Biografija

Jasmin Imamović, gradonačelnik Tuzle – Biografija

Jasmin Imamović je političar, pravnik i književnik, rođen 8.10.1957. godine u Brčkom. Od prve godine života živi u Tuzli, gdje je završio osnovnu školu i gimnaziju. Na Pravnom fakultetu u Sarajevu, diplomirao je 1980. godine. U Tuzli je radio u Upravi za imovinsko-pravne poslove, pionir je uspostavljanja jedinstvene evidencije nekretnina i prava, bio i pomoćnik Međuopćinskog javnog pravobranioca. Sve vrijeme objavljivao je radove i knjige iz oblasti prava u stručnim i naučnim časopisima, kao što su “Pravna misao”, “ZIPS” i “Geodetski glasnik”, Sarajevo i “Pravni život”, Beograd. Do 1992. godine objavio je i tri knjige vezane za utvrđivanje i evidenciju stvarnih prava na nekretninama, u koautorstvu sa Begićem (dvije knjige) i Begićem i Lukićem (jednu knjigu).

Od 1991. do 2001. godine, obavljao je dužnost sekretara Općine Tuzla. Na mjesto sekretara Općine Tuzla imenovan je kao nestranački kandidat i ekspert iz oblasti prava, sa zadacima reorganizacije i unaprijeđenja efikasnosti lokalne samouprave u Tuzli, ali na toj dužnosti ga, kao i sve ostale, zatiče prijeratna opasnost i rat. Kao sekretar Općine Tuzla, Imamović se posvećuje jednakoj zaštiti prava svih građana, bez obzira na njihovu nacionalnu,vjersku i svaku drugu pripadnost, usred rata govori i piše o zajedničkom životu, bratstvu i jedinstvu. “Antinaiconalizam je najviši nivo BH patriotizma”- često je govorio, zbog čega trpi zlostavljanje od strane nacionalističkih medija. Skupština opštine Tuzla je, odmah poslije rata, Imamovića nagradila najvišim gradskim priznanjem, Plaketom sa zlatnim grbom, upravo za zasluge u otporu agresiji i jednakoj zaštiti prava svih građana Tuzle. Nakon rata nastavlja sa prije rata započetim poslom, s tim što je, od 1995. godine aktivan i u politici, kada postaje generalnim sekretarom Unije bosanskohercegovačkih socijaldemokrata. Na ovoj dužnosti bio je do kongresa ujedinjenja pomenute partije sa Socijaldemokratskom partijom BiH, 2000. godine, od kada je obavljao dužnosti u Glavnom odboru, predsjedništvu i drugim organima ove partije, a jedno vrijeme je bio i potpredsjednik SDP-a BiH.

Jasmin Imamović izabran je za načelnika Općine Tuzla februara 2001., a zatim, ubjedljivim pobjedama na direktnim izborima, oktobra 2004. , 2008., 2012. i 2016. godine. Od oktobra 2014., nakon što je Tuzla proglašena Gradom, postaje gradonačelnikom Tuzle. Dužnost gradonačelnika uvedena je u Bosni i Hercegovini 1878. godine. Jasmin Imamović, dužnost načelnika odnosno gradonačelnika, obavlja od početka 2001. i do sada je, kao 31. gradonačelnik, zahvaljujući povjerenju građana, na toj dužnosti najduže u historiji Grada Tuzla. U toku ovih mandata, obavljao je i dužnost predsjednika Zajednice gradova i općina Federacije BiH, bio delegat u Vijeću Evrope u Strazburu, kao i potpredsjednik Socijaldemokratske partije Bosne i Hercegovine.

U vrijeme njegovih mandata, u prvih 17 godina 21.stoljeća,Tuzla je doživjela najočigledniji preporod i razvoj do sada. Grad Tuzla sada je prepoznatljiv i jedinstven u BiH, po originalnim idejama gradonačelnika Imamovića i njihovoj efikasnoj realizaciji. Protivnici ga proglašavaju pretjeranim romantikom i sanjarem, a simpatizeri sanjarem koji snove pretvara u stvarnost. Kada je sa svojim timom, u prvome mandatu (2001. do 2004.) predložio Strategiju razvoja Tuzle do 2015. godine, mnogi su je proglasili utopističkom. Ipak, skoro sve zacrtane ciljeve Imamović i njegovi saradnici uspijevaju ostvariti prije roka, već potkraj drugog mandata – 2008. godine, tako da u maju 2012. godine dolazi do usvajanja nove Strategije razvoja općine Tuzla do 2026. godine.

Strategija razvoja Tuzle zasniva se na Aalborškoj konvencijji i na pametnom, održivom i inkluzivnom razvoju. Imamović i njegov tim uspjeli su, iz aspekta kvaliteta života, građanima Tuzle, u periodu od kasnog proljeća, do rane jeseni, život učiniti kvalitenijim nego bilo gdje u Bosni i Hercegovini, što dokazuje činjenica da u ovom periodu, radi odmora, Tuzlu posjećuje veliki broj turista iz zemlje i inostranstva. Prije dolaska Imamovića na čelo Tuzle, to je bilo nezamislivo.

