The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

October 30, 2013

Jennifer Graf

(Continued)

3. What challenges do you anticipate you will face as a Clinton City Council member?

The city needs to continue to work at communications to bring the public into our decision making process and for us to receive their message so we are all on the same page. Oftentimes we are on the same page, we just aren’t listening. Right now we operate in a system of committees of three council people who then bring their voted outcome to Committee of the Whole every other Tuesday evening. If a decision is needed, it then passes on to the next council meeting. This process isn’t conducive to bringing the public into the fold at all levels of decision making and even limits who could serve on the council to retired or wealthy individuals since those meetings are during daytime business hours. We need to design a better option to work in partnership with the public. Funding for essential services is also an extremely important issue. Everyone wants and needs new roads, but it is a question of how to pay for those wants and needs. I hear how some say they want no new taxes yet insist we should continue a roads program that is directly related to taxes.

4. What solutions do you see for those challenges?

I would like to see us eliminate the committee system and add two Tuesday night council meetings so the public has an opportunity to participate, interact and/or watch the broadcast of our discussions. This would be empowering for them and cultivate a climate of teamwork for our community – which is what we should be doing. For the second challenge of roads improvement, I would see the solution as voting yes on the ballot on Nov. 5 are not a priority now, then the beauty of our democracy is you can vote your position. Which is exactly why we put both items on the ballot. It is you the people who will decide at what level we focus on road improvements.

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