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Lincoln City Manager resigns

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BY STEVE ARCHER

OF THE LINCOLN NEWS MESSENGER

Lincoln City Manager Matt Brower announced his resignation at the end of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Brower will become Heber City’s city manager in Utah on July 16. His last day at Lincoln City Hall is July 6. Brower succeeds Heber City’s City Manager Mark Anderson, who held the position there for 28 years.

“It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to represent you, our employees and this community as your city manager for roughly three years,” Brower said at Tuesday’s meeting. “During that period, we have successfully navigated through challenging environments, provided outstanding municipal services and implemented key organizational changes to place the city on a strong foundation.”

“You should take pride in the fact that the city of Lincoln is recognized in municipal sectors as a leading- edge community and organization and I’m extremely proud to have played a leadership role in helping to contribute to that reputation,” Brower added.

The move will put Brower closer to his children, a key factor in making the decision, according to Brower. Brower, who has children in Provo and St. George, Utah and Las Vegas, said he learned of the opening in March.

“This new position affords my wife and I the opportunity to be closer to our three adult children,” Brower said. “Family has been central to our lives and being closer to our children as they start their own families is of great importance to us.”

Brower leaves behind a “high-performing organization with an amazing staff that has a track record of accomplishing the difficult and  a supportive council who have helped make the difficult possible.”

 “The foundation has been laid for my successor to be successful,” Brower added.

Lincoln City Councilman Gabriel Hydrick commended Brower for his “high level of energy.”

“It’s fantastic you can be closer to your family,” Hydrick added.

The Lincoln City Council planned to meet in a special closed session meeting Wednesday, after press time, to discuss how to replace Brower.

Lincoln Mayor Stan Nader said he is not in a rush to hire a new city manager.

“We will be extremely cautious in our deliberations regarding hiring a new city manager,” Nader said Wednesday. “We will be actively seeking an interim city manager while we consider who the new city manager will be. Given the workloads of our directors, it is my opinion the city is best served to bring someone in from the outside as interim city manager.”

Brower’s tenure has included the revitalization of Lincoln Boulevard, the installation of Art in Public Places throughout downtown Lincoln and a baseball-based partnership with William Jessup University and Placer Valley Tourism. The partnership led to refurbishing McBean Memorial Stadium and establishing the Lincoln Potters baseball team.

In addition to the successes, Brower’s time here saw the city sued successfully over illegal water rates, resulting in $7 million in refunds, the disclosure of decades’ worth of unpaid municipal water-use and an impending California State Auditor investigation.

City budget

Deliberations on the city’s proposed $87.3-million budget are expected to continue at the City Council’s June 26 meeting, with approval likely at that meeting. The council put off approval of the spending document to allow for more public comment and, at the request of Councilman Dan Karleskint, add a line item detailing the cost of city staff time spent on the state audit.

Councilman Peter Gilbert proposed identifying and putting on hold a project with a similar cost to make sure the city can pay for the staff time associated with the state audit.

“We won’t know the cost until it’s over,” Gilbert said. “Let’s identify something in the budget for a certain amount of money we can have on hold. If the audit costs less, we will release the money. Take an educated guess of the cost of the audit.”

Karleskint seemed to agree.

“That’s prudent,” Karleskint said. “I hope staff can come up with the number of personnel hours it will take.”

Water rates

New water rates for Lincoln residents should go into effect in October, according to Support Services director Steve Ambrose. The new rates will be composed of a monthly flat rate of $32.89 and a volumetric rate of $2.37 per 1,000 gallons.

Notices will be mailed out June 30, a public hearing will be held Aug. 14 and the rates will be implemented Oct. 1, according to Ambrose.