Princeton hires city manager

PRINCETON — The city of Princeton has hired a new city manager.

Jeff Clawson of Fairfield, Iowa, has accepted Princeton's city manager position. According to a press release issued Saturday evening by Princeton Mayor Keith Cain, Clawson comes to the city of Princeton with more than 25 years of city government experience. Cain said Clawson has been hired; he will officially sign his contract the second council meeting in March.

"It's the perfect size town for me," Clawson said in an interview with the Bureau County Republican. "It's a great location, and I especially like both of the business districts. I'm still working at familiarizing myself with the town. I'm very family oriented, and there's nothing we've seen that we don't think is great. I like the size of the business community; it seems like a full service area for the size of the town."

Clawson has an extensive background in city government. He has been the city administrator in a handful of Midwestern towns, including Columbus, Kan.; LeRoy (near Bloomington); and most recently in Fairfield, Iowa.

Born in New Boston, which is located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in Mercer County, Clawson said he's glad to be back in Illinois. He did his undergraduate work at Monmouth College and received his master's degree from Governor's State University, outside of Chicago.

"I'm really just a small town guy, a rural Illinois guy," he said. "Now, I'm back in Illinois to stay, and I plan to retire from Princeton."

Until Clawson begins his work full time in Princeton, he will be traveling to the city on the weekends and occasionally throughout the week to work with the city in their budget process, while also meeting with department heads and working closely with them as they dive deeper into the next fiscal year's budget. Clawson said he's anxious to be a part of the budget process, since he feels some of his strengths are budget, finance and economic development. He said he also has a good working knowledge of TIF districts and job growth.

Clawson said he will operate the city manager's office with an open door policy, and will welcome ideas, input, suggestions and concerns. He described himself as being passionate about his work, having the ability to cultivate a positive attitude and working environment with the staff and public. He also said he is a hard-worker.

Clawson and his wife, Elaine, have been married for 29 and will be moving to Princeton no later than the first of May. They have two adult children, Kellen, who is working on his master's degree at Lewis University, and Kirsten, who is attending Purdue University.

Mayor Keith Cain said he's happy to have Clawson on board.

"I just think we have a wonderful candidate, and definitely he will be a real asset to the community while he continues to lead us in the right direction," Cain said. "His 25 years of experience in city government is a real plus."

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