Join us in right-sizing our city

By: Stan Nader Special to The News Messenger
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I would like to respond to a letter to the editor in last week's News Messenger (May 26, 2011 A4), saying Councilman Gabriel Hydrick and I were "dead set" against Measure K a few months ago "in order to be elected" but are now encouraging a tax measure. If one takes a quick visit to my campaign website,, and clicks on the link to my FAQ's, read the response to the second question regarding the utility users’ tax. Anyone can read that my message has been consistent regarding revenue enhancements. Councilman Hydrick and I did not support Measure K. We were told repeatedly by many Lincoln citizens that they didn't believe our city needed additional revenue to support public safety because the citizens had lost trust in their city government's ability to legally and properly, spend or report current monies the city did have. Excessive top-end salaries and benefits, spending on items such as $6,000 a year on bottled water and coffee service, $12,000 per year for an e-bulletin service that could be acquired for less are but a few to name. We knew that pennies could and do add up to dollars. When citizens voted to place Councilman Hydrick and myself in the elected office of Lincoln City Council, we were given a clear mandate to scrub the city's budget of excessive spending. We have diligently attempted to work toward that end. It has been a much slower process and we have been met with roadblocks we had not anticipated. It is obvious that certain council members have failed to recognize the voters’ mandate. In addition, it is also evident that certain council members and top city staff appear to have “heartburn” when the term “we” or “staff” is used. The task of representing the people is a daunting mission and it does “take a village” to get the work done. I am very thankful for those who have stepped up to volunteer their professional talents and time to accomplish the work of the people. Some who have stepped forward have assisted me in parsing the city's financial numbers into documents that are meaningful and understandable. Several citizens have stepped up to, and assisted my staff, in analyzing union contracts. Without their assistance, these two specific items and many others would be virtually impossible to move forward and would lack the citizen driven requests for progress and change. The implications in the letter to the editor that Councilman Hydrick and myself are acting like typical politicians are incorrect. Both of us know what the citizens want from their city government: accountability and transparency. Continuing to make accusations that have no basis in fact will not help the city of Lincoln. Please unite with us so we can accomplish the goal to “right size” our city of Lincoln. We would like your ideas and solutions. Stan Nader is a Lincoln City Councilman.