Citizen's task force to advise city on budget

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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A Citizens’Advisory Financial Task Force will help guide Lincoln’s City Council and staff in preparing a budget for next year, as the creation of a task force was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Originally planned to be composed of seven members, Councilman Kent Nakata suggested nine advisers be involved, representing a cross section of the community. That idea was backed by Councilman Paul Joiner and supported by council members Linda Stackpoole and Tom Cosgrove. Mayor Spencer Short was absent from Tuesday’s meeting. The task force will have four functions, said Steve Ambrose, director of finance and administrative services during his report to the council. Once nine members are selected, they will be responsible for assisting the council in reviewing revenue sources, bringing forward ideas for new revenue sources, providing suggestions on standby resources such as the city’s budget reserve and finally preparing a written report to submit to City Council. “It should be an interactive discussion,” said City Manager Jim Estep as the council members discussed how the task force will operate. The next step, according to the resolution passed Tuesday, is for applicants to come forward. If a sufficient number of residents do not submit applications, which will be out in the near future, the council will appoint residents to fill out the task force, which is set to be an ad-hoc unit for this budget cycle, which ends June 30. Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at