“A lot of this is so we can get the financials and keep track of how things are doing,” he said.
Another lengthy conversation hinged on improving Clinton’s offerings to entice families who will move to the area when the federal prison in Thomson, Ill., opens its doors.
“I call it dating the city,” Kinser said. “Clinton doesn’t have the opportunities right now for people to do that. A quality rental housing component would give people that opportunity.”
Discussions also moved into negative light, as city leaders contemplated how they can fix Clinton’s reputation for leading the state in sewer rates.
“I personally think some elected officials need to talk to other elected officials so we can share our pain,” said Councilman John Rowland, adding city leaders should reach out to others for help. “If you don’t ask, you don’t know.”
Throughout the meeting, city leaders each offered praise and criticism for the current operation. One thing they all agreed on was that there’s a lot that needs to be done.
That’s one reason why Kinser felt good about Wednesday’s meeting. If this year’s strategic plan is evidence of anything, it’s that there will be a lot of changes coming.
“A lot of this is just those initial action steps to get this process started,” Kinser said. “There could be a lot of things that happen depending on what the council could do based on the first round of information.”
Her task now is to formulate a timeline for when Clinton plans to tackle its numerous objectives.