Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First


The Observer's Daria Anderson-Faden asked questions. New Kimball City Administrator Annette Brower answered them. This report is the first of two parts this week and next.

What is the one thing that the city did very well this past year?

One of the best things that the City accomplished this year was building on our collaboration between the City Boards. We scheduled joint Board of Public Works and City Council meetings to discuss future changes ahead of us; we worked openly together to plan on how to prepare and budget for the next fiscal year while also looking together at the long term future of Kimball and what we will need to accomplish.

The City was able to continue working on that collaboration with the County Commissioners, who are also driven to strengthen the relationships and communications between the County and City entities. Along with quarterly joint meetings to stay on the same page with projects and community needs such as supporting the new hospital, Clean Harbors' expansion, Defense Department missile project, the potential for a resort and racetrack and working on keeping the lines of communication open, I believe we are on a great path.

What do you need to do to turn that success into a repeatable process?

To turn this success into a repeatable process, we need to keep up the open communications we've established with one another regardless of how full our different schedules become. We need to remember what our common goals are for the community and not allow ourselves to become so consumed by our daily duties and obligations that we become too busy to make the time to meet and continue our progress.

What is the one thing you know your municipality needs to improve on? 

The one item our municipality needs to improve upon is how we as an entity is perceived and the false perceptions that are apparent. For example, when a water main broke during the Summer months the perception was that when water bills were received, the City was raising rates to pay for the repairs. This is not the case at all, and as a municipality we cannot legally raise any rates without resolutions passed by the Boards at a public hearing and publishing notices of the changes. There is no way to just "charge more" within our billing system. Any rate changes are also noted when we are audited yearly should they occur. We need to find ways to educate the public on the process of their local government, who makes what decisions, how those changes are passed legally etc. and communicate that information in a way that it reaches the most people.