City leaders should be proactive

Published 9:29 am Thursday, August 9, 2012

Now is the perfect opportunity for the Ironton City Council to really start talking about where the city is at and where it is going.

Tonight’s meeting has just one item on the agenda and it looks to be an administrative measure. This comes on the heels of the previous meeting that lasted less than five minutes.

So, should citizens and taxpayers take it that everything is going so well for the city that there is nothing to talk about? Of course that isn’t the case.

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These are the times – before financial challenges and other crises occur – that city leaders must start working on a long-term, strategic plan.

Why wait until the end of the year approaches to start really discussing the budget? Where does the city stand compared to its plan adopted a few months ago? How are the negotiations with two of the city’s unions progressing? What steps are being taken to hire a wastewater plant superintendent and also develop depth in all the city’s departments? What will next year’s budget look like? How are the city’s various fee-based funds?

All these are legitimate questions.

City council members may know the answers to some, or even all of them, but the important thing is that these critical issues impacting the future of Ironton remain on the proverbial “front burner” and are discussed publicly.

Being proactive and spending a little extra time now could save a whole lot of it later.