Phil Fisher For Mayor of Clinton MS
Accomplishments in City Public Safety, Quality of Life, Efficiency and Transparency
July 2013 to March 2021
Our City enjoys a rich and legitimate history. Unlike other communities we do not need to make something up or take trivial events and artificially inflate them. And we should be proud of our history and what that history has done to shape our community. In order to do that, we must first know the facts of our past and embrace the learning that past affords us.
Since July of 2013, I have worked diligently to prepare our community’s history so that we could promote our City and encourage tourism. Bringing tourist not only allows us to show off our community, it also “lightens the tax load” with the additional spending in hotels and food.
The results made thus far played a huge role in landing the first Lifetime movie in our communities’ history – “Teacher’s Watching” filming from January 25th. Another movie, “The Coin” will start filming in in March 2021, and a third, yet to be named movie, is considering Clinton for filming in June 2021. That is two national movies (maybe three) in six months, driving our national exposure higher and increasing the interest of tourist (and businesses).
We faced a difficult fight to save the City’s most historic building. Starting in 2013, we adopted the Historic Preservation Ordinance with input from MS Department of Achieves (Demolition by Neglect). I used the Historic Preservation Ordinance to fight for the preservation of the City’s most historic buildings (110/112 E. Leake Street) through the court system under the demolition by neglect laws. The court battle lasted 7 years, but we won the Supreme Court case on May 7, 2020. We then won the appeal back to the Supreme Court, Aug 13, 2020. The City then sold the structures to a private sector buyer for restoration of these important buildings.
I built the Town Springs Park to showcase the location of Clinton’s founding and the Train Depot to remind us of the important role the railroad played in our history.
In FY 2021 will see the completion of Clinton’s Civil Rights Trail, noting key historic points of the Riot of 1875 and other important Civil Rights points of interest. In addition, a Blues Marker will be installed. Both will be added to the state system to encourage tourism and the additional spending it brings.
We have used our City’s history as a marketing tool when advertising the City from New Orleans to St. Louis/Atlanta to Dallas to encourage travelers to stop here and spend money. Our efforts over the next four years will continue to improve our understanding of Clinton’s history and send our message to others.
History Accomplishments 2013-2017;
- Named Dr. Walter Howell City Historian. He conducted a seven-part history series on Clinton.
- Hosted historic programs on Sen. Charles Caldwell /Riot of 1875 (2015), Sara Dickey (2016), Walter Leake (2017) Clinton Duel (2018), Clinton Trial (2019). 2020 program cancelled due to COVID-19.
- Received $10,000 for placing historic markers and historical reliefs (national and local) from the Legislature. To date, through City and state funds we have added 21 new historic makers and now total 25 historic markers.
- Started the Distinguished Clintonian Trail at the Library with 13 honorees in 2018 and 14 more honorees 2019. The 2020 program was delayed until March 2021 and combined with the 2021 inductees with a total of 11.
- Started the Veterans banner program in 2017 with 16 banners on the Parkway, increased to 38 banners in 2018, increased to 80 in 2019. In 2020 banners increase to 101, 2021 increased to 112.
- Began a Historic On-Line Trail (HOLT) to draw tourist and tell Clinton’s history via the historic markers – funded by $6,000 grant from Visit Mississippi. The HOLT system has 29,519 unique visits with an average stay- 27 minutes 52 seconds.
- Established a “20 Things to Do On I-20” to promote Clinton Tourism.
- Lobbied MDOT and received signage on I-20 denoting Olde Towne as a historic area. This is the first area designation of a historic district in MS.
- Gathering family histories for future historic study.
- Mile Post 89, a monthly music event at the Visitors Center.
- Established Settlers Day at Visitors Center each Sept.
- Blues Trail Marker from the State of MS due in 2021 for the Blues Trail.
- Civil Rights Marker from the state of MS due in 2021 for the Civil Rights Trail.
- Adopted the Historic Preservation Ordinance with input from MS Department of Achieves (Demolition by Neglect).
- Used the Historic Preservation Ordinance to fight for the preservation of the City’s most historic buildings (110/112 E. Leake Street) through the court system under the demolition by neglect laws to preserve our heritage. Won case May 7, 2020, won appeal from Wiggins Aug 13, 2020. Building then sold to the private sector in 2020 for renovation.