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Letter to the Mayor


Mark

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I'm going to write a letter to Monsieur le Maire this afternoon, introducing myself and reassuring him that my intentions towards his village are honourable, before moving there in a few weeks.  Do you think he'll find this to be:

a/ a nice touch, thereby getting our relationship off to a flying start, or

b/ the work of a nutter? 

[8-)]

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[quote user="Mark"]

I'm going to write a letter to Monsieur le Maire this afternoon, introducing myself and reassuring him that my intentions towards his village are honourable, before moving there in a few weeks. [8-)]

[/quote]

I'd put that on hold and after your arrival in France I'd visit the Mairie in person, if you feel the need, and introduce yourself to his secretary/personal assistant, who seems to be the one who runs/organises/knows everything in the locality.

Sue [:)]

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I go with Spg.  We were introduced to our mayor by the people we bought the house from on the day of completion.  He took us on a hair-raising tour of the locality in his car (several ditches closely inspected) pointing out the main sights and then took us to meet the village shopkeepers. 

He was very interested in our plans and has been very helpful.  He wrote to the senate when the Alençon TO said it would not list us as we were technically outside their area (by a few hundred metres).  The senator wrote to the tourist office.  The tourist office agreed to list us.

The secretary does most of the work, though, and is better acquainted with forms and procedures.

PS Ours is a small commune of about 1,100 people - I doubt if the mayor of a town would be so interested!

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I have two mairies (as a commune boundary runs right through my house). When I moved here I went and introduced myself to both. One was not desperately interested, the other appreciated it a lot. Since then he has always been very helpful. At a commune meeting last year (?) he came over at the end and asked if I understood what was going on. He seems to remember who I am and seems to have decided I "get involved in the community" (don't know why).

I would go in person and not write (never heard of anybody writing before). They are often quite busy people so do not be surprised if it is a brief hello/goodbye or even if his office staff are not to keen (office staff at one of mine seems to regard it as their responsibility to keep the world away from the guy !). Both of mine expect you to make an appointment to see them. Who you actually see will probably depend on how large the commune is. Both mine are small (750 people living in each commune) so its a pretty small set-up).

I was told that a lot of French people do not bother to visit when they move to a new commune - though this is just what I was told.

Ian

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Thanks all, I won't bother with the letter then.  My commune is, at a guess, slightly smaller even than your 750, Ian, so it will be fairly 'close-knit' I'd have thought, and therefore important to make a good impression, so your advice is very much appreciated.

May have a nap now instead.

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Definitiely go to the mairie in person - he wouldn't necessarily treat a letter as the work of a nutter, but would probably put it down to English eccentricity like sending Christmas cards and eating jam with meat. Do make sure you score brownie points over most English people who use France forums by recognising that he/she is the maire, the place you find him is the mairie, and Marie is a totally unrelated female. I don't know why people have such difficulty with the words, but they do

[quote user="Cassis"]Ours is a small commune of about 1,100 people - I doubt if the mayor of a town would be so interested!
[/quote]

Cassis, that's a seething metropolis in our part of Normandy. It is exactly 20 times the size of our commune of 55 inhabitants (but we still have a maire, an adjoint, and a conseil) - and we are not unique.

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[quote user="Will "]

[quote user="Cassis"]Ours is a small commune of about 1,100 people - I doubt if the mayor of a town would be so interested!

[/quote]

Cassis, that's a seething metropolis in our part of Normandy. It is exactly 20 times the size of our commune of 55 inhabitants (but we still have a maire, an adjoint, and a conseil) - and we are not unique.

[/quote]

Then hats off to Jean-Yves (our maire) that he still takes such an interest in everyone!

I assume you are on the conseil municipale, Will?

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No, I am too much of a rebel, but it has been suggested that Judie should represent the British element. Trouble is, without going into details, I'm not sure that we would want any part of what certain other British in the commune stand for. And as about 40% of the 55 voted FN in the last elections I'm not sure that it would be appropriate for immigrants to get involved in local politics anyway. Unless we stood for the legally-working-British-who-try-to-comply-with-French-requirements party, but there aren't many potential votes for that.
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[quote user="littlemouse"]

I wouldn't write or visit you wouldn't do it in england why do it in france  and before you all start screaming its courtesy

it smacks more of  going to see the chief in the remote outpost

[/quote]

Well as you are fully aware no doubt, the two are not in the slightest, the same thing. BUT having said that, I  tend to agree (sorry folks) all this go and see the Maire, take him a bottle of the hard stuff, some chocolates, a nice cake...total stupidity and it can taken as bribery or goods for a favour. I am not saying Maires are above that, far from it in some cases (allegedly!).

I have seen the Maire as and when and as little as possible. I talk to our one now probably once or twice a year at village do's, that's it, he is OK but he doesn't feel the need to be my friend and him not to be mine.  In the previous communes, one very small, we had two dodgy ones and one who was so far up his own backside that I dealt only with his secretary. Time teaches you to say little and let them know even less about you. OK far fetched and a bit extreme but some folks think it is their duty to become known and friends with their Maire, not so !

In fact unless it is for certain situations (as in Casis's case) he probably couldn't give a monkey's. The Maire here, has a once a year welcome, where every newcomer has their photo taken as a group with the Maire, after that.....................!

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There is also a sense that unless you suck up to the maire he/she will look unfavourably when you ask for permission to do something, or he/she will take someone else's side against you. Couldn't be less so in our case, he was very helpful despite the fact that we have only seen him when we needed something. However, I am told that down the road the maire is anti-English, and so everything is a struggle. I don't see in either case an introduction would have helped. The mairie will know when you buy/move in, and gossip will add any other information needed I suspect!

I do agree with LM that it is a bit like the colonial bigwig visiting the local chief!

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I completely agree with Miki on this,(sorry Miki), exactly my sentiments, I see our Maire on a "needs be" basis, we get on fine and when I have needed his help he has been first rate, in fact the commune paid for our drive to be constructed, but sucking up - no way, it's an adult relationship.

Chris

 

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We went to our mayor and introduced ourselves when we bought the house, this was a matter of courtesy in our small village (267 pax), We also told him why the house would be empty for long periods and where I worked. I believe that he appreciated the courtesy and the info.

Subsequently, when our house was broken into he e mailed me with the details of what had happened and what he had done.

I dont consider it was 'sucking up' to him but rather the normal courtesies of life which make living in the village a more pleasant experience. I am sure he gets lots more info about us on the local grapevine.

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[quote user="wen"]Nothing to stop you really, except, be careful you dont mis-type an 'f' instead of a 'v' when declaring your intentions towards his ville. ;-)[/quote]

[:D]

His ville with an 'f' is more than likely to be a goat, I suspect, so any 'lost in translation' moments could become very fruity indeed.

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[quote user="chris pp"]

I completely agree with Miki on this,(sorry Miki), exactly my sentiments, I see our Maire on a "needs be" basis, we get on fine and when I have needed his help he has been first rate, in fact the commune paid for our drive to be constructed, but sucking up - no way, it's an adult relationship.

Chris

[/quote]

It happens on occasions Chris (someone agreeing with me [;-)] ) but actually I was agreeing wth you in fact.

Anyone ever go to see their local councillor in the UK when they moved house, just to say hello or indeed, to see anyone in authority and say hello, ?  Why is it deemed neccessary or even polite here then, unless you want to see le Maire about something in particular ? Never understood it to be honest but there you go.......I have had visits from le Maire, oh yes, strangely, after I registered to vote and not too long before the next commune election [:)]

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