The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 8, 2013

LEVINE: Work just beginning for new council members

By Scott Levine Herald Associate Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — Another election is in the books, and while much has changed on the seats of the Camanche and Clinton city councils, not much has changed in citizens’ interest in municipal elections.

The turnout was 20 percent, lower than the municipal election two years ago and higher than the at-large contest four years ago in Clinton. In Camanche, 33 percent came to vote. That’s a good number for municipal elections, but still disappointing when considering 72 percent of people in Clinton County voted last year in the general election.

Unfortunately I’m preaching to the choir. Many readers vote and let their voices be heard on Tuesday.

However, many citizens didn’t.

The people that are now in charge on the Camanche and Clinton city councils will make decisions that will affect your way of life. Roads are a major topic in both towns, and I’m sure many voters walk, bike and drive those roads every day.

The men and women serving on the city councils will decide what roads get repaired and whether they should fund those or not with the depleting funds in each cites’ budget.

But 80 percent of people in Clinton didn’t see the merit in voicing their opinion about whether those roads should be fixed or not. Roads are just one of many examples, including the two ballot measures that were considered by the city of Clinton.

Those measures dealt specifically with your pocketbook. Increasing taxes or finding ways to fund sewer and street improvements isn’t important enough for 80 percent of citizens to spend five minutes filling in a few circles.

I’ve never understood why local elections get so little fanfare.

Regardless of the turnout, the elections still sent a message of people’s strong urge to replace current council members with new ones. It happened in the previous two city elections I’ve covered, and this one was no different.

For the ones that didn’t win, I hope they stay involved. I was lucky enough to sit in on interviews the candidates had with the editorial board, and I was impressed with many of the candidates’ views.

Those views are still needed on committees.

For the ones that won, their work is just beginning. Time and time again, each candidate expressed a desire for openness in government and an ability to shore up the budget.

We hope they are passionate about those topics when they are sitting in council chambers.

As the new year begins with the new faces on the council, we hope they can work together as a group and with City Administrator Jessica Kinser.

Everyone’s goal should be the same — make Clinton the best city it can be. And that can only be achieved with common goals and a vision.

Weekly picks

I haven’t had much room lately in my column, so I’ve skipped out on my duties in selecting weekly games.

I’m back this week, and college football is beginning to heat up.

The Hawks are looking to grab a bowl bid with a win at Purdue and the Cyclones are just looking for a win. Either way, it should be an interesting November for most college football fans.

Like always, feel free to go toe-to-toe with me, and log on to www.clintonherald.com and click on the College Football Sweepstakes. If you do well, you will be in a drawing for a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate. - See more at: http://clintonherald.com/opinion/x934962751/City-makes-right-move#sthash.sfbLKfLi.dpuf

Like always, feel free to go toe-to-toe with me, and log on to www.clintonherald.com and click on the College Football Sweepstakes. If you do well, you will be in a drawing for a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate.

Florida State vs. Wake Forest; Missouri vs. Kentucky; Auburn vs. Tennessee; Kansas State vs. Texas Tech; Vanderbilt vs. Florida; TCU vs. Iowa State; Penn State vs. Minnesota; UAB vs. Marshall; Western Kentucky vs. Army; SMU vs. Cincinnati; Iowa vs. Purdue; Appalachian State vs. Georgia; Virginia vs. North Carolina; Tulane vs. UTSA; Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M; Illinois vs. Indiana; Syracuse vs. Maryland; Nebraska vs. Michigan; Boston College vs. New Mexico State; Tulsa vs. East Carolina; Kansas vs. Oklahoma State; Virginia Tech vs. Miami; Texas vs. West Virginia; LSU vs. Alabama; Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.