The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 31, 2013

Tide beginning to change for Clinton area

There’s something different about Clinton in 2013.

We’re only five months into the year, but already, this is unlike any other year that I’ve spent in the city.

I will mark five years of being a Clinton resident in June, and the amount of positive change happening in our city (and neighboring towns) has been unseen at least for the last five years, and judging on many attitudes of residents, much longer than that.

The announcement made by Cove Point Holdings to locate Clysar’s corporate headquarters in the Gateway area is not earth-shattering in its job-creating potential; instead, it’s an investment in an area that has seen too many services move out, rather than move in.

It was only two years ago that large employer Thomas & Betts left Clinton, consolidating its operation to two facilities in Tennessee.

The state of Iowa also has shown its distaste for the area in the last few years, shutting down the workforce development office and the social security office.

And that’s only the last couple of years. It hasn’t been easy in the 21st Century, but the tide is changing.

When I first heard about a meeting regarding Bemis Clysar, I feared the worst. Maybe it’s the “cynic journalist” in me, or I’ve seen too many headlines in our newspaper about companies moving, but I didn’t expect a good result.

But my suspicions were proved wrong.

This announcement goes much further than just a company moving into Clinton. It represents a changing perception that has surfaced during the past year.

I’ve written numerous times about perception and how I much I believe that it matters. Perception is reality, and even if that perception isn’t true, it doesn’t matter unless something is done to change that outlook.

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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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