The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

January 1, 2013

City Council reflects on 2012’s challenges

CLINTON — The past year for members of the city of Clinton government has been all but boring.

A continuous stream of sewer and solid waste billing issues, parting ways with the city administrator and pushing toward financial solvency have all topped the list of items the Clinton City Council addressed this year.

Related: Take a look back at the top news stories of 2012

The council will carry over many of its top issues and more than likely face others as the new year begins. On the cusp of the new year, City Council members reflected on what happened in 2012 and what they hope will happen in 2013.  

Finding a new city administrator will be the top priority for the Clinton City Council in 2013, members said. Unlike the previous search for a new city leader, the council has hired a human resources consultant to lead the process with the Committee of the Whole. Paul Greufe, who has been the city’s HR consultant for a few months, has stated he would like to include the public in the search for the city administrator.

The City Council voted 4-2 in December to hire Greufe and that resolution went into effect Dec. 26.  

“I’m very excited for this new process of selection to include all stakeholders for many reasons; providing interested public members the opportunity to be part of this significant decision and to also understand what exactly the position entails,” At-large councilwoman Jennifer Graf, who voted in favor of the resolution, said.  

Councilwoman Bev Hermann, who represents residents in Ward 3, said while she is looking forward to finding the best city administrator possible, she also appreciates the work done by the latest person to hold the position.

“Thanks to former city administrator Jeff Horne’s recognition of the antiquated, inadequate financial procedures that had been used for decades and steps he took to bring us to current accepted city accounting, we now know where we are,” Hermann said.

When reflecting on 2012, council members also thanked Finance Director Jessica Kinser, who started working for the city in October 2011.

“Kinser and her staff have uncovered most of the financial skeletons and financial pitfalls facing city hall. For perhaps the first time in nearly 10 years the city is moving toward sound financial management,” At-large councilman John Rowland said.

Among the “financial pitfalls” the city is facing is the solid waste and sewer billing issues.  It was revealed during a lengthy Committee of the Whole work session that nearly 20 percent of the city’s residential sewer customers don’t pay their bills, which causes a serious cash flow problem.

Straightening out billing and working through potential rate increases also will be on the top of council members’ “to-do” lists in 2013. Rowland said he believes this will be accomplished this year.  

“While the city has accumulated serious debt problems, at least now we are moving forward in a more positive manner in addressing these issues and planning our financial future. I sense a renewed attitude among council members that we can solve these problems and move this community forward in 2013,” Rowland said.

Of the items the city accomplished in 2012, council members agreed the street improvement program was one of the highlights. The city developed a plan to bump funding for city streets substantially over the next few years.  

“When I was campaigning, that was the one clear issue that people in my ward were concerned about.  If we can find the financial resource, I hope that we can move forward with continued aggressive street repair so that we are not always working on catching up,” Ward 2 Councilwoman Julie Allesee said.  

Reflecting on other positive things that came from 2012, council members addressed the railport, Union Pacific bridge reconstruction, the Thomson, Ill., prison’s purchase by the federal government and other business-producing items that could have positive economic impacts on the area.   

“I can see us continue to grow as the railport moves forward,” Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes said.

Although 2012 may have been tumultuous for the Clinton City Council, members felt it was a year of working through issues that have been present for years prior, but that they didn’t previously have the resources to combat. With the search for a city administrator, billing issues and a slew of other pressing matters to address in the coming months, the City Council will likely have a full plate for 2013.   

“I can honestly say, at the end of the day, I’m still honored to serve this community and I truly believe there are great days ahead,” Graf said.

1
Text Only
Clinton
  • Minnick New director at Ashford CLINTON -- Ashford University has appointed a new vice president/campus director of its Clinton campus. Charlie Minnick has been appointed for the position. He has been in the position on an interim basis since Jan. 1. Ashford University Provost Lori

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Women on Fire event is Wednesday at Vista Grande CLINTON -- For many years, women in business have been honored in the city of Clinton, but on Wednesday, they have a night all their own. The Women are on Fire event will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Vista Grande in Clinton and will offer an oppo

    April 19, 2014

  • McEleney McEleney elected to insurance board CLINTON -- A car dealership owner recently earned a spot on a national insurance board. John McEleney, of Clinton and owner of McEleney Motors, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Federated Insurance Companies. The election took place this w

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades Herald Staff Report Clinton looks into roadway safety upgrades

    April 19, 2014

  • L'Kings keep Hot Rods cold BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- There's nothing like jumping on a team when it's down, and the Clinton LumberKings did just that Friday night. For the second night in a row, the LumberKings used a five-run inning to take a victory at Bowling Green Ballpark, th

    April 19, 2014

  • Way of the Cross photo The Way of the Cross By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer The Way of the Cross

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • AGENDA: 4-22-14 Clinton City Council

    The Clinton City Council will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. followed by a committee of the whole.

    April 18, 2014

  • Theft trial for man charged in Wolfe sisters' murders

    A western Pennsylvania man accused of having robbed and killed his next-door neighbors, two sisters of Iowa Rep. Mary Wolfe, now also faces trial on charges that he stole another woman's wedding ring a year ago.

    State police in Greensburg allege that 43-year-old Allen Wade of East Liberty, Pa., stole the ring while delivering a refrigerator to a home in April 2013. Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway on Thursday agreed to schedule the case for trial.

    April 18, 2014

  • More felonies added to sex abuse charges CLINTON -- A Clinton man already facing multiple felony charges for allegedly sexually abusing a child is now facing six more felonies for sexual exploitation of a child. Tony D. James, 45, was charged this past weekend with six counts of sexual expl

    April 18, 2014

  • Wildlife service to conduct burnings CLINTON -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct several prescribed burns this spring. The burns will take place on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. Sites planned for burning

    April 18, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook