The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 4, 2013

Councilman: Slow down on Building and Neighborhood Services' reorganization

On Tuesday night, Nov. 26, City Administrator Jessica Kinser presented a four-page report to the Clinton City Council with a proposal to reorganize the Building Neighborhood Service Department and place the BNS Department under the control of the Clinton Fire Department.

The BNS Department has had significant management and organizational problems for several years. Plus, a lot of time and money has been spent in trying to make this department work; including the purchase of a building on Fifth Avenue that was never needed.

Kinser had four months to examine the BNS Department. Now, she offers the Clinton Fire Department as a last minute solution to the problem. Quite frankly, I expected better from Kinser. Why? Because city administrators are supposedly trained to offer various options when dealing with important problems.

Reorganizing the BNS Department is a major policy decision. There were clearly at least three options Kinser should have examined and presented to the council.

One: Draw up a plan predicated on using privatization. Examine various ways to contract the service out by hiring a private company or consulting firm to provide the service.

Two: Prepare a plan based on hiring qualified personnel, that have the educational background, and training that are needed to run this department. No matter what!

Three: Issue the report on using the Clinton Fire Department. This time include more detail and outline some of the important pros and cons of using the Fire Department.

There was absolutely nothing in this report regarding creative thoughts, ideas or suggestions as to how other options could save money. The report also lacked a great deal of key information on long-term cost, staffing, funding, fee structures, job descriptions, duties and much more for the BNS plan that was recommended.

The whole decision-making process revolved around one point, that Kinser was worried about some self-imposed Jan. 1 budget deadline. Budgets can be amended.

Text Only
  • Walter Williams mug Wage discrimination everywhere 'President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Community College provides good, affordable education The people of the Clinton area can be very proud of their outstanding educational services starting with pre-school through the 12th grade. In addition we have Clinton Community College, which provides two more years of education with preparation for

    April 24, 2014

  • Will Illinois school aid formula get a makeover? People in Illinois hear a lot about schools not getting enough funding from the state, but not much about an effort afoot in Springfield to develop a fairer way to distribute the money. Whether Senate Bill 16, the School Funding Reform Act, can achie

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Race card season again? After years of mostly hedging any suggestion that racism has anything to do with President Barack Obama's ferocious opposition, there's a new racial etiquette in town. Top Democrats are slipping off the kid gloves. "To a significant extent, the Repub

    April 21, 2014

  • Report suggests a reasonable approach Illinois has long had the most units of government in the nation - 6,963 at last count. Do we need so many taxing districts to provide governmental services across the Land of Lincoln? Supporters and opponents of the status quo can both find somethin

    April 21, 2014

  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results