Izgradnjom kompleksa Panonskih jezera kojeg čine plaže, tri slana jezera, slapovi sa bazenima, Geološka postavka Panonskog mora, koja govori o specifičnom geološkom karakteru Tuzle, Arheološki park – najveće sojeničko arehološko naselje na jugu Evrope, savremena dječija igrališta i svi pripadajući turistički, ugostiteljski, kulturni i rekreacioni sadržaji, Imamović pokreće potpuno novi razvojni pravac Tuzle.  Od izgradnje prvog jezera, 2003. godine, do danas, ovaj kompleks je posjetilo oko tri miliona posjetilaca, od kojih mnogi dolaze iz susjednih i drugih evropskih država. U toku ljeta 2015. godine, kompleks Panonskih jezera zabilježio je rekordnih 450.000 posjetilaca. Više od 50% posjetilaca je iz inostranstva i udaljenih dijelova BiH.  Za projekat „Valorizacija prirodnog naslijeđa – Panonska slana jezera u Tuzli“, Svjetska turistička organizacija Ujedinjenih nacija – UNWTO dodijelila je Gradu Tuzla nagradu Odisej (Ulysses) za 2012. godinu, za „inovacije u javnim politikama i upravljanju.“ Najugledniji strani mediji svake godine prenose vijest o tuzlanskom čudu, u vidu jedinih slanih jezera u Evropi i jedinih slanih jezera na svijetu, koja su istovremeno i kupalište i plaža u najužem centru grada. Oni koji nisu u Tuzli bili posljednjih petnaestak godina, ne mogu se načuditi mediteranskim prizorima u Tuzli, koja do prije 2003. godine, nije imala niti jedno otvoreno kupalište, ne mogu se načuditi kolonama za plažu obučenih ljudi, koje u tople ljetnje dane idu prema plaži u centru Tuzle. Tuzlanska plaža u samo jednome danu, zna primiti i preko 15.000 kupača.

Nagli priliv turista iz zemlje i inostranstva, doveo je do toga da se u Tuzli, za kratko vrijeme izgradi više hotela, među kojima je i jedan koji predstavlja najveću investiciju u hotelijerstvo u BiH, a radi se o investiciji od oko 100 miliona eura. Investitori uskoro počinju sa gradnjom još jednog hotela, a Tuzla je ljeti obasuta zahtjevima za privatni smještaj, što je građane Tuzle zateklo i što će u budućnosti sigurno dovesti i do otvaranja hostela i masovnijeg bavljenja građana Tuzle iznajmljivanjem soba u okviru privatnog smještaja.

Ljetnju turističku ponudu u Tuzli, kvalitetnijom čine kulturne manifestacije, poput Festivala umjetnosti mladih “Kaleidoskop” (svake godine oko petnaest hiljada posjetilaca), Književni susreti „Cum granon salis“ i Nagrada “Meša Selimović”, slikarsko bienale INTERBIFEP, Bienale minijature i Likovna kolonije Breške, niz koncerata u okviru Ljeta u Tuzli, pozorišnih predstava, izložbi, koncerata i slično.

Gradnjom kulturnohistorijskih trgova (Trg slobode, Soni trg, pijaceta kod spomenika Ismeta Mujezinovića i Meše Selimovića, Centralni park posvećen kontinuitetu  BH državnosti) kao i gradnjom novih i obnovom starih zgrada, nekada najzapuštenija historijska jezgra u BiH, postala je jedna od najuređenijih, najposjećenijih i najljepših u Bosni i Hercegovini.  Obnovom spomeničkog kompleksa na Slanoj Banji, posvećenog kontinuitetu antifašizma iz perioda 1941. do 1945., kao i 1992.-1995., oživljavanjem ovog parka davanjem namjene nekada napuštenoj zgradi DTV Partizan, gradnjom Kuće plamena mira, fudbalskog igrališta i drugih sadržaja, kao i izgradnjom spomenika prvom bosanskom kralju Tvrtku I Kotromaniću i uređenjem Centralnog parka posvećenog kontinuitetu državnosti BiH, historijska jezgra Tuzle dobila je novu dimenziju i u urbanističkom i u turističkom smislu. S obzirom i na činjenicu da je Imamović i pisac, svima koji su čitali njegov roman “Molim te, zapiši”, jasno je da je ideja o spomeniku prvom bosanskom krlju Tvrtku I Kotromaniću, proizašla iz Imamovićevog istraživanja i pisanja ovoga romana. “Ne gradimo trgove radi trgova i parkove radi parkova, nego nastojimo da svaki naš trg ima i kulturnohistorijsku priču. Soni trg govori o najstarijoj proizvodnji soli u Evropi, Trg slobode govori o kontinuitetu života dužem od 7.000 godina, o neolitskom, srednjevjekovnom, osmanskom, austrougarskom periodu i novom dobu u historiji arhitekture Tuzle, Centralni park o kontinuitetu državnosti BiH, kompleks Slane banje o kontinuitetu antifašizma i otpora agresiji…” – govori i piše Imamović.

