Henri Lenferink will resign as mayor of Leiden on September 1st. He made the announcement in front of Leiden’s city council on Thursday evening. ‘’I will be 66 years old and have served for 20 years as mayor by then. It’s a good time to say goodbye’’. He has requested for King Willem-Alexander to discharge him from his duties on September 1st this year.
Lenferink studied history and received a doctoral degree at the Radboud University (Nijmegen) in 1984. In 1986, he entered politics, becoming a city councillor in Arnhem. In 2003, the year Princes Amalia was born, he became mayor, currently making him the longest-sitting mayor of the Netherlands.
The announcement came as a surprise to many and shocked some of the city councillors since Lenferink hadn’t spoken of his leave prior to the meeting. They are sad to see him go but respect his decision nevertheless.
Party leader of GroenLinks, Rembrandt Rowaan, said: ‘’Mayor Lenferink is friendly, skilled and has incredibly large expertise on many different topics, which will be difficult for the successor to match. He deserves the free time, and we hope that he will enjoy it to the fullest, but we will miss him very much!’’
Lenferink is not certain about what he’ll do next but knows that he’ll enjoy some downtime with his wife, Bianca Engelberts.