• What do you bring to the table by way of experience, education, training, temperament or otherwise that will allow you to make a significant contribution to the work of the council?
Through those questions and the responses the candidates brought forth, the goal was to find out how much each knows about the city of Clinton and the issues it faces — among them budget shortfalls, balancing services with their costs, and negativity — and to see what they would do to not only correct problems but also to propel Clinton to become an even better place to live and work.
We heard a lot of good answers.
Among them are the need to keep spending in line, balance the budget to cover costs and ensuring the council receives financial reports in a timely manner to make informed decisions. They all addressed improving the perception that some have of Clinton; in other words, countering negativity by letting constituents know about all the good things happening here and the amenities available to them. They cited the need for more openness in government and a desire to change the city committee process in order to have more discussion among the council and residents as decisions are being made.
We do wish we would have heard solid ideas to reverse the financial path we have been on — although the idea of bringing in more business was tossed around a lot. However, we were inspired by the candidates’ desire to improve the attitude residents have by speaking with them about issues of concern and getting out positive messages. That’s a great learning point for people here — be it the mayor, a city council member or a city department head: Just by embracing this concept they can boost morale throughout the city right out of the gate.