City Council votes for temporary extension of the city manager’s contract

City Council
By: Carol Percy, Reporter Lincoln News Messenger
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Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was lightly attended with about 12 audience members at McBean Park Pavilion. The relatively light agenda included consent items extending the city manager’s contract and adopting a resolution to endorse a regional strategy committee.

Lincoln City Council directed Mayor Stan Nader and Councilman Peter Gilbert as members of the city’s personnel committee to meet with City Manager Jim Estep to discuss a possible extension of Estep’s employment agreement, which was to end June 30, 2013. The employment agreement was extended to Dec. 31, 2013. The decision was unanimously approved by the council.

“His contract is up in June and the City Council wants to negotiate a multi-year contract,” Nader said.

Estep’s contract will be extended with no changes to the terms of the existing agreement, including all previous amendments. All changes included in the prior April 5, 2011 amendment will remain in force.

Council adopts resolution endorsing the Next Economy

Next up, City Council was to adopt a resolution endorsing the Next Economy Regional Prosperity Plan, which includes strategies aimed at accelerating job creation and economic health across a six-county region.

The Next Economy was launched in August 2011 by business leadership from the Sacramento Metro Chamber, the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, the Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance and Valley Vision.

The group aims to align regional economic development activities and focus them for maximum impact. It calls on private industry, government, academic and civic leadership to focus on a set of common strategies and actions to accelerate job creation and new investment in California’s Capital Region with the goals of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, diversifying the regional economy and improving the business climate for economic growth, according to information in a City Council April 9 memorandum.

Although the council’s agenda called for a simple adoption of a resolution to endorse the group, Councilman Gabriel Hydrick spent nearly a half hour telling fellow council members why he didn’t like the idea, citing concerns about the Next Economy committee being an overreaching governing body.

Councilman Peter Gilbert countered Hydrick’s argument.

“This allows a city of our size to get benefits we can’t get on our own,” Gilbert said. “We have to join together to cause things to happen in this region.”

Councilman Spencer Short added his support for the Next Economy.

“I think it’s important that we get involved. California’s a very business-unfriendly environment,” Short said. “It’s important that we bring business back.”

The council adopted the resolution with a 4 to 1 vote, with Hydrick voting no.