New council members take seats

Nader and Hydrick adding to discussion
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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In front of an audience of almost 80 community members Tuesday night, Gabriel Hydrick and Stan Nader were sworn in as Lincoln City Council members. The mayor’s torch was passed from Tom Cosgrove to Paul Joiner. “It’s an exciting time in the city. We have many challenges to face,” Nader told the audience after being sworn in. “I appreciate the confidence you’ve placed in me by putting me in this position. I will truly serve you, the citizens, and you will not be sorry for the decision that you made.” Hydrick became choked up when thanking his wife and daughters. “I definitely thank my wife who stood beside me and encouraged me and my three little girls,” Hydrick said. “I look forward to the challenge.” After a short celebration of coffee and cake, Nader and Hydrick didn’t waste any time expressing their opinions and concerns about items on the City Council’s agenda during the unusually long five-hour meeting. Hydrick and Nader both pulled a number of items off of the consent agenda for further discussion, including one about the city’s contract with Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Company (VTD) for accounting services. City staff proposed that an additional $30,000 be added to the contract for accounting services with VTD, which is a total contract amount of $433,960. The contract would go through June 30, 2011. “I’m confident we’re not saving money in this particular case,” Hydrick said. “I’m fine with extending the contract for two months but then open it up to a competitive bid to help save us money.” Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Officer Anna Jatczak told the council she does not have enough in-house accounting staff to perform both auditing and everyday tasks, and needs the VTD consultants until the city adopts a two-tier retirement benefit system. “We’re trying to learn from past mistakes where we thought we would be able to hire internal staff by the end of the fiscal year,” Jatczak said. “I just wanted to not have to bring this back to council should I not be able to hire internal staff.” Councilman Tom Cosgrove made the motion that VTD would be used “for services to complete the audit only, and for other services as indicated by the assistant city manager, we will go out for (a bid).” Both Hydrick and Nader voted no to this.