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    This article is about how the number of downfalls of aldermen can be controlled or reduced. Behind this main question are two sub-questions: should the alderman, who is now filling his office increasingly professionally, professionalize even more? Or should the alderman take a pause for reflection by thinking about how to hold the office in a more politicizing way, so that it remains accessible to untrained administrators? The answers to these questions are based on the research conducted on the downfalls of aldermen in four consecutive board periods from 2002 to 2018 in the Netherlands. The investigation shows that, for at least half of the downfalls, the alderman directly influenced his fall through his own behaviour or omissions. Better preparation, sharper selection and more professional implementation and guidance during the aldermanship is desirable to reduce the large number of downfalls that are detrimental to the image, role and position of the office of alderman. At the same time, more professionalization of the office because of the desire for efficient and effective implementation, as well as simultaneous decentralization and regionalization, is turning the alderman more and more into a manager. That could mean the end of political aldermanship. The relevance for practitioners is that this article shows that (a) the early departure and the political downfall of aldermen in the period 2002-2018 shows a stable pattern; (b) for at least half of the downfalls the alderman fall through his own behaviour or neglect of influence; (c) better preparation, sharper selection and more professionalization may limit the number of political downfalls of aldermen.


Mr. Henk Bouwmans MPM
Mr. H.M.J. Bouwmans MPM is directeur van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Raadsleden (NVvR) en zelfstandig onderzoeker en publicist voor De Collegetafel.
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