Imamović vrijedno radi na poboljšanju imidža Tuzle. “Za imidž grada, najvažnije je pokazati šta to ima Tuzla a nema niko” – kaže Imamović. Na osnovu njegovog zagovaranja, načina gradnje i objavljivanja tekstova različitih autora, danas je svakome jasno da je Tuzla jedno od najstarjih naselja u Evropi sa kontinuitetom življenja, da baštini najstariju kulturu proizvodnje soli u Evropi i da su u Tuzli pronađeni najstariji ostaci sojenica u Evropi, da ima jedina slana jezera u Evropi… Sve ovo vidljivo je na Sonom trgu, Trgu slobode, u sojeničkom arheološkom parku, u kompleksu slanih jezera, u publikaciji „O značenju imenu Bosna“, pa čak i u Imamovićevom romanu “Slana zemlja”.

“Kulturno-historijsko naslijeđe predstavlja veliki i važan faktor razvoja Tuzle.”- smatra Jasmin Imamović. Otuda valjda i proizilazi njegov trud u oblasti obnove kulturnohistorijskog naslijeđa i kulture. Zato se čini logičnim da je Grad Tuzla, do sada više od bilo kojeg drugog grada ulagao budžetska sredstva i trud u obnovu kulturnohistorijskog naslijeđa Bosne i Hercegovine i Tuzle. Osim u obnovu i gradnju kulturnog naslijeđa vezanog  za sve periode u histoiji BiH i Tuzle, mnogo je uloženo u obnovu vjerskih spomenika vezanih za sve tri dominantne religije u Tuzli. U toku 2015. godine, Grad Tuzla nosilac je najvećeg ulaganja u jednu kulturnu instituciju u 2015. godini, u BiH, a radi se o obnovi Gradskog Narodnog pozorišta u Tuzli. U istoj godini zabilježena su i velika ulaganja u obnovu Pravoslavne crkve u Požarnici, kao i Katoličkog kulturnog centra i Behrambegove džamije u centru Tuzle.

Mnogi građani Tuzle najznačajnijim projektom u Imamovićem mandatu smatraju izgradnju fabrike pitke vode, čime je riješen problem redukcije vode, koji je tokom sedam decenija iscrpio generacije građana Tuzle. Imamoviću ni to nije dovoljno, jer administracija koju vodi, usvaja Strategiju dugoročnog vodosnabdijevanja Tuzle do 2035. godine, za čiju su realizaciju već obezbijeđena finansijska sredstva.

U toku Imamovićevih mandata, otklonjen je i uzrok slijeganja Tuzle, ekološki problem koji je trajao preko 100 godina.

Uspostavljena je regulacija vodotoka Tuzle, čime su Imamović i saradnici uradili više nego što je urađeno u prethodnih trideset godina, a sve na polju zaštite od poplava, što se pokazalo ispravnim ulaganjem u preventivne mjere zaštite od poplava tokom prirodne nesreće koja je pogodila širi region u ljeto 2014.

Naslijeđeni problem divljih deponija i općenito tretmana tvrdog otpada, riješen je gradnjom najsavremenije deponije i najsavremenijeg postrojenja za tretman čvrstog otpada, u Bosni i Hercegovini.

U Tuzli se intenzivno radi na toplifikaciji i smanjenju aero zagađenja, čime je Tuzla postala lider u implementaciji sistema obnovljivih energetskih izvora i plana energetske efikasnosti i jedan od prvih gradova u BiH koji je donio Akcioni plan energetski održivog razvoja (SEAP). U toku mandata Jasmina Imamovića površina pješačke zone znatno se uvećava i postaje jedna od najvećih u Bosni i Hercegovini, a zelene površine pod uređenim parkovima, dječijim i sportskim igralištima, povećane su za deset puta. Nekada industrijski i sivi grad, postao je jedna od najatraktivnijih turističkih destinacija u BiH. Grad u kojem 2001. godine nije bila razvijena trgovina, postao je jedan od najvećih trgovačkih centara u državi, jer se Tuzli, početkom ovoga stoljeća razvila, danas u BiH najveća trgovinska, a u novije doba i sve više proizvodna firma Bingo, koja direktno zapošljava više od 8.000 ljudi, a indirektno, nekoliko puta više.

Imamović, zajedno sa svojim saradnicima, zatiče skoro propala, pa čak i privatizirana javna komunalna preduzeća. Pravnim putem uspijeva poništiti privatizaciju javnih preduzeća: Vodovod i kanalizacija, Komunalac, Centralno grijanje, Komemorativni centar i Tržnice i pijace, čime imovinu vraća građanima Tuzle, ekonomski stabilizuje preduzeća, pa se njihov neuspjeh, pretvara u uspjeh, te za kratko vrijeme osniva i nova, uspješna preduzeća i javne ustanove Tuzle, kao što su BIT Centar, Panonika, Saobraćaj i komunikacije, RTV 7, Stadion i Dom mladih, Centar za kulturu. Sva pomenuta preduzeća posluju uspješno. U komunalnoj privredi Tuzle radi blizu 2000 uposlenika.

