Amstelveen’s VVD mayor to move to Utrecht job

Jan van Zanen, the current mayor of Amstelveen, is set to take over from Aleid Wolfsen as Utrecht’s new mayor.

Van Zanen, 52, is a supporter of the right-wing Liberal VVD and was a city councillor in Utrecht for a time. He has been mayor of Amstelveen since 2005 and chaired the national VVD between 2003 and 2008.

A keen cyclist, Van Zanen told Nos television his main ambition is to improve public safety in Utrecht and to get to know the city’s residents.

In total 26 people applied for the Utrecht job but Van Zanen won the support of most of the city council. His nomination still has to be formally approved by the crown. He will be Utrecht’s first VVD mayor since 1999.

Wolfsen, a Labour party member and MP for six years, ran into several controversies during his time in Utrecht.

In 2008 he was attacked for interferring in a critical publication in a local newspaper and he also came under fire for failing to support a gay couple who were driven from their home by bullying. The council eventually reached a financial settlement with the two men.

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