Planning to do something about recreation
City Manager Bill Cannon has a stack of recreation plans for Clinton sitting on a table in his office in the M.S. Bailey Municipal Center; he said there are between eight and 10 plans and studies that have been done over the years.
There are also drawings for a baseball/softball/soccer complex at PC, an outdoor basketball facility at Martha Dendy Community Center and a tennis complex, including a stadium court, at Clinton Middle School.
Clinton began collecting a local hospitality tax and a local accommodations tax 10 years ago with the goal that the money would be used to construct and maintain recreation facilities here. For the moment, the plans are just drawing dust in Cannon’s office.
At the Feb. 5 Clinton City Council meeting, Cannon said he wants to get input from council and begin to move the plans forward.
“We’ve got all kinds of plans,” Cannon said. “My suggestion is we call the (city council) recreation committee together, have a workshop and talk about the plans and then develop a master plan and start working toward this.”
Mayor Bob McLean and council members Jimmy Young and Robbie Neal are on the recreation committee. The committee last met April 24, 2017. At that meeting, the only item on the agenda was an executive session to discuss a “potential contractual matter with Presbyterian College.” No action was taken.
“When I interviewed (for the job as city manager) on two occasions, recreation was a big issue,” Cannon said in a Feb. 8 interview.
“I’m looking for input from council. What do they want? We need community input, too. We’ll do the best we can with the money available,” Cannon said.
The city manager said he hopes the recreation committee will hold at least one public input session. “The pubic needs to buy in on it,” Cannon said. “It’s their community.”
Cannon said he wants to lay out all the plans for the committee – to refresh their memory of what the city already has done. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but things change. The community changes. What the community wants changes,” he said.
Cannon said he hopes to schedule a recreation committee meeting in the next week or two so a report can be given at council’s March 5 meeting.
City Council voted 7-0 at council’s Feb. 5 meeting to appoint the new city manager as the city’s alternate on the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency board of directors.
Mayor Bob McLean serves as the city’s representative on the board. The alternate board member serves as the city’s voting member if the board member is absent from a PMPA board meeting.
Prior to the action last week, Dale Satterfield, the director of public works who was serving as interim city manager, was the alternate PMPA board member for Clinton.
Since Clinton became one of the 10 founding members of PMPA in the late 1970s, eight city managers have served as the board member, while two mayors have served as the voting board member.
A city council member has been named the alternate one time, the mayor has been alternate three times, the public works director was the alternate four times and the mayor was the alternate three times.
Randy Randall was the first mayor and only other mayor to serve as the voting board member, for four months in 2007. Randall returned to the PMPA board in 2009 and served until 2013.
For a majority of the years Clinton has been in PMPA, there was not an elected official as either of the city’s representatives with the current city manager serving as the voting member and the public works director as the alternate.