Council discussion on integrity of our burgermeester

The gemeenteraad did not need long last night to show their support for our mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake.

The report, from research firm Necker Van Naem, found that Penn was not guilty of the appearance of a conflict of interest when purchasing a house from a neighbour who played a leading role as a civil servant in the espionage case. It would have been better if Penn had informed the board and the council about this. The mayor said he learned from it and promised to be more alert in the future.

Small opposition parties struggled against the outcome. 50Plus, for example, found that the further questions they had for Necker van Naem were insufficiently answered. LPM (liberal party) called a meeting with the researchers – one day before the council evening – a "shocking experience". Kitty Nuijts, chairman of the political group, said that she was not allowed to view documents, despite the fact that it was the council that commissioned the investigation and that also paid the costs, around 40,000 euros.

A council majority was mainly "relieved." And the PvdA opposition party said it was happy that the report did not have to deal with one doom scenario; namely that in ten years not two but three Maastricht mayors should have resigned due to integrity issues.