Newly-elected Clinton mayor Phil Fisher is ready to lead the city in a new direction. His past experience serving as a Hinds county supervisor and Clinton alderman led him to his success this past June at the polls. Taking on this office as the newest Clinton leader in 20 years, Fisher brings a fresh insight and changes for the future.
Fisher’s biggest concern at present has been the city’s money problem. With Clinton facing a more than $250,000 possible budget deficit, the new mayor has implemented an economic development committee whose goal is to re-evaluate what is necessary for spending and create an entirely new budget.
“If it’s not important enough to fund, cut it,” Fisher said. He stated that the city budget should be dealt with “truthfully, logically, and realistically.” All present expenditures have been put on hold, and future ones have to be approved by him first.
Until this new budget takes effect next year, the mayor has issued a hiring freeze in Clinton. However, true to his earlier promise, Fisher has made an exception with the filling of 5 Clinton police officer positions. One of his priorities is to make the city a safer place, and more CPD positions will be filled in the coming months.
In addition to adding more officers, Fisher is also overseeing emergency response training for the city. He said that the emergency crews of Clinton need to be ready for anything. The mayor has plans for a new fire station as well.
Fisher has focused on making Clinton stand out. He envisions a place that not only draws tourists in and makes them want to come back, but also a city where residents want to stay and raise families.
“Clinton has to be different from the other cities in the county if we want people to come,” Fisher said.
He believes that building businesses on both the retail and industrial level will aid in this process by offering a unique shopping experience for visitors as well as more stable jobs for residents and Mississippi College graduates.
The mayor’s team includes a new Communications Director who will relay important information to the public and improve the city’s social media. Clinton will have a new website coming in September with various tools to help answer questions people may have, as well as inform them of upcoming events or construction and emergency information.
There is also the future possibility of city meetings being streamed online for public viewing.
A new landscape development team will also lead in improving the appearance and atmosphere of the town. By growing their own flowers, this team of landscaping professionals is helping to make Clinton a more independent and beautiful city.
However, the mayor also stressed the importance of volunteers who serve the community and aid in making Clinton a place that caters to the needs of its residents. “Together we can do anything,” he stated as his motto.
Fisher acknowledges that Mississippi College is known for its academic excellence and is a good asset to Clinton because it gives the city a great academic reputation.
He believes that MC students are also Clinton residents add life to the community, and he wants to make this town a place that benefits those who decide to study here.
The new mayor supports events such as Back to the Bricks, which allow MC students to connect with local businesses and Clinton residents. Fisher also wants to see Clinton have more of a “college town” feel with a new park, as well as bike trails that may traverse the entire city. In fact, he pushed for bike racks that were recently installed around town.
Fisher understands that working together and communicating well with MC representatives enables both the college and the city to help each other and create a more successful community.
Mayor Fisher wants Mississippi College to know that he is open to all suggestions, questions, and opinions. His message to new students is, “Welcome. Be a part of the city. Tell me your interests and what you want to see changed.”
– Abbie Walker, News Editor