Positioning Clinton for the future

I’ve had the good fortune, and honor, of promoting a process that I believe is important for the success of our community.  The City of Clinton has not updated its comprehensive plan since 1995 and steps are currently being taken to create a new plan. 

I’ve been an advocate for an updated plan for the past couple of years and the process is finally coming to fruition.  A contract is in place with The Zimmer Group who will help lead us through the process and I feel really good about their expertise and approach.

A comprehensive plan is important for a number of reasons.  The plan helps with planning of city services and allocation of city resources but most importantly, the planning process we’re about to begin, will help position Clinton for Economic Development success.  The world is changing and cities like Clinton are no longer competing with similar cities in the US, instead, Clinton is competing for business and industry with cities in China, Brazil and other  points across the globe.  If we ignore the effects of globalization, we will pay dearly.

Below is a letter that is being shared with the membership of the Greater Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce.  I thought you might find the information useful and informative.

Dear Chamber Member,

We are partnering with the City of Clinton to engage the completion of a new comprehensive plan for our community.  It has been nearly 20 years since the last plan was completed and recommendations from that plan have been instrumental in our growth over the past two decades.   A community’s comprehensive plan is the backbone around which we organize efforts for major improvements to the community.   I’m sure you’ll agree that a new plan is long past due.

Over the last few months, representatives from your Chamber Board have worked alongside City representatives to identify the elements of the plan, review proposals from prospective consultants and complete interviews.   The Zimmer Group from Kansas City was selected as our partner.   A substantial part of our decision to choose the Zimmer Group was based upon the economic development expertise they bring to the table.  What sets this plan apart from traditional comprehensive plans is the focus on economic development and this plan can be thought of as an economic development plan.

Plan development will begin soon and will be nearly a 12-month process.  Throughout the process there will be opportunities for the public, and especially our business community, to provide input.  I strongly encourage you to participate in the process so that your opinions about the future direction of our community are heard.

A comprehensive plan is a substantial investment.  As you are aware, most public entities are challenged to meet the expenses of public services.  Our city is no different in that they have to make difficult choices as to where to spend our tax dollars.  The Chamber feels strongly about the value of the plan and we believe this process helps to position Clinton for future success.  In order to move the plan forward, as partners, our Chamber agreed to solicit half the cost, $60,000.  Fundraising efforts are underway and the support of our membership is needed.  We encourage you to consider investing in Clinton’s future and investing in the continued success of your business by contributing to the effort.

Successful communities move forward by developing key public/private partnerships.  Those that depend solely upon public entities will fall behind or completely falter.  The time has come to take a bold step, in partnership with our city leadership, towards ensuring a promising future and additional economic opportunity for Clinton and the surrounding area. 

We welcome your commitment.  Your past, present and future Board Presidents are actively leading this effort:  Craig Thompson – 890-7105, myself – 885-7755 and Cynthia Glasscock – 885-2241.  Please contact any of us or our Chamber Executive, Kelli Jenkins at 885-8166, if you have any questions or would like to discuss pledge options.


Ernie Stasshelm

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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