City council prepares for mayoral transitionBy: Carol Percy, Reporter
Next month, the Lincoln City Council will undergo changes, not in personnel, but in council positions. At a short ceremony that will take place at the Dec. 9 regular City Council meeting, Mayor Gabriel Hydrick will hand the gavel to Councilman Paul Joiner and Joiner will become the City’s new mayor for 2015. Councilman Spencer Short will then become mayor pro-tem to act as mayor in Joiner’s absence.
The News Messenger recently asked four of Lincoln’s five Council members to address questions regarding the Council’s transitions and goals for the New Year, keeping their responses to about 100 words.
Councilman Joiner was asked to reply separately, addressing different questions as Lincoln’s next mayor. (see next week’s paper: Joiner to become city’s next mayor)
LNM: With the recent statewide election, and a new Lincoln mayor taking the helm, will there be delays in Council’s decision-making process, and what important issues might be on the Council agenda?
Mayor Gabriel Hydrick
I'm confident that individually and collectively we'll continue to work just as hard and focused in attending to the business of the city.
Outside of the hiring of the (new full-time) city manager I don't recall any issues that were delayed for the election. We timed the hiring of the city manager with the election so that new councilmember(s), not outgoing ones, would be in on the hiring process.
The most pressing topic is bringing the new city manager on board. This needs to be a key individual that is the right fit for Lincoln, to work for the council, improve staff morale and relate well with the community.
The only delay in matters coming to the Council are because of staff having challenges getting information to the Council.
Water issues top the list with water rights protection, water distribution infrastructure needs, and water storage capacity being some of the important matters to address. The sign ordinance completion with the issue of enforcement being key.
Dealing with economic development matters will be critical, particularly retaining existing businesses and helping them to grow, aggressively attracting new businesses, reviewing building fee levels, and generally making sure the City is business friendly. Looking at all city services and making sure we are giving the residents the best service possible at the best price.
In terms of the most pressing decisions, I would consider the hiring of a new city manager, taking action on the revised sign ordinance which has been under study for two years, filling a few key personnel openings and keeping the city finances moving in the right direction.
My personal goals for the city were and continue to be financial in nature. It is only when the city is on firm financial ground that we will be able to consider expanding services to our residents and businesses. We need the funds to do that without jeopardizing our financial future.
Hiring of the city manager (will be a top issue). We will be interviewing and making a decision early in December. This will help set a strong tone of forward progress for the City.
Making decisions on landfill closure options that have serious financial consequences (both short term and long term).
Making sure we have potable and reclaimed water is vital to the future success of Lincoln.
Over time, my goals as a councilmember have not shifted. I want Lincoln to become the premier city in Placer County and I want our citizens to be proud of this community.