District councilor Rick Timmer (64) of Pendrecht-Zuidwijk has resigned immediately. According to him, the reason is the complaints about his statements on social media and the investigation that the integrity committee is conducting.

    Timmer regularly posts statements on social media that lead to complaints. It started with a now-deleted Facebook post in which he wrote ‘that whites are not white but white’. Since this post, he has received weekly complaints about his expressions. Yesterday the councilor received an email from the committee that complaints had been received again. “They are also included in the investigation. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I will not be silenced.” It is not clear which messages are involved.

    The district councilor is non-party, but he considers himself politically right. “For example, I criticize radical Islam, but I am not far-right.” Timmer talks about comments he received after he laid a wreath at the Jewish Children’s Monument last Sunday. “People fall over that again, because according to them I am the extreme right, a Nazi, then it is not okay to lay a wreath at a Jewish Children’s Monument.”

    A spokesperson for the district council and the municipality of Rotterdam could not be reached for comment.

    Timmer says he is aware that neighborhood councilors have an exemplary function and therefore have to deal with rules, including on behavior on social media. “I have to obey the law and I can’t make threats, but I can say what I think. If people think I can’t say that as a ward councilor, then I’m not a ward councilor.”

    According to Timmer, the decision does not mean that he cannot take criticism. “I can take strong criticism, but when so many complaints come in, at some point the end is lost. As a district councilor I have to be able to say everything. It was either stop being a district councilor or social media.”

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