The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

June 15, 2013

THE HERALD'S OPINION: Good job, Clinton City Council

CLINTON — It's been a long road, but the city of Clinton is just a few signatures away from having a permanent city administrator in place.

We say that with confidence after the Clinton City Council on Tuesday night authorized human resources consultant Paul Greufe to negotiate an acceptable contract with the council's favored candidate, interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser.

The council for the first time Tuesday publicly announced, one by one, whether they preferred Kinser — currently the city's finance director — or Ben Benson, assistant city manager with the city of Joliet, Ill.

The vote was unanimous to push forward with the creation of the contract for Kinser. While Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman was absent the night of the discussion, a 6-0 vote is a strong indication that the hiring will happen once the contract is agreed upon.

We cannot stress enough the importance this decision will have on Clinton from now and into the long-term future.

Right now, as we all know, the council and city is faced with economic woes, some that aren't that much different from other cities throughout the state and nation; others unique to the city itself.

It's no secret that Clinton's funding was running on a shoestring a few years ago  — the city even had to borrow to make payroll, as we recall, and city officials said our financial reporting was such a mess that they didn't even know where we stood.

But now, just a little over a year since Kinser joined the finance department, the city is able to handle curveballs such as the ADM ruling that reduced its property valuation and caused Kinser and city officials to have to find $1.1 million in the budget, and quickly.

They did it.

This is just one small piece of a larger financial puzzle that the council is charged with putting together on a monthly and yearly basis as it builds what hopefully will be a strong foundation for the future.

Those skills and so much more are required by everyone who plays a role in leading the city — and finding a city administrator who can help put it all together is no easy task.

The council did it right by having the community-based committee involved in the interview process. And we want to congratulate the council on carrying out a transparent process throughout — that's important because Clinton's leaders throughout the past few years have not been perceived as being transparent in some of their dealings.

But just because we are almost at the end of the road in this process, it is easy to see there is a lot to do to get and keep this city on track.

Along the way, accountability will be key for that to happen — and we mean that not only for the council, but for the city administrator, all the department heads she will oversee and the workers in those departments.

It only will be when everyone — officials and residents, alike — are on the same page and work together, fully, to get to the same goal, that we truly will get to where we need and want to be.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Amid Russian warning, Ukraine's in a security bind

    Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would mount a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine. Although he did not specifically say Russia would launch a military attack, his comments bolstered wide concern that Russia could use any violence in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for sending in troops.

    April 23, 2014

  • UN seeks probe of alleged chlorine gas in Syria

    The U.N. Security Council called for an investigation Wednesday into reports of alleged chlorine gas use in some Syrian towns, causing deaths and injuries.

    Nigeria's U.N. Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu, the current council president, said the allegations were raised during a closed-door council meeting following a briefing Wednesday by Sigrid Kaag, who heads the mission charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

    Justin Bieber apologized Wednesday to those he offended by visiting a Japanese war shrine, saying he thought it was a beautiful site and only a place of prayer.

    The Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo enshrines 2.5 million war dead, including Japan's 14 convicted war criminals, and operates a war museum that defends Japan's wartime aggression. It is a flashpoint between Japan and its neighbors that see the shrine as distinct from other Shinto-style establishments mainly honoring gods of nature. China and South Korea in particular see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and consider Japanese officials' visits there as a lack of understanding or remorse over wartime history.

    April 23, 2014

  • Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

    Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in the use of the internet.

    The high court heard arguments in a dispute between television broadcasters and Aereo Inc., which takes free television signals from the airwaves and charges subscribers to watch the programs on laptop computers, smartphones and even their large-screen televisions. The case has the potential to bring big changes to the television industry.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

    An Army private convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday to living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

    The decision clears the way for official changes to Manning's military records, but does not compel the military to treat the soldier previously known as Bradley Edward Manning as a woman.

    April 23, 2014

  • First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

    To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.

    April 23, 2014

  • Schultz deputy lost duties, kept pay

    Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who is running for Congress as a budget-cutting conservative, allowed his top aide to keep collecting a $126,000 annual salary for months after deciding to eliminate his job, The Associated Press has learned.

    Schultz decided in May 2012 to cut the office's chief deputy position held for 17 months by Jim Gibbons, a former Iowa State wrestling coach and Republican congressional candidate, under a restructuring that ultimately saved money. But rather than dismiss Gibbons quickly as he did to four career workers laid off that summer, Schultz took unusual steps that kept his political appointee on the payroll through the end of the year.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video