The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 23, 2013

HERALD OPINION: City must move forward


The knee-jerk reaction by which that decision was made is appalling considering its debilitating effects on the city’s residents. There was still time to do more research and realize the case the city would present would be strong enough to challenge the allegations.

At the time, then-Mayor Rodger Holm said the internal investigation headed by attorneys for the city gave them significant evidence upon which the decision to settle was based.

If the attorneys weren’t qualified to perform that investigation, at least in the words of Hannafan, why weren’t more questions raised?

We’ve seen this before when someone tells City Council members something is in the city’s best interest, like better solid waste pickup, and the city winds up feeling its been sold a bill of goods.

We hope the city learns to do its due diligence when making decisions.

The city also has a lesson to learn from this trial about accepting responsibility instead of placing blame on the people who gave them advice.

Who made the decision to settle? The council approved, but who led them to this decision to settle?

Let’s take responsibility, move on and make a better city.

A forward-step would be for the city to focus on keeping department heads accountable and making sure employees are properly trained.

No matter how someone spins the EMS fiasco, there was a lack of accountability placed on the people in charge, and there were errors made by the city on too many occasions. Was it done with the intent to help the city’s coffers?

We doubt it. But the process was flawed.

City employees should be trained to follow guidelines — no matter how complicated they may be. If this can’t be accomplished and the city is set on delivering the service, then leaders should find another solution as they did when they outsourced ambulance billing. However, the city shouldn’t wait until it’s accused of defrauding the federal government before it recognizes what changes need to be made.

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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?

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