Uz poštovanje tradicionalnih industrija (Tuzla je najveći proizvođač električne energije u BiH, jedini proizvođač soli, veliki proizvođač uglja, deterdženata, elektromotora, piva, mineralne vode, sokova itd.) Imamović je bitno uticao na stvaranje uslova za razvoj malih i srednjih preduzeća, razvijanje industrije novih tehnologija, razvoj turizma i trgovine. On i njegovi saradnici realizirali su najveći inkubator malih i srednjih preduzeća u BiH, Razvojno poduzetnički centar – Inkubator Lipnica i najuspješniji inkubator novih tehnologija u regionu, BIT Centar Tuzla.

Tuzla je za vrijeme Imamovićevih mandata, postala najveće gradilište. “Stvaranje uslova za gradnju, danonoćni je posao, jer bez gradnje nema razvoja, a za gradnju samo jedne stambene zgrade, vezano je više od 50 malih i srednjih preduzeća. Od naknade koju dobijemo za zemljište i rentu, gradimo komunalne objekte, poput trgova, parkova, slanih jezera, cesta, ulične rasvjete, kanalizacije, vodovodne mreže i drugoga”, često govori Imamović. Zato je u Tuzli izgrađen veliki broj stambenih i poslovnih zgrada. Na, do tada „zaboravljenim lokacijama“, izgrađene su čitave gradske četvrti, trgovi, šetališta, igrališta i parkovi, ceste i drugi značajni infrastrukturni objekti. Izgrađeno je oko dva miliona kvadratnih metara stambenih i poslovnih prostora, pa je danas Tuzla preporođen grad.

Imamović je idejni tvorac i osnivač Međunarodnih književnih susreta „Cum grano salis“ i najveće nagrade za roman na Zapadnom Balkanu. Nagrada „Meša Selimović“ se dodjeljuje za najbolji roman objavljen na govornom prostoru Bosne i Hercegovine, Crne Gore, Hrvatske i Srbije.

Jedan je od pokretača mreže gradova okupljenih oko Evropske povelje o zaštiti ljudskih prava u gradovima, te organizator Sedme konferencije o Evropskoj povelji o ljudskim pravima u gradovima, koja je, nakon prethodnih konferenvija održanih u Barceloni, Saint-Denisu, Veneciji, Nirnbergu, Lionu i Ženevi, 2010. godine održana u Tuzli.

Veoma je posvećen  projektima koji doprinose unapređenju života socijalno osjetljivih kategorija stanovništva, među kojima se posebno izdvajaju stare i iznemogle osobe, djeca sa poteškoćama u razvoju i djeca bez roditeljskog staranja. Imamović je ukinuo novogodišnje prijeme za ugledne političare i poduzetnike i za to ranije korišteni novac usmjerio u kupovinu paketića i poklona djeci sa posebnim potrebama, štićenicima Doma za djecu bez roditeljskog staranja, te oboljeloj djeci. Njih posjećuje uoči Nove godine i njih dočekuje svakog 1.maja u komplesku “Panonike”, gdje im organizuje zabavu i zajednički ručak. U Tuzli je, zahvaljujući saradnji sa humanitarnom organizacijom „Hilfswerk“ Austrija i angažamanu Imamovićevog tima, napravljena veoma luksuzna kuća, “Koraci nade”, koja se koristi kao Dnevni centar za brigu o djeci sa poteškoćama u razvoju, ugrađeno je dosta u zgradu Doma za djecu bez roditeljskog staranja, započeta gradnja Centra za autizam, uređen Dnevni centar za stare osobe, izgrađena stambena zgrada sa 16 stanova, te započeta gradnja još oko 200 stanova, koji se dodjeljuju najugroženijim socijalnim kategorijama, po principu socijalnog stanovanja.

Zbog uspješnog vođenja grada, Imamović je dobio brojna priznanja i nagrade: Tuzla je četvorostruki osvajač priznanja BEACON Status (za brzi ekonomski razvoj, za razvoj turizma, za najbolje rezultate u pripremi i upravljanju projektima EU i za energetsku efikasnost). Od strane Asocijacije multietničkih gradova jugoistočne Evrope nagrađen je za poseban doprinos širenju multikulturalnosti na jugoistoku Evrope, od različitih medija u BiH Imamović je više puta biran za ličnost godine u BiH. Imao je čast da 2008. godine, na Harvardu (Kenedy School) i u sjedištu Svjetske banke u Washingtonu, održi predavanja o brzom preporodu Tuzle.  Imamović se te godine upisao u Zlatnu knjigu Harvarda. Nevladina organizacija EDA iz Banjaluke, uvrstila ga je u “Bukvar dobrog upravljanja” i knjigu “Dobro je dobro vladati”, kao gradonačelnika koji idejama i radom preporođuje svoj grad. Dobitnik je nagrade „Sloboda“ Međunarodnog centra za mir u Sarajevu, dobitnik Povelje za međunarodnu toleranciju, dobitnik je nagrade „Kraljica Katarina“, te nagrade Zlatni Interstas, „za izuzetan doprinos razvoju turizma grada Tuzle, time i značajan doprinos razvoja turizma BiH u cijelosti “, u više navrata je dobio zlatnu turističku ružu, proglašavan turističkom ličnošću godine, najmenadžerom BiH, jugoistočne i srednje Evrope…

