Local officials from Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will be joining Clinton officials and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce for the Mayor’s Summit in Washington D.C., this week. The summit gives local officials a chance to meet with state legislators to discuss issues in their area.

From Camanche, City Administrator Tom Roth and Mayor Ken Fahlbeck will be attending. Roth has participated in the summit for several years, while Fahlbeck is a first-time participant. Youth suicide prevention is a major concern that the two will be discussing with the legislators, according to Roth.

“We’re concerned with the changes in society for young people and in particular those in our area,” Roth said.

Fahlbeck says that suicides have been an issue for Camanche for several years.

“We’ve had trouble for 10 years or more with suicide in general, not just youth,” Fahlbeck said. “We want to look into federal programs to help with this in small-town communities.”

Fahlbeck says he finds the trip extremely important for developing strong communication with state legislators and supporting surrounding communities.

The trip will be different for Camanche this year since the Washington Boulevard project no longer needs additional funding. Roth says the most important thing about the trip is keeping state legislators aware of local issues.

“It’s important to keep the congressmen familiar with our area, so that if a situation arises there is a level of familiarity,” Roth said.

Fulton Mayor Larry Russell will be joining Camanche and Clinton officials on the trip for the first time. Both Russell and Roth agree that it is important to unify to represent the Gateway region.

“ What’s good for one is good for all,” Roth said.

U.S. 30, the Thomson Correctional Center and housing are major concerns for Fulton, according to Russell.

He says housing has become a major concern  recently and more affordable housing is needed. U.S. 30 is a great concern with the area being a transportation hub, Russell said.

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