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Residents demand answers from city

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I attended the City Council meeting last week. Now I know why a lot of people don’t attend. Us common folk don’t understand all the dialogue that goes back and forth. There was a presentation by an Oakland man, giving the results of a survey taken last November. They talked to about 350 people, asking many questions. The finding was that Lincolnites are very happy with the job the City Council is doing with their decisions about finances (I don’t know who they called, I haven’t talked to one happy person). And that we are happy with fire and police responses. My question is why hire an Oakland firm and pay them $22,000? Couldn’t someone in that big million-dollar City Hall call people with the same questions? If they are too busy, then get volunteers or hire back one of the city workers temporarily at a much lower cost! After the meeting, I talked to Linda Stackpoole about the new assistant city manager. Linda told me that the $145,000 paid to the new city employee is not paid out of the General Fund. I don’t know what that means but I guess that is good news? Linda also said that she is very good with numbers and will be a great asset for Lincoln. There are too many unanswered questions we citizens of Lincoln have for our City Council. There are a lot of unhappy people who need to understand better how our tax money is being spent. I save most of the Letters to the Editor that I might want to refer to. I just read one dated July 9, 2009 by Marshall Weir, asking why the old Rainbow facility is still empty. Eight months later, that is still a valid question. He asked then, “How much money has the city lost with it sitting empty for a couple of years?” He credits the city’s redevelopment bureaucracy demanding a facelift fee amounting to some $3.5 million before new owners could move in. Common sense tells you that any new business would want the front and interior to look its best. So, why does it still look the same? It was once the hub of Lincoln. I am so sad every time I pass by and see the old Rainbow sign! It is just another reminder that nothing is getting done. We need the revenue to bolster up our general fund that will be broke next year, I did hear that at the meeting. What happened to the beautification project we have or had? Please City Council, do something about it. In the same paper (July 9, 2009), two pages over, an article titled “Budget: Without new revenue source, public safety to suffer, says task force and council,” the city manager was quoted, “Lincoln’s budget has a fundamental problem: there are more expenses than revenues.” Now we know! So instead of a utility tax, how about campaigning for new businesses to come to friendly Lincoln? Fighting City Hall is almost always a losing battle. So we must take action at the polls and by writing Letters to the Editor and asking questions of our city officials. We all want and need answers. Nancy Moose, Lincoln