The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

October 30, 2013

Reader supports Determann for council

Four years ago, we citizens voted in four new people to city council. This decision gave them controlling interest on the council. Today, three out of the four are again running for office. These four have made mistakes that have cost the taxpayers of Clinton $14,950,000 plus they took on new bonded debt of $86 million for a total of $100,950,000. Their decisions have affected the financial well-being of the community and affected every taxpayer in Clinton.

Following is the list of mistakes:

• EMS settlement: $4.5 million. At the beginning of their terms, the incumbents paid the federal government for the EMS settlement, they tried to get their money back by suing the attorney they hired and lost. This cost all of us hundreds of thousands of dollars.

• Municipal dock: $6.3 million in an asset and $300,000 in annual rent. After the EMS settlement, the city ran out of money. It was forced to sell a top-notched asset — the municipal dock — for a little over $6 million. Less than two years later that money is gone. The yearly rent from the dock is gone forever. This asset was sold without taking bids.

• Early retirement: $1.8 million. The incumbents gave 10 people $180,000 each in retirement benefits.

• Bike path to nowhere: $300,000. The schools and incumbents wanted a bike path for the new north-end elementary school alongside Miller Ridge Apartments. The city decided on the location and borrowed $300,000 to build it only to have the schools declare it unsafe.

• Chancy Fire Station: $750,000. The citizens of Clinton voted this down and the incumbents lowered the building cost to be under their legal limit so that they could move forward to build it without citizen approval.

• 37 closed sessions

• 25 lawsuits

• Attorney fees: $750,000

• Financing police cars: $100,000

• City Service fees: Garbage fees, sewer fees, building fees, RV fees — everything has gone up over past four years

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Poll

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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