Archive for November 24th, 2008


From the Tao Te Ching, Verse 22:

No-thing remains itself. Each prepares the path to its opposite.

To be ready for wholeness, first be fragmented.

To be ready for rightness, first be wronged.

To be ready for fullness, first be empty.

To be ready for renewal, first be worn out.

To be ready for success, first fall.

To be ready for doubt, first be certain.

Because the wise observe the world through terms of faith, they know they are not knowledgeable.

Because they perceive not only through their perceptions, they do not judge this right and that wrong.

Because they do not delight in boasting, they are appreciated.

Because they do not announce their superiority, they are acclaimed. 

Because they never compete, no one can compete with them.


Verily, fragmentation prepares the path to wholeness, 

the mother of all origins and realizations.

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Much has been said over the years, especially during campaign season, about the City of Amsterdam’s Comprehensive Plan of 2003. Many of us participated in the community forums to voice our concerns. More importantly, we wanted to help shape a vision for the future of our community that was in keeping with what was (and is) in our hearts: this is our home and we love it.

The following is a brief outline of the seven goals that had been articulated in the Plan.


The City of Amsterdam Comprehensive Plan    Adopted January 21, 2003

Overall, the City of Amsterdam seeks to strengthen its role as a livable city; a great place to live, work and visit in the Capital Region. To achieve this vision, the Comprehensive Plan recommends a series of actions organized around the following seven goals:

1. Improve Amsterdam’s Image and Identity in the Region

Market Amsterdam effectively to the Capital District region and beyond. Overcome negative perceptions and emphasize the community’s positive attributes.

2. Rebuild Amsterdam’s Economic Foundation 

Assist existing manufacturers in applying new technologies to their manufacturing processes, provide incentives to lure new industry, and diversify the City’s economic base beyond manufacturing. Improve local and regional coordination with the goal of creating “one-stop shopping” for economic development.

3. Reestablish Downtown as the Community Center 

Reinvent Amsterdam’s downtown as a vibrant, central place for people to meet, shop, live, work, and visit. Engage the coordinated efforts of City government, state agencies, and downtown stakeholders toward a common vision for downtown. Recognize this as a long-term, evolutionary process.

4. Stabilize and Strengthen Neighborhoods 

Amsterdam’s greatest asset is its neighborhoods. Harness the energy of community volunteers toward neighborhood self-improvement projects. Provide a forum for shared ideas and work in partnership with City Departments to facilitate projects.

5. Redevelop Old Mill Sites and Improve Connections to Neighborhoods

Reposition some of Amsterdam’s historically most important and valuable real estate, preparing it for expanded investment or future reinvestment. The focus for the former Mohasco Complex and the Chalmers Building will be to redevelop these derelict sites/structures as a catalyst for improvements to their surrounding neighborhoods.

6. Enhance important gateways to the Community

Through a combination of transportation enhancements, design guidelines, rehabilitation incentives, and other coordinated efforts, improve gateways and transportation corridors throughout the City.

7. Create a City Greenway System

The City’s parks, waterfront, NYS Canalway Trail, and the remaining tree-line boulevards all contribute to Amsterdam’s quality of life. Maintaining, improving and expanding these resources are all necessary to attract and retain businesses and skilled workers.


I am told repeatedly that manifestation is a long-term process. That said, I think I speak for us all when I say that I am willing to push, press, sweat, toil and torment to see that this gets done sooner than later.

Patience is a virtue I’d rather lavish on my children.


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