Fifteen minutes of mayoral fame in Stadskanaal


On March 29, in the town of Stadskanaal, Groningen, Gert-Jan Boels, a former councillor of the local government became the mayor for all of 15 minutes, with the bling like in the picture and a gavel. He may have even broken the record for the shortest term in office, but that hasn’t been verified.

When the local government installed the new council, it didn’t have a mayor. Mayors are not elected in the Netherlands (there’s a lot of discussion on that front nowadays), they are appointed. Without a mayor, the new councillors couldn’t be appointed. Amusingly enough, the law doesn’t have a provision in case this happens.

After a discussion with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the city appointed former councillor Boels as acting mayor for 15 minutes, the time it took to appoint Goedhart Borgesius, the longest serving councillor, as mayor.

Boels told the press it was “15 lovely minutes”.

(Link:, Photo of the former mayor of Haarlem and former mayor of Bloemendaal, Bernt Schneiders)

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