The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Reader adds to candidate information

(Continued)

Selling the municipal dock is a good example. That scarce river terminal was Clinton’s first revenue-producing asset, bringing in $300,000 per year. I spoke against the sale at audience comment and as soon as that portion of the meeting was over Councilmember Jennifer Graf had to reaffirm with the city attorney the number of votes she needed to prevent any veto on the decision. She got her answer, made a motion to sell the municipal dock and got the necessary votes. We all wonder where those proceeds are today but I am sure they are no doubt spent and forgotten except for the $62,000 that was recently mentioned in the paper.

This is a huge loss to the city of Clinton! I could almost have cried. We have some bullying going on for those who say the Mayor does not have a right to have an opinion or a veto or enter into any discussion at a meeting.

They should read section 3.4 of the Home Rule Charter, Clinton, Iowa. The Mayor is not getting the respect the position calls for. He is elected by all the voting citizens of Clinton, not by the City Council or any members who chose to show everyone their lack of civility.

As a councilman, I was Clinton’s representative on the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency for four years. (I prefer to call it the dump.) Councilmember Graf’s attempt to save $130,000 or more at the dump was and is not a noble gesture. Ask the Camanche representative and he will tell you that Camanche and other smaller municipalities in Clinton County are not willing to take a hit because Clinton has spent all their money and can’t afford the per capita rate. I was always very sensitive about this stacked vote with the smaller communities. Let me explain this stacked vote based on population: Clinton has 27 votes, CLinton County 9 votes, DeWitt 6 votes, Camanche 5 votes, all other towns or municipalities 1 vote for each for a total of 58 votes. It takes a two-thirds majority to pass anything. The present per capita rates were voted in and approved about nine years ago. Former councilman and mayor Rodger Holm was our representative at that time. The Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency is fiscally responsible and doing well at this time and they also don’t need to take a hit due to the fact that Clinton is out of money. It doesn’t take much of this to look like a bully tactic.

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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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