A town council with 24 councillors dates from the 12th century. In 1319 this council took control of the new city district (Neustadt) just in front of the wall. The council election took place on the Mondays following Michaelmas (September 29). Starting in 1611 all citizens were able to elect the 24 councillors. Previously this right was restricted and depended on income and profession. Afterwards, the council elected the Bürgermeister (mayor). In 1669 the number of councillors was reduced to 16, and later to 12. In 1690 the city administration was reorganised again. Then the council consisted of the judge, two mayors, the city lawyer (Syndikus), the secretary and eight councillors. All of these were appointed by the government. During the Napoleonic era the mayor was called Maire, and there was also a city council. In 1831 there was another reform of the constitution and the administration. The title of the mayor changed to Oberbürgermeister. In the following decades there were more reforms to the city administration, which reflected the constitutional and territorial reorganisations of Germany. During the Third Reich the mayor was appointed by the Nazi Party.
In 1946 the authorities of the British Occupation Zone, to which Göttingen then belonged, introduced a communal constitution which reflected the British model.
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