Macomb Fifth Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter has spent nearly seven years on the city council. But he is stepping down with a year left in his term because he's moving out of his ward and about five miles west of town.
Hinderliter took part in his final city council meeting this week. He said he has enjoyed his time as an alderman. And he hoped the city will continue with efforts to revitalize the courthouse square. He said that’s especially important to him as a downtown business owner. He operates Vitamin Lady on the west side of the square.
“We need to do whatever we can to create economic growth,” Hinderliter said. “It’s all about economic development. If we are not growing we are dying. Whether it is a big box store, or a couple small businesses with a revamped square, or whatever.”
Despite the state of Illinois' fiscal uncertainty and the lack of a state budget, Hinderliter said Macomb is in good hands financially. He credits that largely to the work of City Administrator Dean Torreson, who is retiring this month.
“When Mr. Torreson first came on board as the city administer, we only had about a million dollars in reserves. Now, we have about $5 million in reserves. That equivocates to almost about 6 months operating capital and general funds. If worst comes to worst, and no money comes from the state, we can still continue to do the job,” said Hinderliter.
Hinderliter said he’s not done with politics. He's one of six people to file for three seats that will be up for election in McDonough County Board District 1 this fall. "I’ll try to do the same thing there that I did here, do the right thing for the right reasons for the most good for the most people at the least cost.”
As for the now vacant city council seat, Mayor Mike Inman hoped to appoint someone to fill it by the middle of next month. He’s asking anyone interested in representing the fifth ward for the remainder of the term expiring April 30, 2017 to submit a resume to the mayor’s office.