Gerrit Alssema: wethouder en kasteelheer

Gerrit Alssema Verhildersum

ideale uitlaatklep

RODEN/LEENS – Gerrit Alssema is sinds een maand zakelijk leider van Landgoed Verhildersum. De wethouder van de gemeente Noordenveld heeft daar tijd voor, want hij is ‘slechts’ voor tachtig procent wethouder en had dus een dag in de week over om andere dingen te doen. Vooral het feit dat Alssema in Leens weer direct leiding kan geven spreekt hem aan. ‘Als wethouder ben je bestuurder, in Leens geef ik leiding, iets dat ik ook heel lang gedaan heb. Bovendien: het is dé ideale uitlaatklep. Het geeft me heel veel energie.’

Alssema voelt het in z’n lijf, als hij Drenthe verlaat en het Hoogeland op gaat. ‘Een heel andere wereld ook. Ik ben nu een maand werkzaam als zakelijk leider en de klik is er overduidelijk. Ik voel me er op m’n plaats. In principe ben ik elke vrijdag in Leens’, zegt de wethouder.

De buitenwereld reageerde nogal verschillend op de bijbaan die Alssema nam. ‘En dat terwijl mijn collega’s Huisman en Keizer er ook gewoon iets bij doen, bij respectievelijk de provincie en de Hanzehogeschool. Dus waarom zou ik dit niet mogen doen? Bovendien, dit was zo’n kans die je niet mag laten lopen.’

Alssema doorliep de reguliere sollicitatieprocedure, al werd hij wel op het spoor gezet door Jan Stevenson, voormalig directeur van Borg Verhildersum en partijgenoot van Alssema. ‘Je zou inderdaad kunnen denken dat Jan mij het balletje toegeschoven heeft. Dat is echter niet zo. Toen Jan mij vertelde dat hij zou stoppen, heb ik wel meteen gedacht dat dit misschien wel iets voor mij zou zijn. Jan dacht daar net zo over en heeft ook een goed woordje voor me gedaan, dat wel. Uiteindelijk zijn drie mensen voor de sollicitatiecommissie verschenen en is de keuze op mij gevallen. In eerste instantie gaat het om een tijdelijke benoeming. Ik wil kijken of het me bevalt, en het bestuur van de stichting wil zien of ik de geschikte man ben. De eerste maand is goed verlopen. Ik voel me al helemaal thuis.’

Naast leuk beschouwt Alssema zijn nieuwe baan ook als bijzonder leerzaam. ‘Het werken met vrijwilligers bijvoorbeeld, is iets nieuws voor me. Bovendien weet ik nu zelf wat het is om gekort te worden. Van de provincie krijgen we de komende vier jaar weer subsidie. Dat is echter beduidend minder dan voorheen. Weet ik ook meteen hoe dat voelt. Ik ben overigens bijzonder onder de indruk van de vrijwilligers hier. Het zijn professionele vrijwilligers. Heel mooi om te zien. De passie die ze voor het landgoed hebben, dat is echt ongelooflijk.’

Leidinggeven zit Alssema in z’n bloed. Vanaf zijn 28e was hij directeur op verschillende scholen, voor hij wethouder van de gemeente Noordenveld werd. ‘Het stichtingsbestuur van Landgoed Verhildersum wil een andere koers gaan varen. Daar is een visiedocument voor geschreven. Jan heeft daarvoor de eerste aanzet gegeven. Ik zal straks proberen het uitvoeringsprogramma toe te passen. Wat we willen? We willen het verhaal van Verhildersum vertellen. De verschillende onderdelen van het landgoed willen we meer met elkaar verbinden. Een enorme uitdaging.’



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