New Whitewater city manager focuses on finances, employees
WHITEWATER Whitewater’s new city manager said he is confident he can continue successes and projects handed down from his predecessor.
“To begin with, Kevin Brunner left me with a great team of department directors,” Cameron Clapper said Thursday, his first day as city manager. “Since April 2010, I have served as assistant to the city manager, assistant city manager and interim city manager here in Whitewater, so I have the background to begin working with the staff right away.”
Clapper’s top priorities include the city’s annual budget and economic development.
“We’ve been working on the budget for months now, and that will dictate much of what we are able to do,” he said. “This requires working with the common council and with our employees.”
In terms of economic development, there are a few projects in the works Clapper cannot talk about, but he highlighted a recent success he will be monitoring to make sure all goes well.
“The Golden State Foods expansion is a recent project I’ll be watching closely to make sure it is completed as planned,” he said. “The recent addition of Pat Cannon as our director of economic development has been a big plus for us in that regard.”
Cannon has decades of experience in local government, including serving as city administrator in Sun Prairie.
The Golden State Foods expansion calls for a 45,000-square-foot addition to its distribution center, which serves 385 McDonald’s restaurants in four states.
“A goal of mine is to continue the successes we have seen in recent years,” Clapper said. “The business park, the technology park, our work with UW-Whitewater and the school district are all partnerships we want to continue to build on.”
Beyond the budget and economic development, Clapper said he wants to continue a tradition of open and transparent government and show that Whitewater city government continues to look for ways to be more efficient without degrading essential services.
“I want to send a message that we operate more like a small business than a bureaucracy,” Clapper said. “We are very lean with employees wearing multiple hats. We want to make sure that over time we don’t go too far, and I fear we are close to that now.”
Whitewater city employees have cooperated in the thinning process, Clapper said, and that needs to be recognized.
“I want to make sure our employees have the opportunity to grow within our organization,” he said. “I intend to encourage professional growth and development to make sure our employees continue to be on the cutting edge of their professions and provide best practices. They work hard, and they deserve that.”
Clapper said he intends to work for and with the community.
“A goal for me is to provide the biggest bang for the community,” he said. “That goal includes providing the best services possible in an efficient manner.”