The newly merged municipality of Groningen, which will include Haren and Ten Boer as of 1 January, will have to find a new mayor.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the current mayor, Peter den Oudsten, announced on Friday morning that he would not be available to serve as mayor of the new municipality.
Den Oudsten had been named the acting mayor of the municipality, a position he is believed to continue fulfilling until mid-2019. On the 2nd of January, the new municipal council will be sworn in, at which point they will have to start looking for someone to replace Den Oudsten.
“It’s better for the council to focus on the future, which will not include me”, Den Oudsten said on Friday. The mayor, who will turn 68 next year, still has two years of his term as mayor. “The council and the new mayor can get to work together with renewed momentum.”
Den Oudsten became the mayor of Groningen in 2015. He said that his decision was motivated by his desire to have more time to himself and his wife. He does not have any immediate plans to serve as mayor elsewhere, but he did not rule that possibility out. He will remain chairperson of the Supervisory Council at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle.
The outgoing mayor’s tenure was characterised by a lack of conflict or scandal. “I’ve enjoyed being the mayor of Groningen for four years, and I will continue to fulfil this position for the remainder of my time with equal fervour and commitment.”