Clinton City Council on Monday night presented Keys to the City and resolutions of commendations to two retiring members - Mayor Bob McLean, for 14 years of service, and Shirley Jenkins, for nearly 30 years of service.
The ceremony was conducted by Mayor Pro-tem Ronnie Roth, himself a candidate for mayor in today’s (March 7) Municipal Elections, with family members reading the resolutions.
The council also voted to rename Oak Street Park, in Jenkins’ Ward 4 neighborhood, in Mrs. Jenkins’ honor.
The resolutions highlight their contributions to the city through many municipal committees and organizations.
For Jenkins, the park renaming was an overwhelming surprise.
“We have tried to keep that park clean and keep it going,” she said. “We need citizens help in keep neighborhoods and parks clean.”
Jenkins said she never intended to be a city council member for nearly 3 decades, but “there were so many projects I wanted to see fulfilled.”
In an emotional talk, McLean thanked his family and business associates for allowing him the time to devote to the city. He thanked former city manager Frank Stovall for revamping the Clinton Economic Development Corporation into a working body that has been able to build and sell two spec buildings and develop the I-26-Hwy 72 gateway corridor. He said Stovall “put up with” his crazy ideas, like asking The State to deed surplus property at Whitten Center to the City - which has been done - and represents a development that “has the opportunity to change the city forever.” He thanked Homes for Hope for building affordable housing on Hwy 308 - “we need about 300 more of those,” the mayor said - and thanked Public Works for following through on his idea to acquire the demolish dilapidated building, removing 75 from the city in an idea McLean said he borrowed from Sumter.
He said, “Crazy ideas are no good without someone to carry them through.”
McLean thanked former city manager Bill Ed Cannon for having the foresight to recommend the city acquire 80 acres adjacent to the city recreation complex land of 160 acres, for potential residential development. “We’ve already been offered $1 Million for that property,” he said.
McLean also thanked Public Works and city staff for acquiring more than $8 Million in grants over the past 10 years for infrastructure.
He also pointed out that city personnel did the landscaping city welcoming signs on I-26 at Hwy 72 — “Another local city tried to copy us,” he said, “but ours looks better.”
Clinton has 800 new houses coming, has stabilized electric rates with no increases and one decrease in the past decade, now has $150,000 coming in from the County Transportation Committee because Clinton (and Laurens) has two representatives on that group which spends State roads money in Laurens County, also has an industry coming into the city’s second spec building that will bring in 200 jobs at $20/hour and will be the city’s second largest electricity user (and payer), and the city has committed $1.6 Million to a swimming pool project at the Clinton Family YMCA.
“Lots of campaign promisers were made, and I have tried to follow through on them,” said McLean, who also thanked all the candidates signed up for Mayor and City Council seats in the March 7 Municipal Election. He closed with the brief speech “The Man in the Arena”:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” — Teddy Roosevelt, in Paris on April 23, 1910.
View the March 6 Clinton City Council meeting here.
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