Kao književnik, Jasmin imamović je objavio pet romana: “Ubijanje smrti”, “Besmrtni jeleni”, “Obožavatelj trena”, “Molim te, zapiši” i „Slana zemlja“. Njegovi romani, priče i eseji prevedeni su na više stranih jezika: španjolski, mađarski, hebrejski, kurdski, poljski, slovenački, talijanski, francuski, engleski, njemački i dr. Književnica Julijana Matanović je, u predgovoru za roman „Slana zemlja“, između ostaloga, napisala: „A u svemu tome je ipak najvažnije da svojim romanima, taj Jasmin Imamović, želi naglasiti što smo i tko smo. I kao što je u romanu Molim te, zapiši , stećak (kroz razgovor Gorčina i Pribila), opisan kao najčvršći pokazatelj identiteta,  tako su u Slanu zemlju upisani stihovi koje prepoznaju generacije, i generacije. Riječi Jel’ ti žao što se rastajemo ne provociraju pitanje autorstva. One su preživjele sve. I povezale sve one koji znaju da se ljubav – ni u vremenima velike povijesti – ne može naučiti zaboravu.“  Za roman “Slana zemlja”, Denis Derk (zagrebački Večernji list), piše: “Slana zemlja” je knjiga koja želi vratiti antifašizmu građanska prava i dostojanstvo. U povodu istoga romana, Saša Broz je kazala da je Imamović pravdoljubiv i bosnoljubiv, Čedo Prica je prva dva Imamovićeva romana (“Ubijanje smrti” i “Besmrtni jeleni”) sa puno hvale opisao u svojoj autobiografskoj knjizi “Bilježnica namjernih sjećanja”. Slovenačka “Mladina” je Imamovićev roman “Obožavalac trena”, uvrstila u knjige godine, a makedonski Izdavački centar TRI, u okviru svog projekta Antologije pripovjetki autora iz Jugoistočne Evrope, uz pripovjetke Ive Andrića, Meše Selimovića, Skendera Kulenovića, Daria Džamonje, Miljenka Jergovića, Fadile Nure Haver, i Faruka Šehića, želi objaviti i pripovjetku Jasmina Imamovića. Svi njegovi romani su uz ostalo, i romani o Tuzli.

Imamovićev primjer posvećenosti Tuzli koju vodi kreativnim idejama i efikasnom realizacijom tih ideja, uz istovremeno pisanje romana o toj istoj Tuzli, nezabilježen je primjer posvećenosti jednog gradonačelnika svome gradu.

English:

Jasmin Imamovic is a politician, lawyer and writer. He is married, with two daughters. He was born on October 8, 1957 in Brcko, but has been living in Tuzla since age one, where he completed both elementary and high school. Several years after graduation in 1980, at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo, he passed the Bar Exam.

He worked as Administrative Assistant for Property and Legal Affairs at the Department for Property–Legal Affairs at the City of Tuzla (formerly-the Municipality of Tuzla), as the Chairman  of the Committee for the Establishment of a Unique Registry of Immovable Property and the Right to Purchase at the City Geodetic Administration, and as Assistant to the Intermunicipal Public Defender, who was authorised to perform legal representation before courts and administrative bodies in Tuzla and twenty municipalities of northeast Bosnia. Besides his legal profession, Imamovic has been publishing works and books in professional and scientific journals, such as “Pravna misao”, “ZIPS” and “Geodetski glasnik” (Sarajevo) and “Pravni život” (Belgrade). Until 1992, he published three books related to determining  and recording  real rights over immovable property, co-authored by Begic (two books) and Begic and Lukic (another book).

From 1991 to 2001, he served as the Secretary of the Municipality of Tuzla. He was appointed to this position as a non-party candidate and as an expert in the field of law. His task was to help reorganize and improve the efficiency of local government in Tuzla, but, like all others, he soon found himself in very dangerous pre-war circumstances, which later developed into war.

As the Secretary of the Municipality of Tuzla, Imamovic was committed to  protection of the rights of all citizens, regardless of their ethnic, religious or any other affiliation.  In the midst of war, he spoke and wrote about togetherness, brotherhood and unity. He often used to say that “antinationalism is the highest level of BH patriotism”, which is why he had often experienced harrasment by pro-nationalist media. Immediately after the war, the Assembly of the Municipality of Tuzla awarded Imammovic the Golden Coat of Arms Plaque, for his contribution to the resistance against  aggression and efforts towards equal protection of the rights of all citizens of Tuzla. After the war, he  continued with his pre-war work. In 1995, he entered politics and became the General Secretary of the Union of Social Democrats of BiH. He remained at this position until the Congress for unification of the aforementioned party with the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2000. Since then, he has served on the General Board of SDP BiH, performed duties within the presidency and other organs of the party, and was even elected the vice-president of SDP BiH.

