Municipalities say it's difficult to find new aldermen
With around 40 percent of aldermen facing threats and intimidation, municipalities are finding it hard to fill the position once someone leaves. And aldermen are leaving municipal councils –– last year alone, 199 of them resigned, according to AD.
This is in line with numbers from the past few years as well. People perceive the job as "annoying," said Marcelle Hendrickx, chair of the Aldermen's Association and an alderman in Tilburg.
“Threats and intimidation make people wary. I've experienced that myself, and I can imagine that's holding people back," Hendrickx said.
She suggested that mayors strengthen teams through team-building, make the work more attractive to potential employees and generally improve the environment. The position of alderman is also male-dominated: a total of 46 municipalities have only male aldermen. Hendrickx believes that should change, too.
“Aldermanship is one of the best professions in which you can really make a difference to the community," she told AD.