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Public says bye to Councilman Tom Cosgrove

Stan Nader becomes new mayor
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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The city of Lincoln, City Council members and the public bid a fond farewell to Councilman Tom Cosgrove during the Dec. 11 council meeting.

Cosgrove, who served on the council 18 years and was mayor four times, decided not to run for re-election this year.

He was first elected in 1994.

When Cosgrove began serving on the council, the city was a sixth of the size it is today, outgoing Mayor Spencer Short pointed out. Sun City Lincoln Hills, Twelve Bridges and Lincoln Crossing had not yet been built. Today, Lincoln’s population is 43,572.

In a presentation during the first part of the Dec. 11 meeting, Short highlighted contributions Cosgrove made to the city in the areas of transportation, housing, regional governance, business and infrastructure.

For most of his time on the council, Cosgrove shepherded the Highway 65 Bypass, which opened Oct. 7, through environmental and financial hurdles alongside Placer County Transportation Planning Agency’s executive director Celia McAdam.

“The bypass was Tom’s baby,” McAdam said. “We’ve been to more meetings together. He and I would play good cop, bad cop. Most of the time, Tom was the bad cop. When U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and federal Environmental Protection Agency would be unreasonable about mitigation, Tom would quote them the rules. He did his homework.”

McAdam said Cosgrove leaves a “lasting legacy” in the area of transit, airport and rail for Lincoln and Placer County.

“I hope he smiles whenever he sees the bypass and says, ‘That’s mine,’” McAdam said. “We owe you a debt of gratitude.”  

Short said he has worked with Cosgrove as a council member and during his time as city treasurer. Short was first elected to the City Council in 2000. He was city treasurer from 1996 to 2000.

“I talked to one former City Council member who said he and Tom may not have always agreed and they had some serious policy concerns and disagreements, but after the vote was taken, they moved forward.

“Tom has always fought for the best of the community,” Short said. “I want to thank him on behalf of the city for his service.”

Cosgrove said he was grateful for the opportunity to work together in local and regional areas “that benefited the community greatly,” specifically the General Plan for Lincoln and the Sacramento Region Blueprint for growth while serving on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). 

When he became a council member, Cosgrove said, “I thought I had all the answers and then learned the complexity of local and regional government. I learned about water, transportation. I want to thank Celia for being a great mentor, Mark McKeever of SACOG (executive director) and city staff members Mark (Miller), Jim (Estep), the city attorney (Jon Hobbs), Pat (Avila) and Dia (Gix). All the city staff members were patient, nurturing and helped me gain knowledge.”

On behalf of the city, Short gave Cosgrove a plaque with special photos, the gavel and a Lincoln Fire Department patch commemorating his years of service. 

City Clerk Pat Avila told Cosgrove how much she is going to miss his visits to City Hall accompanied by his grandchildren during his daily strolls downtown.

“I’m going to miss you and your grandchildren having lunch from my little candy jar,” Avila said.

Following the presentation, Avila swore in newly-elected council members Peter Gilbert, Short and Paul Joiner and city treasurer Terry Dorsey and administered the oath of office to incoming mayor Stan Nader. Short and Joiner ran as incumbents.

Nader announced that an all-day strategic planning meeting is scheduled Jan. 29 for the City Council and staff to set goals and objectives. Although the meeting is primarily for the council and staff, there will be time set aside for public comment.

“One of the reasons I support the strategic planning retreat is based on the recognition that some in the community and the press attribute the friction and strife among the council members to me,” Nader said. “Understanding that perception can be reality. it is my desire as your new mayor to set a new tone of cooperation and conciliation among the council, starting with myself. I am responsible for setting the example I hope to see in others.”

The council approved committee appointments for each council member.

The newest member, Peter Gilbert, said he asked city staff Dec. 10 to tell him when the meetings are and was told he would “learn tomorrow.”

Gilbert said he is concerned about possible conflicts.

“With all due respect, one of the committees meets tomorrow and I can’t go,” Gilbert said. “If I know and have a conflict, I can back out and someone else can go.”

Joiner told Nader that “there may be a conflict of interest with the Placer Conservation Plan Ad Hoc committee because you are a member of SARSAS (Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead).

City Attorney Jon Hobbs said he would research whether Nader “would need to step down from the committee.”

In other news, the council:

- Amended the Joiner Village Specific Plan and development permit amendment to eliminate pedestrian access between Joiner Village and Sixth Street after residents complained of increased littering, vandalism, graffiti, keying of vehicles and theft. A block wall will be constructed and paid for by the Joiner Village Homeowners Association.

- Waived the full reading and adopted on a 4 to 1 vote an ordinance implementing the Regional Water Quality Control Board requirement that all construction projects less than 1 acre install erosion and sediment control measures to control the discharge of pollutants. The board sent a notice of violation to the city this past March 23. If the city does not adopt the ordinance, it will be fined approximately $25,000 per day. The council also adopted on a 4 to 1 vote a resolution approving changes to the Master Fee Schedule to add cost recovery for erosion and sediment control plan check and inspection for projects less than 1 acre.  Councilman Gabriel Hydrick was the dissenting vote.