Jasmin Imamovic was elected Mayor of the Municipality of Tuzla in February 2001, and again, in October 2004, October 2008, October 2012 and October 2016, with a majority vote through direct election. In October 2014, after Tuzla was  officialy declared a city, Jasmin Imamovic became the Mayor of the City of Tuzla. The role of the Mayor was introduced in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878. Jasmin Imamovic has been performing the duties of the Mayor since the beginning of 2001. As the 31st Mayor of the City of Tuzla (formerly the Municipality of Tuzla), he is the longest serving mayor in the history of Tuzla, thanks to  trust of its citizens. During his mandate, he also served as President of the Community of Cities and Municipalities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a delegate to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, as well as the Vice President of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During his mandate, in the first 17 years of the 21st century, Tuzla has experienced the most prominent rebirth and growth till today. The City of Tuzla today is a unique city, distinctive by Mayor Imamovic’s original ideas and their effective implementation. Opponents declare him immoderate romantic and a dreamer, while his supporters call him a dreamer who turns his dreams into reality. When he and his team, during the first term (2001-2004), proposed the Development Strategy of Tuzla 2015, many thought the idea was utopian. However, Imamovic and his colleagues managed to achieve almost all their goals before the deadline, by the end of the second term–2008. In May 2012, the new Development Strategy of the Municipality of Tuzla 2026 was adopted.

The Development Strategy of Tuzla is based on the Aalborg Convention, smart, sustainable and inclusive development. Imamovic and his team managed to make the living conditions in Tuzla from late spring to early autumn better than anywhere else in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A large number of tourists visiting from other places in BiH and abroad  bore witness to the aforesaid.  Before Imamovic was elected Mayor, that  seemed unimaginable.

With the Pannonian Lakes, three salt lakes, waterfalls and pools, the geological setting of the Pannonian Sea, which shows the specific geological character of Tuzla, Archaeological Park- the largest archaeological stilt-house settlement in the south of Europe, modern playgrounds and all other tourism, hospitality management, cultural and recreational facilities, Imamovic launched brand new directions for the development of Tuzla. Since 2003, when the first lake was built, till today, about three million people have visited the Pannonian Lakes, many of whom came from neighboring and other European countries. During the summer of 2015, the Pannonian Lakes registered a record number of 450,000 visitors. More than 50% of all visitors come from abroad or from distant parts of BiH.

In 2012, the United Nations World Tourism Organization awarded the project “Evaluation of Natural Heritage–Pannonian Salt Lakes in Tuzla” with Ulysses Award 2012 for “public policy and management innovation.” Every year, the most respectful foreign media transmit information about Tuzla’s miracle, the only saltwater lakes not only in Europe, but in the world as well. Those who  had not visited visit Tuzla over the last fifteen years cannot get over the beauty of the mediterranean scenery in Tuzla and the lines of people strolling towards the beach wearing swimsuits. Before 2003, not a single open – air swimming pool could be found in Tuzla, while today, the beach located at the city centre  accommodates around 15.000 visitors per day.

The sudden influx of tourists from the country and abroad had significant impact on the availability of accommodation facilities in the city, one of which represents the largest investment in the hotel industry in B&H, worth 100 million Euros. Furthermore, construction work on the new hotel is expected to begin in the near future.  To the surprise of its citizens, during the summer, Tuzla witnesses the increasing  demand for private accommodation. Ultimately, this may lead to opening new hostels and to the growth in apartment rental business.

In the summertime, the  tourist offer in Tuzla is enriched with cultural events, such as the Youth Art Festival “Kaleidoscope” (fifteen thousand visitors per year) , literary meetings “Cum Grano Salis” and “Mesa Selimovic” Award, INTERBIFEP Painting Biennial, Biennal of Miniature Art and Art Colony “Breške”, a series of concerts, theater performances, exhibitions and concerts as part of the “Summer in Tuzla” Festival.

The newly built cultural-historical squares (Freedom Square, Salt Square, small square near the statue of Ismet Mujezinovic and Mesa Selimovic, Central Park dedicated to the continuity of the BH statehood), along with construction of new buildings and the rejuvenation of old ones  turned formerly the most neglected city centre in BiH into one of the most visited and the most beautiful places in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The restored historical heritage at “Slana Banja”, dedicated to the continuity of anti-fascism (from 1941 to 1945, and from 1992 to 1995), the rejuvenated park and the once abandoned  “DTV Partizan” building,  the  Peace Flame House, a new football field and other sporting facilities, the monument to the first Bosnian King Tvrtko I Kotromanic, located at the Central Park, have given  the historical centre of the city of Tuzla a new dimension in the context of urban planning and tourism. Given the fact that Imamovic is a writer, it is clear to everyone who read his novel “Molim te, zapiši”, that the idea for ​​the monument to the first Bosnian King Tvrtko I Kotromanic came from Mr. Imamovic’s research and writing of the novel. “We’re not building squares or parks just to build squares and parks. Our idea is that every square and park we build also has its cultural-historical story behind it. Therefore, “Soni trg” speaks of the oldest salt production in Europe, “Trg Slobode” speaks of the 7000 years long continuity of life, the Neolithic, Medieval, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian periods, including the new era in the history of Tuzla, the central park speaks of the continuity of the statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Slana Banja” speaks of the continuity of anti-fascism and the resistance to the aggression… “- writes Imamovic.

