Amsterdam plans new governing structure

The Amsterdam municipality is tired of the continuous political struggles in the city's seven district and is therefore implementing a new governing structure, the Telegraaf reports. In the future the municipality will appoint local leders at district levels itself. And advisory committees consisting of citizens from the 22 Amsterdam neighborhoods will keep an eye on the appointed district councils.

Alderman Abdeluheb Choho informed the current leaders of district councils about this on Thursday, several sourcers told the newspaper. This new plan will mean that membership to a political party is no longer a requirement to sit on one of the city's councils.

Amsterdam is currently governed by 45 councilors, a mayor, eight aldermen, and seven district councils - one in each city district. The district councils are a type of elected mini-municipal councils. According to the newspaper, this system has been highly criticized for its ineffectiveness over past years.

Coho therefore wants to implement a new system in 2018, at the election of district councilors. From 2018, the municipality will appoint these councilors, who will in practice be civil servants. These district councilors will work in the seven districts on behalf of the aldermen.

Elected advisory committees consisting of ordinary Amsterdam citizens will keep an eye on these district councils. The members of the committee will be the people who got the most votes in their neighborhoods. Each of Amsterdam's 22 neighborhoods can send four people to sit on the seven newly formed advisory committees.