A record 11 mayors have resigned so far this year, with five deciding to quit because of the poisoned atmosphere in town halls, the Volkskrant says on Thursday.
Mayors, who are non-elected crown appointees, are finding it more difficult to do their job in ‘problem local authority areas’ with a large number of splinter parties and inexperienced councillors, according to Bernt Schneiders of the Dutch association of mayors.
‘In council areas with a lot of problems, people end up focusing on the mayor. They make issues of his accommodation or expenses,’ Schneider said.
If a council includes a large number of parties, it is more difficult for a mayor to keep things together, said Maastricht University professor Arno Korsten. Bussum, Aalsmeer and Bloemendaal are among the towns where mayors have left because they cannot do their job.
Johan Remkes, the king’s commissioner in Noord-Holland province, said social media had change the tone of the political debate. The focus is more on the man than on the issues of the day, Remkes said.
King’s commissioners should be given more powers to intervene when local councils are not functioning properly, with the ultimate sanction of recommending the abolition of the council altogether, Remkes said.
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