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Burgomaster (alternatively spelled burgermeister, literally master of the town , master of the borough , master of the fortress , or master of the citizens) is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or executive of a city or town. The name in English was derived from the Dutch burgemeester. In some cases, Burgomaster was the title of the head of state and head of government of a sovereign (or partially or de facto sovereign) city-state, sometimes combined with other titles, such as Hamburg's First Mayor and President of the Senate). Contemporary titles are commonly translated into English as mayor .
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the mayor (Dutch : burgemeester or French : bourgmestre) is an appointed government position, whose main responsibility is chairing the executive and legislative councils of a municipality.
In the Netherlands, mayors chair both the council of mayor and aldermen and the municipal council. They are members of the council of mayor and aldermen (Dutch : college van burgemeester en wethouders, B&W) and have their own portfolios, always including safety and public order. They also have a representative role for the municipal government, both to its civilians and to other authorities on the local, regional and national level.
A large majority of mayors are members of a political party. This can be the majority party in the municipal council, but there are many exceptions on this. However, the mayors are expected to exercise their office in a non-partisan way.
The mayor is appointed by the national government (the Crown) for a renewable six-year term. In the past, mayors for important cities were often chosen after negotiations (behind the screens) between the national parties. This appointment procedure has been criticised because it was seen by some as undemocratic. Especially the party D66 had a direct election of the mayor as one of the main objectives in its platform. In the early 2000s, proposals for change were discussed in the national parliament. However, opponents of the status quo were divided between two alternatives: direct election of the mayor by the people or appointment by the municipal council. A constitutional change to direct election gained a majority in both chambers but failed to pass the final vote in the Senate in March 2005.
In the meantime, although the law remained the same, the practice changed. Nowadays, when a vacancy occurs, a special committee of the municipal council interviews (behind closed doors) candidates, which are pre-selected by the provincial governor (the King's Commissioner). After advice by the committee, the council express its preferences to the Minister of the Interior, who almost always follows this recommendation.
In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town.
Belgium comprises 581 municipalities grouped into five provinces in each of two regions and into a third region, the Brussels-Capital Region, comprising 19 municipalities that do not belong to a province. In most cases, the municipalities are the smallest administrative subdivisions of Belgium, but in municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, on the initiative of the local council, sub-municipal administrative entities with elected councils may be created. As such, only Antwerp, having over 500,000 inhabitants, became subdivided into nine districts. The Belgian arrondissements, an administrative level between province and municipality, or the lowest judicial level, are in English sometimes called districts as well.
A councillor is a member of a local government council in some countries, e.g. England. In Finland it is a title of honour granted by the government to several categories of Finns.
Lord mayor is a title of a mayor of what is usually a major city in the United Kingdom or Commonwealth realm, with special recognition bestowed by the sovereign. However, the title or an equivalent is present in other countries, including forms such as "high mayor". Aldermen usually elect the lord mayor from their ranks, who consequently becomes a member of the council/alderman.
The German term Bezirk translated as "district" can refer to the following types of administrative divisions:
Siegen is a city in Germany, in the south Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia.
A schepen or échevin (French) or Schöffe (German) is a municipal officer in Belgium and formerly the Netherlands. It has been replaced by the wethouder in the Netherlands. In modern Belgium, the schepen or échevin is part of the municipal executive. Depending on the context, it may be roughly translated as an alderman, councillor, or magistrate.
The Lübeck law was the constitution of a municipal form of government developed at Lübeck, now in Schleswig-Holstein, after it was made a free city in 1226. The law provides for self-government. It replaced the personal rule of tribal monarchs descending from ancient times or the rule of the regional dukes and kings that had been established by Charlemagne. The latter held all of his aristocratic vassals personally responsible for the defence, health and welfare of the tribesmen settled on their estates, including the towns. The Lübeck Law in theory made the cities to which it applied independent of royalty.
The Mayor of Frankfurt-am-Main is the highest-ranking member of city government in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Since 1995, the position has been directly-elected. Two people have held the position since the introduction of elections: Petra Roth (CDU) and Peter Feldmann (SPD). Prior to this, the mayor was elected by the city council.
