West and Prescott has already been a destination for quite a few visitors from Zeitz.

The next step? Kuknyo says that Joe Howard of the Prescott Unified School District is initiating a "pen pal" type program between local students and their counterparts in Zeitz, and a delegation of six local residents will visit Zeitz in September.

"Our Sister City relationships with Caborca and Suchitoto have been successful in promoting cultural understanding and friendship, and we think a relationship with Zeitz may bring an economic benefit to both cities."

No city funds were used for this visit.

Photo Gallery

A reception was held at City Hall during Mayor Kunze's visit. Here are some photos from that event. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo.