Leadership, a publisher's perspective

Just like the watchman of Biblical times, if they don’t sound the alarm, it’s ultimately the people that suffer. Clinton City Council needs to realize that they need to be the boss. They have to lead."

PUBLISHER: Clinton City Council — Time to lead.

 

 

By Brian Whitmore

 

Covering Clinton City Council’s meeting on Monday was like watching the Atlanta Falcons — you start out with high expectations, but in the end nothing is accomplished.

 

Hey, it’s government. Sometimes it’s better when they don’t get anything accomplished. But when people beg you to lead, when they beg you to just take a vote, and you sit there like a knot on a log, well that’s a little much.

 

Ever since I’ve been in Clinton, I’ve heard people rip on City Manager Bill Ed Cannon and the Mayor Bob McLean. Sometimes they deserve it, sometimes they don’t. But you know who the people of Clinton should be furious with? — the six members of City Council: Ward 1 – Danny Cook; Ward 2 — Shirley Jenkins; Ward 3 — Robbie Neal; Ward 4 — Gary Kuykendall; Ward 5 — Ronnie Roth; and Ward 6 — Megan Walsh.

 

They are the watchmen for this great City. And just like the watchman of Biblical times, if they don’t sound the alarm, it’s ultimately the people that suffer.

 

Clinton City Council needs to realize that they need to be the boss. They have to lead.

 

Let’s look at it in business terms. Under a council-manager form of government, the Council is the Board of Directors; the City Manager is the CEO and the Mayor, elected citywide, has a largely ceremonial role with a single vote, just like the six council members.

 

The City Manager is over day-to-day operations. He is not the owner. The Council, representing the people of Clinton, is the owner.

 

The Mayor is the face of the City. He is not the owner. The Council, representing the people of Clinton, is the owner.

 

So, who is leading whom?

 

At Monday's meeting, it didn’t look like anybody had the reigns.

 

First Susan Galloway of Clinton Canopy practically begged Council not to squander the opportunity of a $99,000 state grant to fund Millers Fork Trail, which would be the City’s first nature trail. 

 

Cannon doesn’t want the trail. His main reason was that the City does not have jurisdiction.

 

Now Cannon has a right to his opinion, but his job is to carry out the City Council’s agenda, not the other way around.

 

Council listened to Galloway and Cannon. Council gave no motions and took no vote.

 

Next up, a new Clinton public library downtown. Now this project depends on the County’s penny sales tax passing and we both know that likely will not happen. Still, the developers have invested time and energy and City money ($15,000) in the project. They asked the City to sign off on the location, the former Industrial Supply Building.

 

Council gave no motions and took no vote.

 

Next up, how to spend a state accommodations tax surplus. Kay Addison and the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee did their job and outlined their recommendations. The money has to be used or lost. Addison said the Council should sign off by November.

 

Council gave no motions and took no vote. They were caught off guard and not prepared to vote. Addison — get an extension. We’ll get back to this.

 

I’m sure Council would say they were caught off guard and not prepared to vote on all these matters. Millers Fork should have been a slam-dunk, after all, the Council has requested three extensions to use the money. The library should have been a slam-dunk; they knew where the developer was locating the library when they gave them money to start the project.

 

As for the accommodations tax, well somebody dropped the ball and the Council should have been considering this months ago.

 

In conclusion, I’ll leave the Council with the words made famous on the T-Shirts of the late, great Dale Earnhardt …

 

“Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.”

 

Brian Whitmore is the publisher of The Chronicle. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. Whitmore can be reached at publisher@clintonchronicle.net.

 

City Council Members

Danny Cook, Ward 1
864-833-1588(W) 
(Term Expires 3/2021) 
email: dcook@cityofclintonsc.com

Shirley Jenkins, Ward 2
864-833-4943 (H) 
(Term Expires 3/2023)  
email: sjenkins@cityofclintonsc.com

Robbie Neal, Ward 3
864-981-9109 (Mobile) 
(Term Expires 3/2021)  
email: rneal@cityofclintonsc.com

Gary Kuykendall, Ward 4
864-833-6569(H); 864-684-4255 (Mobile) 
(Term Expires 3/2023)  
email: gkuykendall@cityofclintonsc.com or Gk73054@gmail.com 

Ronnie Roth, Mayor Pro Tem, Ward 5
864-923-3206
(Term Expires 3/2021)  
email: rroth@cityofclintonsc.com  or rroth@printersassociates.com

Megan Walsh, Ward 6
864-907-5525
(Term Expires 3/2023)  
email: mwalsh@cityofclintonsc.com

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