Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 12:35
Rotterdam mayor wins top politician prize
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has been named the best local director of the Netherlands. This was done in the election of Internal Affairs in which nearly 6 thousand directors, officials, readers of Internal Affairs and a professional jury participated. Mayor Peter den Elders of Groningen (previously Enschede) came in second and Mayor Eberhard van der Laan of Amsterdam came in third. Aboutaleb was described by respondents as a "hands on director" who "understands" Rotterdam and leads in a "result-oriented way". He is seen as honest and passionate and he gives Rotterdam "the face it deserves". Aboutaleb was awarded the prize during the Internal Affairs New Year Event Compass 2015. In his acceptance speech, Aboutaleb called Rotterdam a special city. "There are many small but also large businesses between which you as mayor have to navigate. I find the way of governing that does justice to small and great pain. To cite one example: illegal or homeless, in the city where I am mayor, no one sleeps on the street." The award for Best Director of a small municipality (less than 30 thousand inhabitants) went to Petra Dassen-Housen, mayor of Beesel in Limburg. The award for Best Newcomer went to Fleur Imming, the Amersfoort alderman for care, housing and neighborhoods.