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2011: Lincoln’s year in review

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JANUARY Who discovered the $3 million loss? City blames laid-off employee for mistake – Who discovered the General Fund’s $3 million unrealized investment losses is one of several questions now being asked by the public about the city of Lincoln’s accounting. The answer some community members give is different from the answer given by city officials. “The potential $3 million (loss) to be allocated to the General Fund was found during a review and presentation of the audited financials to the finance committee in spring 2010,” said Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak on Dec. 13. “What did not occur was that the then assistant director of finance needed to have spread out and reallocated the investments to other funds that participate in those investments.” Neves to leave post Jan. 21 –City needs to decide how to replace him – Interim Police Chief Joel Neves’ last day on the job is in two weeks. Who will replace him is unknown at this time. Neves’ last day in Lincoln is Jan. 21. Lincoln’s top cop since May 2010, Neves was hired by the city after former Police Chief Brian Vizzusi left the city on Feb. 18, 2010 for never-released reasons by the city. Walker reconsiders ‘Golden Handshake’ – After taking the Golden Handshake this October, Mandy Walker is back working with the city as assistant director of recreation. The Golden Handshake is an early retirement option provided by the California Public Employee Retirement System. City Manager Jim Estep said Walker will work part-time, “to help us with budgeting for (the) recreation (department.)” Estep said he “does not know how long Walker will work with the city because it will depend on what the budget looks like for next year and what the recreation department looks like.” Walmart buys former Rainbow Market site – Lincoln shoppers may not have to soon travel to Roseville to visit Walmart. Steve Art, Lincoln’s economic and redevelopment manager, said Walmart bought the property on Dec. 31. He told The News Messenger on Jan. 6 that it would be similar to a grocery store. Tiffany Moffatt, a spokeswoman for Walmart, confirmed that Walmart purchased the land but would not say what the retail giant’s plans are for the building. Short wants to clear city’s name – Councilman to contact state, restore faith in Lincoln – Councilman Spencer Short wants to clear the city’s name and restore residents’ faith in the city. During the council-initiated portion of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Short revealed his plans to contact a neutral third party to aide in that pursuit. “With the vitriol that has taken place in this community, I’m planning to move forward, to go ahead and ask the Attorney General’s office, governor’s office and the Fair Political Practices Committee to come in and investigate any perceived wrongdoings,” Short said. Shelgren appointed interim police chief – Lieutenant fills in for the second time – A decision was made Tuesday about who will serve as Lincoln’s next top cop. Lincoln Police Lt. Paul Shelgren will serve as Lincoln’s interim chief of police after current interim Police Chief Joel Neves departs on Jan. 21. Lincoln places in Top 10 growth area – Name recognition helps city – Lincoln ranked nine out of 10 on a list of the most notable high-growth area in the United States. That’s according to a recent study performed by the Gabberry Group, which is based in Little Rock, Ark. and provides location intelligence services and data for retail brands. Last year, Lincoln placed No. 4 out of 10 on the group’s list, joining other cities including Katy, Texas, Queen Creek, Ariz., and Lehigh Acres, Fla. Estep denies grievance filed by union – A grievance filed by Stationary Engineers Local 29 has been declined by City Manager Jim Estep. The grievance was filed by Local 29 business representative James Britton on Dec. 23. He said the city violated the employee’s contracts when employees “were laid off for a lack of funds.” “The city has funds in reserve dollars of approximately $57 million that could have been used to provide services to the city of Lincoln as well as to keep bargaining unit members from being laid off,” Britton wrote in the Dec. 23 letter that served as a level one grievance, addressed to Estep. Estep declined the grievance on Jan. 6. in a two-page letter, according to Britton. Cemetery, diocese pay family for missing body – Frank Farinha’s descendants to receive $200,000 after efforts fail to find corpse buried in 1947 – Frank Farinha’s body is still missing but his descendants have settled a legal dispute with the Lincoln cemetery he was buried in 64 years ago. According to terms of settlement made public Tuesday, four Farinha family members – Theresa, Ernest and Mario of the Auburn area and Lorraine Adams of Southern California – are being paid a total of $200,000. The Roman Catholic Church’s Northern California diocese will pay $25,000 and Placer County Cemetery District No. 1 will pay $175,000. PG&E wants to increase city’s voltage – Extra electricity would help during blackouts –Power lines in Lincoln will have a lot more juice once PG&E gets done with a project slated to begin this spring. Power lines between Gladding Road in Lincoln and the Pleasant Grove Substation in Roseville will be replaced, increasing their voltage from 60 kilovolts to 115 kilovolts, according to Brian Jensen, PG&E’s government relations representative. Residents consider recall petition – Bob Birdseye asks for removal of city manager/assistant city manager – Bob Birdseye sent a serious message to City Council Tuesday night: remove the city manager and assistant city manager or face a recall. Birdseye, a Lincoln resident, distributed a press release and petition detailing why he wants City Manager Jim Estep and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak to be terminated from their positions “with cause.” Possible removal stirs mixed emotions – Residents remember turmoil from 1994 event – A possible recall of City Council members is stirring up memories of a recall 17 years ago. Some residents say a recall could divide Lincoln in two and other residents contacted by The News Messenger say a recall is needed. Police pink slip on hold – Council to address issue Feb. 8 during mid-year budget review – A pink slip for one Lincoln police officer is on hold until the end of February, according to city staff. Three officers and one sergeant received layoff notices in June, to be effective Jan. 1 of 2012, according to previous News Messenger reports. SWAT team nabs Lincoln pair – Two arrested on drug, gang and weapon charges – Lincoln’s Foskett Ranch residents were startled last Thursday morning and afternoon to see a SWAT team and a drug-sniffing dog in their neighborhood. Roseville’s Crime Suppression Unit officers arrested Eric Smith, 36, and Jennifer Mulhern, 31, last Thursday for drug possession, participation in a criminal street gang and numerous weapons charges, according to Roseville police department’s public information officer Dee Dee Gunther. FEBRUARY Trio arrested for cemetery vandalism – A third suspect has been arrested in connection with the vandalism of Manzanita Cemetery near Lincoln last November. Robert Joseph McCutcheon, 22, of Upper Lake turned himself into police on Friday night after hearing of his cousin’s arrest earlier that day, according to Placer County Sheriff’s public information officer Dena Erwin. McCutcheon’s cousin, Steven Warn, 19, was arrested Jan. 28 and booked into the Placer County Jail, according to Erwin. Cody Lee Piland, 19 was arrested Jan. 19 and was released on electronic monitoring, according to Erwin. An anonymous tip to Placer County Crime Stoppers provided Placer County Sheriff’s detectives with leads that resulted in the arrest of Piland and Warn, Erwin said. Warn and Piland are from Lincoln. Maggie Smith died Wednesday – CPA was generous to community – Generosity and a commitment to the Lincoln community are two ways Maggie Smith will be remembered by those close to her. Margaret “Maggie” Smith died Tuesday, due to complications from surgery at the age of 63. She was co-owner of Jensen Smith Certified Public Accountants with Jennifer Jensen. Highway 65 project on schedule to open spring 2012 – Motorists will be zooming down the Highway 65 bypass by next spring. That’s according to Rochelle Jenkins, public information officer for Caltrans. The bypass is scheduled to open spring 2012, according to Jenkins, “on time.” No action taken on petition – Bob Birdseye said notice of intent to recall next – No action was taken Tuesday by Lincoln City Council on resident Bob Birdseye’s request for the dismissal of the city manager and assistant city manager. During the Jan. 25 council meeting, Birdseye told the council they had until Feb. 8 to terminate City Manager Jim Estep and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak or the end result would be a recall of Mayor Paul Joiner and council members Spencer Short and Tom Cosgrove. New brewery pouring into Lincoln – Former Beermann’s site might feature new restaurant – Beer will once again fill the brewing equipment in the now empty Beermann’s building, starting April 1. Sparks, Nev.-based Knee Deep Brewing Company will use the brewery equipment, according to brew master and co-owner Jeremy Warren. Choir comes up with cash for Carnegie – Final $3,200 raised Friday – Singing on stage at Carnegie Hall is less of a dream and more of a reality for 21 Lincoln High School students. After nearly a year of fundraising, Lincoln High School select choir members have the funds necessary to travel to New York City. They will perform in the Festival of Gold concert this April 3 at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Fantastic finish for freshman – Frosh Basketball team goes 25-0 in amazing season – Cesar Balderas will have a tough act to follow in his second season as the freshman boys’ basketball coach at Lincoln High School. Balderas only hopes he will have a shot at an encore on the court. Balderas fears budget cuts at this alma mater could dunk the freshman team. The 2009 Lincoln graduate would love to stay, especially after his inaugural season became the talk of the town. As the varsity boys and girls teams struggled, the freshman boys won game after game. The Zebras finished 25-0, capping their perfect season Friday with a 62-45 victory over Colfax. Hard cuts offered at budget workshop- That includes laying off two police jobs – The message to close the General Fund’s structural deficit without the use of reserves was clearly heard by city staff at a three-and-a-half-hour-long budget workshop. The projected revenue versus expenditure shortfall is $1.5 million for this fiscal year and $1.06 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to a city staff report. The library, recreation, fire and police departments provided potential cost savings for next fiscal year, totaling $981,000. MARCH Twelve Bridges library closed Fridays – This could save city $3,000 next few months – Library patrons will now have one less weekday to peruse bookshelves and check out DVDs for the weekend. Starting this week, the Twelve Bridges Library will be closed on Fridays. On Feb. 8, City Council asked the library, as well as police, fire and recreation, departments to find budget reductions for this fiscal year and the next. Darla Wegener, Lincoln’s director of library services, said Friday was chosen due to stipulations with monetary donations by the Friends of the Lincoln Library. The donations are tied to programs held on certain days of the week. Walgreens open in Twelve Bridges – First customer is an 11-year-old – Jack McCormick, 11, braved Friday morning’s pouring rain and sideways wind to purchase a box of Gobstoppers candy. It wasn’t just any old box of Gobstoppers, though. Jack, 11, purchased the first box of Gobstoppers ever at Lincoln’s Walgreens, which opened at 8 a.m. Friday. “I said, ‘When they are opening? I want to be the first customer, for fun,’” Jack said. “I wanted to let everyone know it was open and I wanted to support the new business.” School employees agree to furlough days to help budget – Actions save $800,000 next year – School district employees are taking steps to save money for the next school year by agreeing to furlough days and reducing their work year. Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman and the district’s director of human services Ryan Davis presented four agenda items during Tuesday night’s school board meeting, which were all passed by the board. These actions were taken to “help mitigate the anticipated budget shortfall that the district is facing,” according to Leaman, and will save the district $800,000 next year. Council asks for a state audit – Letter to controller being drafted – The city of Lincoln responded to state government legislation that would eliminate redevelopment agencies by holding a special meeting half an hour prior to Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “Back in January, the governor made a proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies,” Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak said during the meeting. “Subsequently, late last week, we found out that state legislature is proposing legislature in their budget extremely similar to what the governor is proposing.” Gov. Jerry Brown could sign the bill eliminating redevelopment agencies as early as today, according to Jatczak, which means “assets of the redevelopment agency would no longer be under control of the city of Lincoln or its redevelopment agency” and could be seized by the state. “What we’ve done here, in short, is try to protect the assets of the city of Lincoln redevelopment agency,” Jatczak said. Those assets include properties “of high community value,” according to Jatczak, and include several parking lots and the Lincoln Youth Center, located at 291 H St. Council members served with intent to recall to three incumbents – Joiner, Cosgrove and Short targeted for failure to reveal misallocated funds – Lincoln resident Bob Birdseye made the first step in the process to recall City Councilmen Tom Cosgrove, Paul Joiner and Spencer Short during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “I am fed up and I am not alone in this recall process. Joiner, Cosgrove, Short, (City Manager Jim) Estep and (Assistant City Manager Anna) Jatczak act like they’re not accountable to anyone, like they can just cover stuff up and get away with it,” Birdseye said during the meeting. “As a Lincoln business owner stated to me recently, Joiner, Cosgrove and Short act like they own this city. Well, the people of Lincoln own this city.” Audit request sent to state controller – council met Friday to hammer out details – The City Council sent a letter to the state controller’s office March 15 requesting an audit of the city’s finances. The city placed the letter on its website on March 16. During the March 8 City Council meeting, Councilman Tom Cosgrove presented a draft of the letter, which he said would be accompanied with a list of concerns ranging from the city’s audits to the legality of Measure K. A special council meeting took place March 11 so all five members could review the letter and a list of questions attached to it. The controller’s office has yet to receive the letter and review it for a response, as of press time, according to Garin Casaleggio, deputy communications director for the state controller’s office. Estep looking to take pay cut – Negotiations with city manager, council began in January – While Lincoln City Manager Jim Estep reported at the last City Council meeting he will take a salary reduction, officials are mum about the size of the reduction. Estep said during the March 8 City Council meeting that he has “been working for quite some time on a salary reduction and it’s much more significant than what anyone in the city has ever taken.” Estep’s current base salary, without benefits, is estimated to be $223,499 as of Aug. 30, 2010. Councilman Stan Nader said discussions about reducing Estep’s salary started Jan. 25 when the council first held a closed session to discuss the salary reduction. “It has to be negotiated and both sides have to agree because he’s under contract and under no obligation to reduce his salary,” Nader