Imamovic works hard to improve the image of Tuzla. “For the image of the city, the most important is to show  what Tuzla does have and other cities don’t” – says Imamovic. Having in mind his advocacy, construction methods and the publication of articles by different authors, it is clear to everyone today that Tuzla is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, with the oldest tradition of salt production in Europe and the oldest remains of stilt houses ever found in Europe, the only city in Europe that has salt lakes… All this is evident at the “Salt Square”, “Freedom Square”, the Archaeological Park, the Pannonian Salt Lakes, in the publication “On the meaning of the name of Bosnia”, and even in Imamovic’a novel “Slana zemlja”.

“Cultural and historical heritage is an important factor of Tuzla’s growth.” – says Jasmin Imamovic. Hence, this is the reason why Imamovic puts so much effort in the restoration of cultural and historical heritage and culture. Therefore, it seems logical that the city of Tuzla, more than any other city, invested considerable amount of budget funds and effort in the restoration of cultural and historical heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Tuzla. Apart from investments made into reconstruction of cultural heritage from all historical periods of B&H and Tuzla, considerable funds have also been being invested in the reconstruction of religious monuments representing all three dominant religions in Tuzla. In 2015, the City of Tuzla was the main investor into reconstruction of the National Theatre Tuzla. The same year, a large investment was made into restoration of the Orthodox Church in Pozarnica, the Catholic Cultural Center and Behram–Beg Mosque located in the center of Tuzla.

Many citizens of Tuzla consider the construction of drinking water treatment plant, which ended 70 years long water supply restrictions, as the most important project during Imamovic’s mandate.

Even this was not enough for Imamovic. This is a reason why the City Administration adopted the Long–term Water Supply Strategy 2035 and ensured funding for the entire duration of the project. The cause of land subsidence in Tuzla, an ecological problem that lasted for more than 100 years,  was also eliminated, during Imamovic’s mandate. River flow regulation carried out by Imamovic and his team  brought about more benefits in the field of flood management than any other action that had been undertaken in the previous thirty years. When the natural disaster happened, in the summer of 2014, the prior investment in preventive flood management measures proved to be the right decision.

The inherited problem related to existence of illegal dumps and, generally, to the treatment of solid waste, was solved after the most modern landfills and the most modern solid waste treatment facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been established.

Tuzla became a leader in the implementation of renewable energy resources system and energy efficiency plans. It was one of the first cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). During the mandate of Jasmin Imamovic, the pedestrian zone was significantly expanded and thus became one of the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Green areas consisting of parks, children’s and sports playgrounds were ten times enlarged . Once an industrial and „gray“ city, Tuzla became one of the most attractive tourism destinations in BiH. The city in which trade industry had been  underdeveloped in  2001, now became one of the largest shopping centers in the country, owing to “Bingo” Company, one of the biggest trading and manufacturing companies in B&H”, which directly employs more than 8,000 workers.

When Imamovic became mayor, he and his associates had to face nearly bankrupted enterprises and many privatized public utilities. However, he managed, through legal ways, to annihilate the privatization of the following public enterprises: Water Supply and Sewage Utility, Public Utility Company, Central Heating Company, Commemorative Centre and the Market. In this way, public property was given back to the citizens of Tuzla, enterprises became economically stable, and in a very short time,  new and successful enterprises and public institutions in Tuzla were established, such as “BIT Center”, “Panonika”, “Transport and Communications”, “RTV 7”, Stadium, Youth Centre and Cultural Centre. All the aforementioned institutions and enterprises operate successfully. Utility services of Tuzla employ nearly 2,000 people.

With respect to traditional industries (Tuzla is the largest producer of electricity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the only manufacturer of salt, a large manufacturer of coal, detergents, electrical motors, beer, mineral water, juices etc.), Imamovic has largely contributed to the development of small and medium enterprises, new technologies, tourism and trade.

He and his colleagues established the largest incubator for small and medium enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Development–Business Center “Incubator Lipnica” and the most successful technology incubator in the region-BIT Center Tuzla.

During Imamovic’s mandate, Tuzla became the largest construction site.

“Creating conditions for the construction work is a day and night job, since without construction industry there can be no development , and to build only one building, it requires the involvement of more than 50 small and medium enterprises. Land and rent fees are being used for building utility facilities, such as squares, parks, salt lakes, roads, street lighting, sewerage system, water supply network and other ” according to Imamovic. Therefore, a large number of residential and commercial buildings  were built in Tuzla. The entire neighborhoods, squares, pedestrian areas, playgrounds and parks, roads and other important infrastructure facilities were  built at „once- forgotten locations“. About two million square meters of residential and commercial facilities  were  built in Tuzla.

