New city committee members sought

Fiscal sustainability group expanding to nine citizen members
By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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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 committees be odd numbers to avoid tie votes), the decision was made to add one additional citizen member, taking the committee to nine.” The five residents currently on the committee are chairman Richard Pearl, vice chairman Leland Guth, Larry Whitaker, Dan Karlesknit and Bob Perro. City representatives are Joiner, Councilman Stan Nader and City Manager Jim Estep. “The primary qualifications a new committee member should have are a desire to participate in and contribute to the finding of solutions to the financial challenges confronting our community,” Joiner e-mailed. “In addition, they must be a citizen of Lincoln and have sufficient time available to participate in the effort.” The open-to-the-public weekly committee meetings switches this week from 9 a.m. Wednesdays to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at City Hall. While the committee formed March 25 to develop a request for proposal to find a consultant for developing a plan, the committee is expanding to address the city’s fiscal future. The committee directives include, according to the committee’s membership application: 1. Develop “core” fiscal principles. 2. Review past and present revenue and expense patterns. 3. Review forecast fiscal statements for practical sustainability (all funds). 4. Recommend revenue and expense alternatives for long-term fiscal sustainability. 5. Recommend fiscal sustainability performance standards. Applications are available at the city manager’s office in City Hall, 600 Sixth St. or online at APPLICATION - FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY APP.pdf. “We certainly need the community’s input to make this process valid. Without that, there’s no reason for the community to buy into the plan,” Councilman Stan Nader said. Since being elected to City Council last November, Nader has advocated for the committee and forming such a committee was part of his campaign platform. “We moved the meetings from 9 a.m. to 6 30 p.m. Wednesdays to attract working people. The committee so far is made up of retired folks,” Nader said. “We’re looking for anyone who has good ideas on how the city can be run efficiently. If they have good ideas, we would like to hear them and have them participate.” The deadline to turn in applications to Lincoln city clerk Pat Avila is 5 p.m. June 24. The committee’s five resident members will choose the new appointees, according to Joiner. Interviews will be held June 27 to June 30, Joiner said, and new members will be selected on July 13.