said. District to run pre-schools next year – coordinator job description approved – The job description and salary schedule for a preschool program coordinator was approved Tuesday night by the Western Placer Unified School District board of trustees. The district is working toward operating district preschools that are currently run under contract through the Placer Community Action Council, according to the school district’s deputy superintendent Mary Boyle. Recall opponents speak out in force – Meeting’s public comment dominated by reasons to keep members in office – This week’s City Council meeting was a win for recall opponents while the previous meeting was a win for recall proponents. Nineteen community members spoke against the recall for 72 minutes Tuesday night during the meeting’s public comment segment. Mayor Paul Joiner and Councilmen Spencer Short and Tom Cosgrove were served with a notice of intent to recall at the March 8 council meeting. Fourteen of the 19 community members speaking at Tuesday’s meeting are listed on the newly formed website, www.recallno.com, produced by Stand Up For Lincoln, a group that opposes the recall. City’s $1.1 million land sale not happening – That figure will have to be cut from city services – A $1.1 million land sale that would have resulted in 23 sweat-equity-built homes will not happen as planned, which means no revenue boost for the city’s General Fund. That’s according to the city’s public information officer Jill Thompson, who announced in a March 10 press release that the land sale for the Creekside Village Project will not happen this year, as planned. Wise Villa Winery’s grand opening Saturday – Wise is the owl who hoots nightly from the trees next to Wise Villa Winery. The emblem for the winery, which has its grand opening this Saturday, is the owl, according to owner Grover Lee. “I look forward to hearing the owls in the night,” Lee said. The winery, located on Wise Road near Garden Bar Road, has been open for wine tasting the past five weekends. Ea files claim with Lincoln – Former assistant finance director cites wrongful acts by city – Johnny Ea filed a claim March 10 against the city of Lincoln, Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak and City Manager Jim Estep. Ea was the city’s former assistant finance director. Fire destroys house, family thankful that they were not hurt – One Third Street family is without a home after flames consumed it Sunday. No one was hurt in the fire, according to Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. “I’m happy because my family is safe,” homeowner Juan Huerta said Sunday. Huerto, his wife and three children have lived at the house on Third Street near Joiner Parkway for 11 years. Fiscal sustainability plan moves ahead – Council to form committee to work on requests – The city took a step forward toward developing a fiscal sustainability plan during a special City Council meeting on Friday. Council members decided to form an eight-person committee to develop a request for qualification (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP) for a consulting group to develop the fiscal sustainability plan, according to Mayor Paul Joiner. Field of Dreams coming? Lincoln Crossing could have a new ball park within a year – If a group of residents are successful, a baseball field next to the Lincoln Crossing Clubhouse could be a reality within the next year. An ad hoc committee has formed with the goal of getting a park built in that spot, located near the corner of Ferrari Ranch Road and Groveland Lane, according to Lincoln Crossing Homeowners Association ad hoc committee member Terrie Robinson. APRIL Estep takes $73K compensation cut – City Council authorized a salary reduction Tuesday night for City Manager Jim Estep totaling $73,000 but he will still make $197,892 a year. “The city manager came forward with an offer to give possible concessions he could make as early as last fall and I think it’s important we note that,” Mayor Paul Joiner said. “With no signs likely for there to be revenue increases, it’s imperative the city continue to make dramatic cuts to salaries, benefits and a number of employees.” Auditor: City’s finances look grim – Says a plan needs to be formed to pay back $34 million in loans – Three out of five City Councilmen approved budget cuts to police, fire, library and recreation during Tuesday night’s special budget meeting. Mayor Paul Joiner and Councilmen Spencer Short and Paul Joiner voted yes to reductions totaling an estimated $289,000. Councilmen Stan Nader and Gabriel Hydrick voted no. Multiple members from the Lincoln Police Department, Lincoln Fire Department and library department were present Tuesday in the packed McBean Pavilion, which had rows of chairs lined to the back of the building to accommodate the 100-plus audience members. Estimated cost savings of $37,300 were found for the library through “immediately reducing hours at Twelve Bridges Library to 12 hours per week,” according to Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak. New shelter will make it easier on the cats – More than 80 FieldHaven supporters toured the now spacious FieldHaven Feline Rescue shelter on March 31. The nonprofit FieldHaven recently upgraded from a 1,000-square-foot trailer to a new 3,000-square-foot shelter, which president and co-founder Joy Smith is more than pleased about. Robotics team qualifies for nationals – Lincoln High School staff and students are excited about robotics. Last weekend, the Lincoln High robotics team competed at the FIRST Robotics Competition Silicon Valley Regional. The Lincoln “Fighting Z-Bots” won the Rookie All-Star Award – the highest award given to a first-year robotics team. Lincoln dad to run 24 hours to Save Sports Program – GEMS parents, students and staff rally to Save Our Sports – Tony Overbay, a Lincoln father of four, will enter the Save Our Sports 4.2 mile fun run on Saturday May 14 at Glen Edwards Middle School (GEMS). Overbay, however, won’t begin his run at Saturday’s 8 a.m. starting time along with the other runners; he’ll start 24 hours earlier on Friday May 13, just after school starts. Overbay is hoping to raise awareness and funds for the school’s sports programs, which could be eliminated as budget cuts continue to hit California schools. New stores on the way – Fresh and Easy to open next to Red Robin – Lincoln will soon have a Walmart food store, Arco and Fresh and Easy, according to information from the city’s Wednesday economic development committee meeting. Walmart purchased the Rainbow Market site in January. Lincoln’s housing and special projects coordinator Amanda Norton said the city’s code enforcement department contacted Walmart to clean up the landscaping. Library proposes service fees – That includes charges for DVDs, faxing – Changes to fines and fees for Lincoln’s libraries were unanimously approved during the somber, and at times light-hearted, April 6 Lincoln library advisory board and committee meeting. The six-member board’s changes will be submitted to City Council on April 26. “This needs to go to council (for approval),” library director Darla Wegener said. “I hope to implement most in June or July.” Wegener said there is “no way to estimate” how much money the new fine and fee schedule could bring in. Roof woes warrant attention – Grand jury names serious school troubles – District has until July to respond – A grand jury investigation into a leaky school weight room uncovered issues beyond puddles on the floor. That’s according to a Placer County Grand Jury report released April 15, “Troubles at Western Placer Unified School District.” The initial grand jury investigation pertained to a leaking roof above the Lincoln High School weight room. Beloved Don Mason, 57, dies – The round table by the bar at Kim’s County Kitchen has one less person sitting there, someone who will be dearly missed by employees and customers alike. Don Mason, a lifelong Lincoln resident and daily fixture at the downtown diner, died April 17 at age 57 from a massive heart attack and complications. Mason was born Aug. 8 1953 to Richard and Betty Mason, raised in Lincoln and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1971. More