City departments in good hands

Published 7:30 am Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning the qualifications of the new director of the Clanton Housing Authority, Ron Jones, certainly provides comfort about the leadership he will be able to provide.

Jones’ parents both worked in public housing, and he started helping when he was just 13 years old. Prior to coming to Clanton, Jones served as a consultant to housing authority directors in Atlanta and Birmingham for 18 years.

Some steps have already been taken to ensure Clanton’s public housing–which Jones said has a reputation as being among the best in the state–becomes even more of a service to the city (see the Friday, March 8 edition of the newspaper). Of course, even more steps will be taken in the future.

Reading Jones’ comments about his plans for the Housing Authority is a reminder of the commendable leadership in place in the city, as other recent news has demonstrated.

Though the city is experiencing steady growth, Clanton Police Department reported a 5 percent decrease in the overall number of crime cases from 2011 to 2012. Much of the progress can surely be attributed to a re-organization of the department under the watch of Chief Brian Stilwell, who increased the number of investigators on staff from one to seven during his four-plus years in his position.

Clanton’s police force can now take a proactive approach, identifying criminals before they commit crimes instead of waiting on the crimes to occur and then picking up the pieces.

Fire Chief David Driver, meanwhile, is overseeing the final phases of the construction of a third fire station in the northern part of town off Lay Dam Road. The third station is important to a solid city infrastructure as Clanton grows.

Clanton offers much to both current residents and prospective ones, including the points already mentioned plus nice parks, reasonable utilities and more. Much of the credit goes to the department heads who, along with the mayor and city council, work to make sure the city is attractive.