The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 25, 2013

LEVINE: Picking Clinton as a home

By Scott Levine
Herald Associate Editor

---- — One month after completing another task to add to my busiest year of my life, I’m still tripping over boxes in my new home.

My family moved to a house more accommodating to our growing family, and although many of the rooms are ready, we’re still seeing boxes popping up everywhere. I don’t remember so much stuff being in boxes during our last move more than five years ago.

Maybe the added two bodies in our household have something to do with it.

During our process of boxing up our necessities, we realized most of our junk hasn’t been used since we moved to Clinton. But I’m sure we’ll use it now since we have uncovered them...

Overall, though, the move hasn’t been too bad, considering we had to completely empty our house, load them into a massive truck, unload them into our new house and then find a place for everything in our new house. Needless to say, the final part of that equation isn’t quite complete yet, and by conversations I’ve had with others, that likely won’t happen for a long time.

But this column isn’t about only moving, and the difficulties presented by moving with two small children (although I’m sure a whole book could be written about that topic). Instead, I want to focus on many conversations my wife and I had before moving.

We weren’t sure about staying in Clinton. We have no roots here and my wife works in a different town, so staying in Clinton wasn’t necessary. We had to decide on our future, because in our mind, the house we purchased will be our home for the long haul.

In all honesty, when we came to Clinton more than five years ago, we didn’t believe this was our “home.” I was focused on a career, moving up to bigger newspapers, while my wife would stand beside me through the journey.

Like most plans, those fell through.

Life happened. We have two wonderful (OK, most of the time wonderful) children, and my wife and I enjoy our jobs.

So staying in this region was necessary, but being in Clinton wasn’t.

We chose Clinton because we like it here. I’m sure if you’ve read my columns during the past few weeks, you may say, “boy Scott, you definitely have an odd way of showing your love of your town.”

Sure, I’ve written during the past month about my frustrations with large-item pickup. But I write about that because I care about what happens to the residents and what the city does in helping make Clinton a better place to live.

Not everything can be rosy. There are some things that are negative about what the City Council does and there are some positives. It goes the same way about the city as a whole. But just because I point out an occasional negative doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy living here.

I love the Mississippi River and the amount of things to do. I grew up in a town of about 8,000 people, and I thought the world of it. I still like the town, but during a recent trip back there, my wife and I drove around, remarking how much more there was to do in Clinton.

I’ve written about this countless times before, but there’s endless things to do here, but it seems sometimes people don’t know about them. For children, there’s always something to do. Whether it’s pottery, going to the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center or just playing in one of the many parks in this area, there’s an opportunity to enjoy Clinton on almost any occasion.

There were several other factors, one being familiarity with the area and the access to quality education, as big reasons why we chose Clinton.

Sure, I may disagree with some things happening in this town. But I want Clinton to be the best city in Iowa. That should be all our goals and if you take time to listen to people, you’ll hear several ways on how to make the city better.

I want my children to enjoy Clinton as much as my wife and I do, because for them and for me, Clinton is our home.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at