police cuts on the way – City Council to decide how many May 10 – City Council will soon have to decide how many police officers to cut as the council continues to balance Lincoln’s budget. City Manager Jim Estep said Monday that the May 10 City Council meeting will cover “budget reductions necessary to achieve a balanced budget.” “We are trying to find out how many layoffs are needed to truly balance the budget,” Estep said. City Council approves new job descriptions – Three positions not to be filled yet – A concern about rightsizing the salaries of future employees and the number of supervisors working for the city of Lincoln led to a 40-minute discussion during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Rightsizing is when costs and services meet the city’s current needs. Councilman Gabriel Hydrick started the discussion when he pulled an item off of the consent agenda. New development amended to meet recession needs – To cope with the current economy and housing market, the Lincoln Planning Commission voted April 20 to amend the development agreement for the Aitken Ranch development. The amendments would lower the cost of building the development. The commission voted unanimously to recommend the amendment to the development agreement, which will go to the city Council on May 10. Ten revisions to the development are included. MAY Osama bin Laden’s death impacts students here – While many of the sophomores in Ben Palafox’s world history class were just entering grade school when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred, they’re aware today of the impact Osama bin Laden’s death last Sunday could have. The News Messenger spoke with five Lincoln High School students on Tuesday morning, ages 15 to 17, about what bin Laden’s death means. For two students, it meant the possibility of family members in the military returning home. Fiscal plan group grows - Expansion of the Lincoln Fiscal Sustainability Committee’s purpose and responsibilities has raised concern for some community members. The committee was formed at a special March 25 City Council meeting to write a request for proposal (RFP) for finding a consultant to help develop a fiscal sustainability plan, according to past News Messenger reports. Committee members will ask at the May 24 City Council meeting if their duties can be expanded, according to member Larry Whitaker. Those duties would be to review and analyze the current financial condition of the city and determine both the near term and intermediate term fiscal implications; make recommendations leading to long-term fiscal sustainability and develop appropriate financial policies, procedures and accountability standards, according to Wednesday’s meeting agenda. Carnegie students strut their stuff – Forget just knowing how to get to Carnegie Hall. The Lincoln High School select choir not only raised enough money to visit New York City in April but also took to the stage with 400 other high school students at Carnegie Hall. Wal-Mart, Taco Bell details sparse – Company officials mum- Wal-Mart and Taco Bell officials are being tightlipped about when their new locations will open doors in Lincoln. In January, Wal-Mart purchased the old Rainbow Market building off of G Street. Company officials have given no information about when the store will open or what kind of store it will be. Taco Bell closed its doors at the Rainbow Market site in December, due to its lease expiring. A sign on the door states that its new location in the Raley’s shopping center will open in January. “Our franchise is excited to relocate the Taco Bell restaurant in the Lincoln community and will be announcing details soon,” spokesman Rob Poetsch said, via e-mail sent by Ashley Sioson. Sioson is Taco Bell’s spokeswoman in Irvine. Council cuts four cops – Firefighters’ jobs safe after Tuesday’s meeting – Four Lincoln police officers will be taken off the streets due to lay offs this July. That was the direction given to city staff during Tuesday’s 5 ½ hour-long City Council meeting. Police, fire and library employees were in the audience, including two on-duty policemen. Seven of the 75-plus audience members addressed the council during the public-hearing portion of the agenda item requesting direction from the council on balancing next year’s budget. Regional wastewater decision will have to wait – Deciders ask for time to review two options – Placer County supervisors want more answers on a $92 million regional wastewater solution that would pipe sewage from Auburn and North Auburn to Lincoln. The city of Lincoln provided the lower-cost estimate on the long-discussed project earlier this year and the Board of Supervisors was given a recommendation last week from facility services department staff to opt for an upgrade at its North Auburn plant. Women’s Club celebrates milestone – 100th anniversary festivities Saturday – The Lincoln Women’s Club spent its 100th year traveling “back to the future.” That’s according to president Dorothy Olevsky, who has spent the first year of her two-year term restoring the club to what it once was. Four new city jobs posted – Same number of police jobs to be cut – Four new job openings were posted on the city’s website late last week, at least three days after City Council made the recommendation to lay off four police officers to balance next year’s budget. Taking the approach of balancing the General Fund budget through reductions and use of one-time monies, the council recommended through a consensus May 10 to make cuts to the police and library departments while using money from the Supplemental Annexation Fee fund. The projected General Fund deficit for the next fiscal year is $431,602. The four positions the city is looking to fill, according to the website and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak, are a principal accountant, seasonal human resources technician I, account clerk II and a seasonal lifeguard. Council expands fiscal sustainability committee – it will be similar to the former Citizen’s Financial Task Force – It seemed like comedy night at Tuesday night’s action-filled City Council meeting. City Council, city staff and residents alike cracked multiple jokes as the council voted to approve items including amendments to employment contracts, a potential first phase of Chief Robert Jimenez Community Park and expanding the city’s fiscal sustainability plan committee. Employment contracts for Fire Chief Dave Whitt, Police Chief Paul Shelgren, library director Darla Wegener and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak were amended. Although concessions taken by the four varied, all four staff members will pay their employee share in the California Public Employee Retirement System. They will also have no cost-of-living increases and no city match of deferred compensation. JUNE Recall gets rolling – Mayor Joiner, Councilmen Cosgrove and Short named – The petition to recall three incumbent Lincoln City Councilmen is official as of May 25, two months after they were served with recall notices. Lincoln resident Bob Birdseye served Mayor Paul Joiner and Councilmen Tom Cosgrove and Spencer Short with notices of intent to recall on March 8. Congratulations, 333 Lincoln High seniors – graduation ceremonies will be 7 p.m. Friday – Although described as “unified” by their counselor, this year’s senior class will go their separate ways this Friday. “For the most part, they all get along,” Lincoln High School counselor Jim Spratling said. The class size of 333 students hasn’t impacted the class’s unify, according to Spratling. School district could save $3.6M – Tuesday night’s short 20-minute school board meeting resulted in a decision that could save the district up to $3.6 million over the next five years. Western Placer Unified School board members unanimously approved adopting a supplementary retirement plan. Ryan Davis, the district’s director of human services, presented the plan during the meeting. He said the district worked with Public Agency Retirement Services to develop the plan. “(The supplementary retirement plan is) a retirement incentive that has encouraged senior certificated and senior classified employees to potentially retire early,” Davis