Alblasserdam is looking for a new mayor now that Jaap Paans has announced his resignation due to a relationship with an official. According to him, it has become untenable.
He says this in an exclusive interview with the local media alblasserdamsnieuws.nl: ‘After my divorce in April 2020, I recently found new happiness in my life. A strained relationship that, because it arose in a work atmosphere, requires that choices be made in the foreseeable future. To me, it is obvious that the seniors in a hierarchical relationship are leaving, “says Paans (54), who has been mayor of Damdorp since July 2015. He only wants to talk to other media when he actually leaves.
Last summer, he was reappointed for another six-year term, but due to the relationship, it is now coming to an early end. Paans is expected to leave in January 2023. He regularly met the official during consultations, after which the two fell in love.
Not prohibited by law
Both immediately realized that this could cause frowns, although it is not prohibited by law for a driver to enter into a relationship with an official.
In January, we concluded that we will go after this
Despite all objections, the two decided to go for it. ‘But we were still faced with the question: are we so in love that we want to continue this and share it with the people of the organization? In January, we concluded that we will go for this’, he says to alblasserdamsnieuws.nl. ‘In February, the existence of the relationship in the workplace was shared with the entire organization and the city council.’ In addition, he transferred his portfolios so that he and the official no longer have to work together.
In addition to love, Paans also gives other reasons for his early departure. According to him, Alblasserdam is no longer the municipality it was when he took office. According to him, the village has a different mayor profile: ‘A mayor was asked in 2015’, he tells alblasserdamsnieuws.nl. ‘And now you see that in 2022, all in all, there is a need for a sheriff every day who is busy every day with security issues, with enforcement, supervision and action. (…) I am not the mayor who wants to be sheriff day in and day out. ”
In addition, some things have changed at the political level, which repeatedly involved matters of principle such as Sunday rest and LGBTI policy. That led to the SGP leaving the coalition last year due to a tourist car driving through the village on Sunday.
Does not complete second term
This resulted in Paans getting tangible portfolios on his plate, while as mayor he was used to being neutral and standing over the parties. ‘I realized in a short time that I wanted to work on the content, realizing that I did not want to complete the second term.’
It has now been agreed with the city council that Paans can continue after the divestment of the portfolios he had with his beloved. According to the political parties, this is a workable situation. The procedure for arriving at a new crown-appointed successor will now begin with a target date of 1 February 2023.
It is still unclear what Paans will do next. He calls a new mayor ‘unlikely’ in advance ‘, though he does not rule it out either. “This means that I am not currently applying for anything else,” he said in a press release from the municipality.
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