City council member transparency

Inspired by the world leader on radical transparency Audrey Tang (Minister of Digital Affairs in Taiwan) who records video’s of all her meetings and publishes them on the public web, I created this page.

On this page I try to give more transparency about my interests and possible conflicts of interest as a city council member in the city of Zwolle. Dutch Law only states that city council members need to declare ancillary positions, but the interpretation about what exactly needs to be reported varies from city to city. My personal page on the website of Zwolle states my ancillary positions but offers no extra information or context. For now this page supplements the pages on gifts and ancillary positions on the city’s website. But may well be expanded with a public version of my city council calendar or other things in the future.

If you are interested in the law governing this a Dutch version can be found here:


Of course accepting gifts as chosen representative in almost all cases is not a good idea. Current local rules and regulations state that all gifts above €50,00 in value automatically become property of the municipality and should be put in a public register. You can find the register for the city council of Zwolle here. The register for our Mayor and Alderman can be found here.

Since gifts with an estimated value lower then €50,00 are not registered anywhere I keep track of them here for the sake of transparency. The fact that I register a gift does not mean I actually used or accepted it, for example the fact I received a ticket for a show, does not mean I actually went. I register every gift to show you any influence organizations in the Zwolle are trying to exercise. This list does not include things like coffee or (simple) meals provided by the municipality or organizations when I visit them.

Date:Gift:Received from:Estimated Value:
10-2022Book: Assendorp niet zomaar een Zwolse wijk – Herman AartsVrienden van Assendorp/Bewonersbelang Deventerstraatweg (via snailmail)€22,50
11-2022Lunch, Dinner and drinks at Begroting 2023 debateGemeente Zwolle Unknown
12-2022Book: Ik zie, ik zie, wat zij niet zien – Dineke HartmanUnknown (via snailmail)Unknown
02-2023Ticket for De Nedersaksen – LIVE | première for the opening of “het Hanzejaar 2023”Gemeente Zwolle (via email)€19,50
05-2023Ticket for Jeugdtheaterschool Zwolle: Draag Jeugtheaterschool Zwolle (via snailmail)€10,00
06-2023Meal and drinks at PPN debateGemeente Zwolle Unknown
06-2023Ticket for Panorama HanzeAcdademiehuis (via email)€12,50
09-2023Meal and drinks at kickoff political yearGemeente Zwolle Unknown
09-2023Meal and drinks at ontmoetingsdag raadGemeente ZwolleUnknown
11-2023Lunch, Dinner and drinks at Begroting 2024 debateGemeente ZwolleUnknown
03-2024Meal and drinks for meeting about renovation council chamberGemeente ZwolleUnknown
05-2024Lunch for meeting about redesign city council chamberGemeente ZwolleUnknown
07-2024Meal and drinks at PPN debateGemeente ZwolleUnknown

(Ancillary) positions:

Having a position within an organisation that possibly has interests within the municipality of Zwolle can off course mean a conflict of interest. That’s why the law demands city council members list all Ancillary positions. The list below contains my main job, company and ancillary positions.

  • Housingmanager Network Operations @ SURF (Chamber of commerce number: 50277375).
  • Owner @ Beaun (Chamber of commerce number: 63615762).
  • Treasurer @ Gemeenteraadsfractie GroenLinks Zwolle (Chamber of commerce number: 61358576)
  • Secretary @ Cyberology (Chamber of commerce number: 93306199)

Real estate:

Having real estate within the municipality you govern as a city council member can possibly mean a conflict of interest. Since the municipality often has to decide about zoning plans which can dramatically increase or decrease the value of property I think it’s important to state all real estate a city council member owns in a public register even though the law does not demands this.

  • I own 50% of the house me and my partner bought. For obvious reasons I will not publish the address on this site. I do not own any other real estate.

Stocks/Financial interests:

Having a stake in a company or being invested in certain investment funds can also mean a conflict of interest for a city council member. Since the city council makes decisions on a wide variety of subjects that includes decisions that favor a certain companies a substantial interest in a company in my opinion should also be in a public register even though the law does not demand this.

  • I own two share certificates worth 250 euro each (total of 500 euro) at Stichting Administratiekantoor Appelpunt ( KVK: 76263541) in Freedom Internet (KVK: 74768573).


Having debts to parties that have interest in the city that the council governs can also mean a conflict of interest. Therefor debts (when relevant) in my opinion should also be in a public record even though the law does not demand this

  • Besides the mortgage on our house (with a national organisation) I have no debts.