said. “The goal of the program is to generate savings, or at a minimum, no cost to the district by increasing the numbers of retirements in the 2010-2011 school year.” Grand jury reports – School board member calls findings ‘asinine’ – A colorful discussion during Tuesday night’s school board meeting led to the approval of the district’s response to a recent Grand Jury report. The report questioned the district’s deferred maintenance fund practices, trust and teamwork, and method of reporting time worked by employees. New airport responsibilities take flight – Manager Daly leaves, position not to be filled in the near future – Four city employees will help carry the workload at the Lincoln Regional Airport since manager Dave Daly resigned June 2. Daly, airport manager for six years, will start his new position managing Vacaville’s Nut Tree airport. “This is purely all my doing and my choice,” Daly said, when asked by The News Messenger why he resigned. “There’s no other reason behind my leaving or motivation to leave, expect for that I’m ready for new opportunities and looking for a new career experience.” Police layoffs postponed to January – chief asks for time to work on solution – Tuesday’s City Council meeting was tense as Lincoln City Manager Jim Estep asked for a five-minute recess to amend the city’s proposed 2011-12 budget and postpone seven police layoffs. This followed the City Council’s dismal budget presentation by Lincoln Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak. The new fiscal year begins July 1. Estep was responding to Police Chief Paul Shelgren and Fire Chief Dave Whitt’s last-minute pleas to Lincoln’s City Councilmen to put the lay-offs of seven police personnel on hold until January. Shelgren explained how some of his staff members are currently looking for other jobs. Library to stay open 23 hours weekly – Director to lose $79K-a-year job plus benefits – Lincoln Library Director Darla Wegener will leaver her position in two to three months, according to the proposed 2011/2012 budget discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That will enable the Twelve Bridges Library to remain open 23 hours per week, according to Jatczak. The Carnegie Library will be closed next fiscal year, according to Jatczak. The new fiscal year begins July 1. New city committee members sought – fiscal sustainability group expanding to nine citizen members – The city’s fiscal sustainability committee is recruiting four new members. In addition, the three city representatives members will step down from the committee. “The current committee is made up of eight members (five citizens, two council members and a city staff member). The three city positions on the committee are to be filled with three additional citizen members,” Lincoln Mayor Paul Joiner e-mailed The News Messenger. “Given the volume of work that the committee will need to accomplish (and the fact that it’s a good idea to have the committee be odd numbers to avoid tie votes), the decision was made to add one additional citizen member, taking the committee to nine.” Seven police, three firefighter jobs on line – City Council to address budget on Tuesday – A proposed budget, including the January layoff of seven police officers and three firefighters, will be presented Tuesday night to City Council. That’s according to City Manager Jim Estep and Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak. Jatczak said that a community services officer would also be laid off in January if the budget is passed the way it is proposed. Juvenile allegedly shot during dispute – A 16-year-old is on the loose after a shooting June 16 on First Street. The Lincoln Police Department has an arrest warrant out for Steven Keith Mitchell, 16. “We are still looking for him,” Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren said Wednesday. Lincoln police officers responded to the 900 block of First Street at 10:45 p.m. June 16, following the report of multiple shots fired, according to Lincoln Police Sgt. Jeff Morse. Upon arrival, officers found a 17-year-old male victim, who had a single gun shot wound to his leg, according to Morse. Lavada Keen, 37, who is the suspect’s mother, was taken into custody by the Lincoln Police Department and later booked into the Placer County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon, and harboring or concealing a felon, police said. This is because prior to the shooting, an argument took place outside the First Street home between the suspect and the victim, according to police. The shooting suspect “is known to the victim,” according to Morse. Keen allegedly attempted to run down the victim with her vehicle, according to Morse. Mitchell then shot the victim, according to Morse, and the two then fled the scene by vehicle. Rangers roll over Rocklin in tourney – Isola, Munch rout Cardinals in TOC opener – The Lincoln Rangers are dominating the Little League Majors. With 16 wins this season and only 2 losses, they are ranked No. 1 among Lincoln Little League teams and have proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Their opening District 11 Tournament of Champions game against Rocklin Cardinals only further reinforced their dominance. District 3 send six to ride in National Rodeo Finals – An even half-dozen cowboys and cowgirls from District 3 survived the state finals of the California High School Rodeo Association Championships and earned a trip to Gillette, Wyo., for the national finals. It’s official: Cops, firefighters to go – City Council adopts budget with 3-2 vote – Three of the five Lincoln City Councilmen voted Tuesday night to approve the city’s budget for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Mayor Paul Joiner, Spencer Short and Tom Cosgrove. Voting no were Stan Nader and Gabriel Hydrick. The new budget for the fiscal year that starts Friday includes layoffs of seven sworn police officers and one community services officer from the Police Department and two firefighters and a fire captain, according to Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak. Two positions are eliminated as of Friday, according to Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren, and five sworn officers are to be laid off Jan. 1. Also laid off will be the community services officer Jan. 1. The Carengie Library, located in downtown Lincoln, will be closed starting Friday, Jatczak said, and the city’s library director “will be with us for a two-month period of time.” Staffing reductions in the development services department means “shorter counter hours for the public,” Jatczak said. According to the budget document, those reductions include an office assistant in the development services department. The city’s total operating budget is $46.2 million, according to Jatczak, and the General Fund’s budget is $11 million. Archives looking for a home – Move to City Hall would be temporary, city officials say – The Lincoln Area Archives Museum at 472 E St. must soon find a temporary home. That’s for safety reasons so volunteers and the public will not be exposed to asbestos when the material is being removed form the city-owned building, according to Lincoln’s public-services director Mark Miller. JULY More tax talk – Grassroots committee wants public-safety funds measure – Four Lincoln residents are working to get a new tax measure approved to help the city provide public safety services. The group, which as of press time does not have an official name, consists of Chris Schaff, Noreen Skillman, Michael Storz and Roger Ueltzen. Local Little League hosting All Stars Majors tournament – Double-elimination tournament promises great baseball – The Fourth of July parade in Lincoln offered a short break Monday morning for District 11’s All Stars. Players ranging in age from 9 to 14 are competing to determine the best-of-the-best in four divisions. All Stars are players selected from every team in Little League. Council names new committee members – Tuesday night’s City Council consisted of more talk than action before a crowd of about 40 residents. The bulk of the relatively quiet meeting consisted of public comment and council-initiated business. Council approved four new fiscal sustainability