Hague Jozias van Aartsen mayor steps down
On Thursday The Hague city council held a special council meeting to officially say goodbye to Mayor Jozias van Aartsen. The council awarded Van Aartsen the Golden Honor medal and associated Honorary Citizenship of The Hague, the highest honor the city can bestow, Den Haag FM reports.
Numerous people attended the meeting to give speeches, including Commissioner of the King Jaap Smit, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, Education State Secretary Sander Dekker on behalf of the government, deputy mayor Tom de Bruin and city councilor Lobke Zandstra, who spoke on behalf of the 101 city councilors during Van Aartsen's time in office.
Aboutaleb praised Van Aartsen as "thoroughly reliable". Dekker praised the mayor's versatility. "You like to quote Spinoza, but you also know all the corners of the Schilderswijk." Jaap Smit described Van Aartsen as an "authentic, quirky, excellent mayor". Tom de Bruijn spoke of his "great love for the city and its inhabitants". "When others fueled fires, you extinguished them."
Van Aartsen was visibly moved by the compliments, according to the broadcaster. He promised to cherish his honorary citizenship. He called on the city council to keep putting the city first. "Do not fall into political quibbling. Please protect this city", he said to the council. "The city is bigger than any political party and no one is bigger than the city."