Voice in Amsterdam|
|Nederlandse versie||updated 14-01-2008|
governing the innercity
The Binnenstad (which is everything within Singelgracht, do not get confused with Singel!)
is, until May 2002, managed by three aldermen and the mayor of the City Council of
Groot Amsterdam This management is done beside their
elected job, chozen by the citizens of Groot Amsterdam, and is little more than a one-hour meeting every week.
pro stadsdeelraad innercity
In a Deelraad you can speak to the alderman about it if there are any misunderstandings regarding planning or execution of a department.
The involvement of a member of the City Council for Groot Amsterdam will be geared more to greater projects and will be more
supportive to its own department than is good for the inhabitants of that deelraad.
Thanks to some big expences which should be paid by Groot Amsterdam (like the again and again completely redoing of Dam square)
there is little money left for smaller projects where especially the inhabitants would be benefitting from. Besides all the good things like the subsidizing
of geveltuintjes (narrow flowerbeds in front of houses), certain subjects may take a long time or an unusual ending, like the
dogshit project and the
plantpots in the Jordaan.
Asking for small solutions like compulsory putting permissions with expiring dates on the many (sometimes illegally parked) containers and
temporary worksheds on the streets gets you the usual easy clerk's clincher: "No, not necessary".
Knowing, but not caring enough, that those obstacles are not only taking away valuable parking spaces and producing evidently unevitable
street trash, but that they are also creating unclear views and therefore dangerous traffic situations.
contra stadsdeelraad innercity
On the other hand is the number of quality managers for the Deelraad Binnenstad who want to work for less
payment than in the private sector, not that large. There are already 15 Deelraden beside the Centraal Stadsbestuur
who all need good but reasonable cheap managers. All this while the powerful horeca is strongly presented among the opponents
of the Deelraad Binnenstad; understandeable for they want as much as people coming to the binnenstad,
ignoring the problems of the inhabitants.
On March 6th 2002 elections were held for the first stadsdeelraad Binnenstad in Amsterdam.
At the same time votings were held for the other stadsdeelraden of Amsterdam, for the Centrale Stad Amsterdam
and for other Dutch cities. A fierce campaing and advertisement circus broke lose just before these elections,
like the symbolic digging out the (one hundred years ago filled-in) Elandsgracht by a number of prominent members
of the D66 political party, together with the Vereniging Vrienden van de Binnenstad
The Deelraad Binnenstad has now an own, renewed website
which look clear and pleasant.
The previous binnenstad is replaced with centrum.
For years the delivery of the two free Amsterdam door-to-door weekly newspapers
de Echo and Amsterdams Stadsblad is a big problem: in a large number of areas
one will be delivered but the other one not, or it is the other way around.
For example, in north-Jordaan de Echo will be delivered but the Amsterdams Stadsblad
not. And that since May 1999.
Some time ago several socalled afhaalpunten were installed where people who were
interested in getting the Amsterdam Stadsblad, could take this (worth reading) local newspaper out.
But sadly not always rightly supplied.
It is for two years now that the publications done by the City Council are only reaching part of the citizens,
so it makes it difficult to complain against certain activities planned in their own neighbourhood.
Their policy is simply that this is not enough reason to change the way of informing the public,
eg by means of door-to-door letters the mailboxes; at least until it is very clear that
this government information actually reaches the Amsterdammer.