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‘District councils no breeding ground’

Recently, Parliament has decided to abolish the district councils. Some argue that an important breeding ground for political talent will disappear with them, but newspaper NRC Handelsblad has its doubts:

This is in reality a bit of a disappointment: there are few district council members who move on to the city council. More often, politicians move in the opposite direction: former aldermen like to spend their last years in politics in a district. Financially, this isn’t that much of a sacrifice: administrators of large districts in Rotterdam earn over 7,000 euros per month. In Amsterdam, they earn 8,300 euros.

Evidently, not all district council members end up on the city council, for the city council has only 45 members. Conversely, one might ask how many city council members have before served on a district council.

In Amsterdam, this applies to the following council members: Iman Akel (PvdA, Bos en Lommer), Luud Schimmelpennink (PvdA, Centrum), Martin Verbeet (PvdA, Oost/Watergraafsmeer), Arco Verburg (PvdA, Baarsjes), Hans Weevers (PvdA, Oud-West), Daniël van der Ree (VVD, Oud-Zuid), Marco de Goede (GroenLinks, Centrum), Jan Hoek (GroenLinks, Zeeburg), Fjodor Molenaar (GroenLinks, Centrum), Gerolf Bouwmeester (D66, Bos en Lommer) and Marjo Visser (D66, Westerpark, as assistant council member). Incidentally, the most important breeding grounds for the city council are the government and consultancy.

NRC Handelsblad suggests another route: former aldermen spending their last years in politics in the government of a district. Among the current district administrators, I could not find any former aldermen, but perhaps I’m overlooking somebody.

(Comments and corrections are welcome)

8 July 2012 |