committee members: Lincoln residents Michele Hutchison, Richard MacKirdy, Mike Miller and Don Wall. The fiscal sustainability committee formed March 25 to develop a request for proposal to find a consultant for developing a plan, according to previous News Messenger reports. City Manager Jim Estep said Monday that the committee has interviewed “the top three consulting firms who would provide facilitators for the group.” “That’s not public (information) yet,” Estep said when asked by The News Messenger for the names of the consulting firms. ‘Four Diamonds’ for Thunder Valley – Casino scores AAA’s top ranking – Management camaraderie and staff teamwork are two elements of Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s recent AAA Four Diamond rating. Adult entertainment gets city’s attention – New store has council thinking about Lincoln’s downtown identity – A zoning ordinance regarding the sale of adult toys and entertainment is not likely to be discussed during the August Planning Commission meeting. That’s according to Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak, who said the August meeting” is too soon.” Jatczak is referring to City Councilman Gabriel Hydrick’s request at the July 12 City Council meeting to review the ordinance regarding the sale of adult sexual entertainment and toys. Lincoln Boulevard Redesign – City seeking resident input – During the next few months, the public is encouraged to provide input of the redesign of Lincoln Boulevard, currently known as Highway 65 or G Street in the downtown area. A community workshop held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 11 at City Hall will provide project information and allow for public questions and feedback. Next summer, Caltrans is scheduled to open the Lincoln Bypass project and relinquish the former Highway 65 to the city of Lincoln, including the section from Seventh Street to Sterling Parkway, according to a city of Lincoln press release Tuesday. Gang-related shooting downtown – Police: could involve Sureno, Norteno clans – Lincoln police responded Monday to a non-injury gang-related shooting in the area of Sixth and B streets. Reports from a neighbor of shots being fired were called into 9-1-1 at 6:47 p.m., according to Lincoln Police Lt. David Ibarra. “Upon arrival, officers located 9 millimeter shell casings in the 600 block alley between B and C streets,” Ibarra said. “As a result of this shooting, we have an individual in possession of a firearm that could be used against rival gangs, innocent citizens or us.” “Officers believe the incident involved local rival Sureno and Norteno gangs,” according to Ibarra. Fiscal sustainability committee takes big step – Council approves $40,000 contract – City Council approved a $40,000 contract Tuesday night to facilitate the development of a fiscal sustainability plan. The city entered into a professional services agreement with Municipal Resource Group (MRG) “to provide facilitation and technical support to the fiscal sustainability committee,” according to a staff report for Tuesday’s council meeting. Could Carnegie Library reopen? – A newly formed Carnegie Feasibility Committee will study whether the Carnegie Library can reopen with volunteers. Shirley Russell, a Lincoln resident and library advocate, told council during public comment that the Friends of the Lincoln Library appointed her the committee’s chairwoman. Russell told City Council that the committee will study “the ramifications of backing a volunteer staffing program.” AUGUST Four new principals, vice principal named – The first school board meeting of the year passed quickly Tuesday night, ending after 15 minutes. Western Placer Unified School District’s four new principals and assistant principal were introduced to the board. New principals are Jay Berns, Lincoln High School; Shelly Hoover, Glen Edwards Middle School; Scott Pickett, Creekside Oaks Elementary; and Daniela Thompson, Twelve Bridges Elementary. Mike Maul is a new assistant principal for Lincoln High School. Galleria Mall arsonist gets 15 years – The arsonist who started the blaze that destroyed a major portion of the Westfield Galleria at Roseville was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday. Alexander Piggee, 24, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty on March 8 to setting the blaze that caused more than $55 million in damages. Mickey Haggard remembered – Plaque installed Friday at Twelve Bridges Library – A handful of friends and family members of Mickey Haggard gathered Friday to witness a plaque installation at Twelve Bridges Library. The plaque hangs near the library’s periodical section, honoring the work Haggard did to get the Twelve Bridges Library built. Council meets to discuss Lincoln lawyer – city attorney Hayes to leave in December – Setting expectations and working together as one unified body were discussed Aug. 4 during a Lincoln City Council special meeting. Agenda topics were a review of a request for proposal for a new city attorney and discussions about the process for policy governance and the city manager’s performance evaluation. Couple found dead in Fourth Street home – Homicide investigation is under way – Neighbors described the man and woman found dead in a Fourth Street home as an older couple, known to be quiet. An adult male and an adult female were found dead in a home at the 1500 block of Fourth Street just after 6:30 p.m. Friday, according to the city of Lincoln’s public information officer Jill Thompson, 20 minutes after a Placer County SWAT team entered the home. “Staging medical personnel entered the house and pronounced the individuals dead,” Lincoln Police Lt. David Ibarra said. “The male and female both sustained a gunshot wound.” The identity of the man and woman are husband, Noland Thomas, 67, and Jo Ann Thomas, 70, according to Thompson. It appears at this point in the investigation that it was a murder-suicide, according to Thompson. She said that it appears the husband shot the wife and then killed himself. New restaurant could open by December at Beerman’s – John Drust and his father, Mike Drust, want to open a new downtown restaurant and nightclub by December at the former Beermann’s Restaurant. It depends on final negotiations with the former Beermann’s Restaurant owner and if the Drusts can get an ABC license to serve beer, wine and distilled spirits, according to John Drust. Tanker fire closes downtown – Fire officials say residents could be back in their homes as soon as this morning. A mandatory evacuation of 4,800 downtown homes and businesses took place following a tanker fire that started at about noon Tuesday (Aug. 23), according to Cal Fire’s Daniel Berlant. And a Red Cross official said about 10,000 residents left their homes Tuesday. The fire took place at Northern Propane Energy, which is near the corner of Nicolaus Road and J Street. News about possibly lifting the evacuation order was delivered during a 9:30 a.m. press conference Wednesday at the Lincoln Community Center. The center is also the location of one of three evacuation shelters set up by the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Texas fire experts arrive here – Outside help – including a hotshot crew of tanker fire experts from Texas – was helping Lincoln deal Wednesday with a potentially catastrophic propane fire in a railway tank car. The crew flew in from Houston on a private jet and are now part of a local team augmented by area fire officials and led by Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. Rescue group takes in animals from Lincoln fire – With the tanker fire in Lincoln consuming propane and the attention of authorities, a specialized group mobilized to protect the animals affected by Tuesday night’s evacuation. Noah’s Wish, a national all-volunteer group, set up at Margaret Azevedo Park on Wildcat Boulevard to house animals removed from the Lincoln evacuation zone. Planning Commission tackles sex-shop issue – city attorney asked to research rules on adult-entertainment establishments – Each of the six Planning Commission members has suggestions on how to regulate the quantity and location of sexual entertainment and adult-novelty items during the Aug. 17 