Imamovic is creator and founder of the International Literary Meeting “Cum Grano Salis” and the most significant novel award in the Western Balkans, „Mesa Selimovic” Award, which is being awarded for the best novel published in Bosnia and Herzegovina , Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia .

Imamovic was one of the initiators behind the network of cities signatories of the European Charter for the Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City, and the organizer of the Seventh Conference on the European Charter for the Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City, which took place in Barcelona, ​​Saint-Denis, Venice, Nuremberg, Lyon, Geneva, and in Tuzla in 2010.

Imamovic is very dedicated to projects that contribute to improving the lives of vulnerable groups, especially old and diseased people, children with development disabilities and children without parental care. Imamovic decided to end New Year receptions for prominent politicians and entrepreneurs. Instead of financing such occasions, he decided to use that money for  purchasing presents and gifts for children with special needs,  residents of the Home for Children Without Parental Care and diseased children. He visits them every New Year’s Eve and welcomes them each First of May at “Panonica” with a music show and free lunch.

Owing to the cooperation between the City of Tuzla and the humanitarian organization “Hilfswerk” from Austria, a very luxurious facility called “Steps of Hope” was  built. The facility serves as a day care center for children with developmental disabilities. Moreover, significant amount of money was invested in the Home for Children without Parental Care, the Centrefor Autism and Day Care Centre for the Elderly. Furthermore, in line with principles of social housing, a 16 – apartment social housing building was built and the construction of another 200 apartments for the most vulnerable social categories has started.

Due to  successful management of the city, Imamovic received numerous honors and awards: Tuzla is a four–time winner of the Beacon Award (for faster economic growth, for the development of tourism, for the best results in the preparation and management of EU projects and other energy efficiency projects). The Association of Multiethnic Cities of the Southeast Europe awarded Imamovic for his special contribution to the spread of multiculturalism in the Southeast Europe. Various media in BiH, on various occasions, named Imamovic a Person of the Year. In 2008, he gave a speech about the rapid growth of Tuzla at Harvard (Kennedy School) and at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. On that occasion, Imamovic signed the Golden Book of Harvard. The “EDA” NGO from Banja Luka, included him and his book “Dobro je dobro vladati” into “A Primer on Good Governance”, as the mayor whose ideas and work contribute to the revival of his city. Some of the most important awards and recognitions Imamovic received in the past are: “Freedom” Award by the International Center for Peace in Sarajevo, the Charter for International Tolerance, “Queen Katarina” Award, and Golden INTERSTAS “for an outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in the city of Tuzla, and, thus, for the significant contribution to the development of tourism in BiH in general “, Tourism Gold Rose (multiple awards). He was also named person of the year for his contribution to tourism development and the best manager of the year in BiH, Southeast and Central Europe…

As a writer, Jasmin Imamovic published five novels: “Ubijanje smrti”, “Besmrtni jeleni”, “Obožavatelj trena”, “Molim te, zapiši” i „Slana zemlja“.

His novels, stories and essays are  translated into several languages: Spanish, Hungarian, Hebrew, Kurdish, Polish, Slovenian, Italian, French, English, German and others.

In the preface of the novel “Slana zemlja”, Julijana Matanovic, the writer, wrote the following: “what is most important is that in his novels, Jasmin Imamovic tries to emphasize what we have and who we are. Just as in the novel “Molim te, zapiši” a tombstone (in conversation with Gorcin and Pribil), is described as the strongest indicator of identity, “Slana zemlja” includes verses that will be passed down from generations to generations.

Words “Are you sorry that we have to part?” do not provoke the question of authorship. They survived everything. They connect all those who know that love-even in times of great historical events–knows no oblivion.

Denis Derk wrote about “Slana zemlja” (Vecernji list, Zagreb) as follows: “Slana zemlja” is a book that seeks to restore civil rights and dignity within the anti-fascism movement.” Speaking of the same novel, Sasa Broz said that Imamovic was righteous and “bosnoljubiv” (fond of Bosnia). Cedo Prica describes and praises the first two Imamovic’s novels (“Ubijanje smrti” and “Besmrtni jeleni”) in his autobiographical book “Bilježnica namjernih sjećanja”.

Julijana Matanovic included her essay on Imamovic’s novel “Molim te, zapiši” into collection of her essays “Sumnja.strah@povijest.hr”.  Slovenia’s “Mladina” listed Imamovic’s novel “Obožavatelj trena” among best books of the year. The Macedonian TRI Publishing Centre would like to publish a short story by Jasmin Imamovic, along with short stories written by Ivo Andric, Mesa Selimovic, Skender Kulenovic, Dario Dzamonja, Miljenko Jergovic, Fadila Nura Haver, and Faruk Sehic as part of the Anthology of Short Stories by authors from Southeastern Europe project. All his novels speak, among other things,  about Tuzla. In addition, Imamovic’s short stories are  included in several collections and anthologies in Southslavic and foreign languages. Jasmin Imamovic is a member of the Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and PEN BiH. Imamovic’s commitment toTuzla, his creative ideas and efficient implementation of those ideas and his novels about Tuzla, are  an unprecedented example of a mayor’s commitment to his/her city.

 

Oznake: biografija,