The announcement was made by the municipal council during a meeting last week, Omrop Fryslân reports. A member of the liberal party VVD, Ms Fokkens said she was “extremely honored” by the nomination and looking forward “as a citizen mother” to work with the council and aldermen for Heerenveen.
The nomination of Ms Fokkens, 52, by the municipal council, has to be ratified by the government and signed by the king but that is seen as a formality.
Fokkens will succeed Tjeerd van der Zwan, who has served as the mayor of the municipality since 2011 and is expected to step down on October 1.
If King Willem-Alexander gives his approval, Fokkens will become the first female mayor of Heerenveen and the first VVD member to hold the position. Fokkens was chosen from eleven applicants: five women and six men.
Rolie Tromp, head of the confidential committee in charge of selecting a candidate to be mayor, described her as a “driven and dedicated administrator” and an “energetic personality with a warm heart.” Tromp (VVD) believes she embodies the spirit of Heerenveen.
The municipality will submit its recommendation to the Minister of the Interior, which will then nominate the candidate to the king. It is very rare for the minister to deviate from the recommendation.
Fokkens was the VVD faction leader in Friesland’s Provincial Council from 2015 to 2019 and served as a member of the council from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, she worked as a lawyer at the Leeuwarden court.
Fokkens said she wants to relocate from Leeuwarden to Heerenveen. “I’m already looking at Funda offerings. Heerenveen has everything, which is why my family and I would love to live here.”
Currently, Fokkens serves as a demissionary deputy in Provincial Council and is responsible for traffic and transportation. She was also the lead candidate for the VVD in the Provincial Council elections held last March.