Planning Commission meeting. Three residents attended the meeting, in which commissioners asked that the city attorney research what type of business districts stores selling adult entertainment items can be allowed in and what percentage of a store’s inventory can be adult entertainment and toys. SEPTEMBER A mother’s last wishes – Crystal Shawnee, 40, hopes the community provides for her children – Forty-year-old Crystal Shawnee’s last thoughts are about the welfare of her family, specifically her two children. The Lincoln resident has just days left to live. She has Stage 4 cancer of the appendix, a very rare form of cancer. Why so much propane near homes, school? Installed in 1973, tanks provided fuel for Gladding McBean – Concern on the community’s part about the installation of a propane yard at the edge of town on Nicolaus Road was prevalent in News Messenger reports from 1973, although there are no reports of the yard’s approval from the city. Eight storage tanks were installed along with a railroad spur where the propane was to be delivered using train tanker cars, much like the one that caught fire last week. Fiscal watchdog groups loses first member – Schmidt questioned city staff tactics – Chuck Schmidt says the work of the fiscal sustainability committee will result in another tax measure for the city of Lincoln. Schmidt was a subcommittee member of the fiscal sustainability committee until he issued his letter of resignation Saturday. Schmidt’s resignation came after city staff “put up a roadblock” while he was trying to do research, according to Schmidt. Schmidt said he e-mailed Springbrook, the company that provides the city’s bookkeeping software, on Aug. 22. In that e-mail to Springbrook, Schmidt asked how long it should take, on average, for the city’s bookkeeping software program to create a report on city salaries and benefits. Tanker fire investigation update – The investigation into what caused the Aug. 23-24 tanker fire could take a few months to a year. That’s according to Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Warren Flatau. On Tuesday, Flatau said there is “nothing new to report” regarding the investigation. Dispatcher earns praise for response during tanker fire – Terri Leedy was on duty during emergency – Lincoln’s police and fire chiefs praised the sole dispatcher on duty during last month’s tanker fire. The praise for police dispatcher Terri Leedy came during a press conference Friday where the 9-1-1 tapes from that incident were released. “Given the perspective of what dispatchers go through, she held the situation together,” Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren said. “She was one of the contributing factors of the first 30 minutes that helped with the outcome.” Public services employees strike – It’s unknown when they’ll be back at work – Twenty-nine of Lincoln’s 37 public-services employees waited three hours at Tuesday’s City Council meeting before leaving to receive picket signs. Thirty-six of Lincoln’s public-services employees went on strike at 6 a.m. Wednesday to picket City Hall and the city’s corporation yard. The strike was in response to Tuesday’s City Council’s decision authorizing City Manager Jim Estep to implement a Last, Best and Final Offer for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39, the city’s classified unit. Council rejects tentative agreement – Strike begins third week – Lincoln City Councilmen were escorted past pickers by police upon leaving Tuesday night’s council meeting, as picketers chanted “Shame on you!” That action came after the five councilmen told city staff to continue negotiations with the city’s International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39 classified unit, instead of approving a tentative agreement ratified by the labor group on Sept. 19. Recall effort over – Birdseye calls it off – The recall effort to unseat three of five Lincoln City Councilmen ended Sept. 22. Lincoln resident Bob Birdseye e-mailed City Clerk Pat Avila at 4 p.m. Sept. 22, withdrawing the notices of intent to recall Mayor Paul Joiner and City Councilmen Tom Cosgrove and Spencer Short. “As of that writing, I have accepted the e-mail to formally withdraw the notices of intent to recall council members Joiner, Short and Cosgrove, and consider the matter void,” Avila e-mailed The News Messenger. OCTOBER Sign says 20 miles per hour – many drivers not slowing down for bypass detour curve – Lincoln Police officers are urging drivers to obey temporary speed limit signs on the 20 MPH curve on Highway 65, between Sterling Parkway and Twelve Bridges Drive. Ten traffic accidents have occurred there since the detour was opened June 1. There have been no fatalities and no major injuries as a result of those accidents, according to Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren. The latest accident occurred on Sept. 26 when a tractor trailer carrying groceries overturned, causing the Twelve Bridges Drive and Sterling Parkway exits to be shut down for more than five hours, according to previous News Messenger reports. Strike: Week four, with no end in sight – Negotiations at standstill ­– As public-service employees enter their fourth week of picketing, no date as of press time has been set to return to the negotiation table. Strikers address City Council – Six striking city employees asked during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as well as two family members, that the councilmen ratify a Sept. 19 tentative agreement. Thirty-six public-service employees have been on strike since Sept. 14, after City Council implemented a Last, Best and Final Offer with their labor group. The employees are striking because they do not agree with the 10 percent out-of-pocket healthcare premium the Last, Best and Final Offer has them paying. Local 39 Strike – Nader says 80-20 split is possible – utility rates might rise – The city of Lincoln may eventually ask employees to pay 20 percent of their health-care premiums. “The city is looking for 80/20” when it comes to how the payment for health care is split between the city and employees, according to City Councilman Stan Nader. Five labor groups contracts up next June – Some won’t comment about current strike – Contracts of the city’s remaining five labor groups are up next June and the concessions they will be asked to take are not yet known. That’s according to Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak, who said there is “no firm number of what we would like to save” through concessions. “Every agreement is different and every negotiation is different,” Jatczak said. “There’s not a target amount that we are trying to achieve in savings.” Strike talk dominated council meeting - City will consider cuts to lifetime health care – Retired Lincoln City Council members cost the city $2,549.15 a month for medical benefits, which comes to $30,589.80 a year. That’s according to the city’s human resource analyst Sheila Van Zandt, who said three retired council members receive health care through the city. Fiscal sustainability committee in fact-finding stage – two community members attend public workshop – Reviewing two PowerPoint presentations took up the majority of the Oct. 19 fiscal sustainability meeting. The resident-comprised committee holds weekly 6:30 p.m. public meetings every Wednesday at City Hall. NOVEMBER Strike is over – Workers would have lost medical coverage if they didn’t return by Monday – All but three of the striking public-services workers reported back to work Monday morning. That’s according to the city of Lincoln’s public information officer Jill Thompson, who said the remaining three workers “are expected to report back to work” on Tuesday. She cited personal reasons for the three not returning on Monday. But city officials and union officials will not say why the workers returned and if any of their demands were met. School board pays $25,000 to hold site – No date when new Lincoln Crossing venue would be built – School board members voted Tuesday night to pay $25,000 to hold on to a elementary school site in Lincoln Crossing. Half of the $25,000 paid each year may go toward the purchase of the land, according to Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. The other half of the $25,000 is kept by the owner of the land, SunCal Lincoln Crossing LLC, Leaman said. The school site is located near the intersection of Brentford and Caledon circles in Lincoln Crossing. Council rips SACOG map – Special meeting to address concerns – A Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) presentation led to a two-and-a-half-hour discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Mike McKeever, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ chief executive officer, presented the council with information about its Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2035. Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Colfax, Councilman Spencer Short said, were given “a greater area” on the map for their “central core.” “I’m wondering why we got the short shrift,” Short said. “You have to break out a magnifying glass to see that for Lincoln.” All council members, except for Tom Cosgrove, who is on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, had concerns. Thunder Valley leaders face recall – Breakaway group claims council ignores tribal interests – A fissure over leadership of the United Auburn Indian Community threatens to overturn the Thunder Valley Casino owner’s tribal council. A breakaway group supported by former tribal chairwoman Jessica Tavares has taken the initial step of collecting enough signatures to force a vote to recall all five members of the tribal council. Unfair labor practice charged – The unfair labor practice charge filed by Local 39 on Oct. 5 is under review by the Public Employment Relations Board. According to previous News Messenger reports, the charge was filed because City Council did not vote on a tentative labor agreement for the city’s public-services classified staff, Local 39 International Union of Operating Engineers. City Council – Lincoln chooses to abstain – council members want to send message today to Sacramento Area Council of Governments – City Council decided in a special meeting Tuesday morning to have Councilman Tom Cosgrove abstain from voting at today’s Sacramento Area Council of Governments meeting. The vote is on whether to release a draft copy of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Transportation Plan 2035 to the public for review. Possibility of renewal at Library – new director Torkelson being hired to work part-time – Sierra College reference librarian Jon Torkelson will soon be the Twelve Bridges Library interim library director. Former city of Lincoln library director Darla Wegener left her position in August of this year for a new job in Southern California, according to previous News Messenger reports. Due to the city’s budget cuts, 59 percent of the library director’s salary was budgeted for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Everything points to Dec. 6 decision – approaching vote could regionalize sewer services – A Lincoln City Councilman responded to skeptical questions about sewer regionalization during Monday night’s rural Lincoln Municipal Advisory Council meeting. Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt, who represents District Two, gave a presentation on the potential regional sewer project to the advisory board and 20 members of the public. On Dec. 6, the Placer County Board of Supervisors will decide whether to regionalize sewer services between Lincoln, Auburn and Placer County at Lincoln’s facility or upgrade the county’s wastewater treatment plant that serves Sewer Maintenance District 1 in north Auburn, according to Weygandt. City turns to Web to attract new business – Site idea of economic development committee – A business outreach plan criticized by City Council in September was discussed Nov. 17 by the city’s economic development committee. A component of that plan discussed at length was the creation of a web page to attract new businesses. Former committee member Dennis Wagner, who resigned from the group last month, designed a New Business Outreach website for Lincoln before leaving the committee. DECEMBER Seven cited for selling alcohol to minors – Employees at seven Lincoln shops and restaurants were cited Nov. 18 for selling alcohol to minors. That occurred during a minor decoy operation organized by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, according to Lincoln Police Sgt. Terry Kennedy. He said that “we went to about every place in town.” State board files city complaint – Unfair labor practice charge refers to recent strike – The California Public Employment Relations Board has filed a complaint in favor of Lincoln’s public-services employees regarding an unfair labor practice charge. Public Employment Relations Board division chief Les Chisholm would not say what the end result of the charge could be. $109,023.31 not collected in library fines and fees – Twelve Bridges Library staff will try to collect $109,023.31 in fines, fees and lost items. That figure is a combination of the uncollected fees and fines since fiscal year 2007-2008, according to a report by library coordinator Renae Mahaffey. Board delays decision on wastewater – they vote to study options further after marathon Tuesday meeting – Placer County supervisors spent a marathon session Tuesday in an attempt to come up with a solution for ongoing wastewater challenges in North Auburn’s Sewer Maintenance District 1. At the end of the day, the board voted to continue to have staff study the so-called regional solution that could take in Lincoln and possibly Auburn as partners. Supervisors will have another look at the regional option by March 13. City engineer Bruce Burnworth makes sure county aware of concerns – Bruce Burnworth’s City Hall office is open to anyone who wants to talk about Lincoln issues important to them. The city engineer spends his days making Lincoln a better place to live for residents. Work accomplished by Burnworth has centered on public-service issues such as streets, water, wastewater and the regionalization of wastewater treatment between Lincoln, the city of Auburn and Placer County. Taking the city engineer job 21 months ago, Burnworth has secured more than $20 million in funding in capital improvement projects for Lincoln. Short to succeed Joiner as new Lincoln mayor – council members reflect on recent developments – Economic development and regional activity are what Spencer Short plans to tackle as Lincoln’s mayor during the next year. Fire chief Whitt resigns – city doesn’t yet know how position will be filled long-term – Dave Whitt’s last day as Lincoln’s fire chief will be Dec. 29. Whitt, 50, said he will “take on early retirement.” “I’m going to try to move on and do other things and spend time with my family,” Whitt said. Whitt’s salary is $134,000. When asked how much his retirement benefits would be, he “anticipates around $60,000 a year.” When asked by The News Messenger if he was being pushed out of his job, Whitt said, “Absolutely not.” Local history on the move – Venue to reopen by Feb. 1 or sooner – A mandatory move for the Lincoln Area Archives Museum, due to Civic Center renovations, will mean more access to historical documents and artifacts for patrons. Last Thursday, the nonprofit organization temporarily moved out of the Civic Center on the corner of 5th and E streets to the city’s former City Hall and police station on Beermann Plaza at 540 Fifth Street. Archives co-founder Don Logan, 86, dies – Don Logan, 86 and one of the three founding members of the Lincoln Area Archives, died Dec. 14. Logan, along with his brother, Jerry Logan, and Wes Freeman, founded the Lincoln Area Archives in 1993. Police search for stabbing suspect – Lincoln police are looking for Angel Casarez Romero in connection with a stabbing that occurred early Sunday morning. Romero, 28, is wanted in the stabbing of his wife in a Joiner Parkway apartment, according to Lincoln police. Mills receives 27 years to life for assault on deputy – Placer County Judge Colleen Nichols sentenced 33-year-old Joshua Daniel Mills of Lincoln on Friday to 27 years to life in prison for committing a felonious gassing by a prisoner upon a peace officer and resisting an officer by force. Mills was sentenced under California’s Three Strik