Waldshut-Tiengen is a city in southwestern Baden-Württemberg right at the Swiss border. It is the district seat and at the same time the biggest city in Waldshut district and a "middle centre" in the area of the "high centre" Lörrach/Weil am Rhein to whose middle area most towns and communities in Waldshut district belong. There are furthermore complexities arising from cross-border traffic between this area and the Swiss cantons of Aargau, Schaffhausen and Zürich. This classification relates to Walter Christaller's Central Place Theory, however, and not to any official administrative scheme.
Louise Dorothea Schroeder was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) party. She was the first female member of the Weimar National Assembly during the Weimar Republic. An educator and activist central in the Arbeiterwohlfahrt movement, and she was under scrutiny of the Nazi Party during the 1930s and 1940s for her socialist positions. After the division of Germany following World War II, she served as governing mayor of West Berlin in 1948.
Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French souverain, which is ultimately derived from the Latin word superānus, meaning "above".
The government of Hamburg is divided into executive, legislative and judicial branches. Hamburg is a city-state and municipality, and thus its governance deals with several details of both state and local community politics. It takes place in two ranks – a citywide and state administration, and a local rank for the boroughs. The head of the city-state's government is the First Mayor and President of the Senate. A ministry is called Behörde (office) and a state minister is a Senator in Hamburg. The legislature is the state parliament, called Hamburgische Bürgerschaft, and the judicial branch is composed of the state supreme court and other courts. The seat of the government is Hamburg Rathaus. The President of the Hamburg Parliament is the highest official person of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. This is a traditional difference to the other German states. The president is not allowed to exert any occupation of the executive.
Zar und Zimmermann is a comic opera in three acts, music by Albert Lortzing, libretto by the composer after Georg Christian Römer's Der Bürgermeister von Saardam, oder Die zwei Peter, itself based on the French play Le Bourgmestre de Saardam, ou Les deux Pierre by Anne-Honoré-Joseph Duveyrier de Mélésville, Jean-Toussaint Merle, and Eugène Centiran de Boirie. Ultimately, it goes back to the historical Grand Embassy of Peter the Great. Gaetano Donizetti had set the same story in his 1827 opera Il borgomastro di Saardam.
The college van burgemeester en wethouders is the executive board of a municipality in the Netherlands. This local government body plays a central role in municipal politics in the Netherlands. It consists of the mayor (burgemeester) and the members of the municipal executive (wethouders). Belgium has a similar system, which is referred to as the college van burgemeester en schepenen in the Dutch language.
The Governing Mayor of Berlin is the head of government, presiding over the Berlin Senate. As Berlin is an independent city as well as one of the constituent States of Germany (Bundesländer), the office is the equivalent of the Ministers President of the other German states, except the states of Hamburg and Bremen, where the heads of government are called "First Mayor" and "President of the Senate and Mayor", respectively. The title Governing Mayor of Berlin is the equivalent of Lord Mayor in the meaning of an actual executive leader.
The Senate of Berlin is the executive body governing the city of Berlin, which at the same time is a state of Germany. According to the Constitution of Berlin the Senate consists of the Governing Mayor of Berlin and up to eight senators appointed by the governing mayor, two of whom are appointed (deputy) mayors. The Senate meets weekly at the Rotes Rathaus.
Berlin is a city-state and the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. The President of Germany, whose functions are primarily ceremonial under the German constitution, has his official residence in Schloss Bellevue. Berlin is the seat of the German executive, housed in the Chancellery. Facing the Chancellery is the Bundestag, the German Parliament, housed in the renovated Reichstag building since the government's move to Berlin in 1998. The Bundesrat represents the Federal States (Bundesländer) of Germany and has its seat at the former Prussian House of Lords.
Tino Antoni Schwierzina was an East German lawyer who became a politician. Between May 1990 and January 1991 he served as the first and last freely elected mayor of East Berlin. His term of office was dominated by the fusion of the two halves of Berlin which had been politically divided since before 1949. By some criteria Tino Schwierzina was also the last mayor of East Berlin ahead of reunification.
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