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Where misplaced $3 million should go to be addressed Tuesday

Know and Go: What: Lincoln City Council Meeting When: 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 Where: McBean Park Pavilion, 65 McBean Park Drive
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The $3 million in unrealized investment losses placed in the General Fund will be discussed at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, according to Mayor Paul Joiner. “It’s my understanding that there is no specific action to be taken in regard to the reallocation,” Joiner e-mailed The News Messenger Tuesday. “However, the reallocation discussion will be tied to the reserve policy agenda item that will also be presented at the meeting.” The discussion will not be part of a public hearing, according to Joiner, but” public comment will still be heard like usual.” He did not know who will present the staff report, but said it would “at minimum” involve City Manager Jim Estep and Assistant City Manager Anna Jatczak. During the last City Council meeting on Jan. 11, Joiner told the unusually large audience of 125 that the $3 million in unrealized investment losses will be discussed during the next City Council meeting. This was in response to a statement made by Lincoln resident Cindy Prentice during the public comment portion of the meeting. The last council meeting attracted almost an hour worth of reprimanding public comment, with most of the speakers addressing the city’s mismanagement of funds. Prentice questioned city staff’s “lack of understanding the basics of government finance” when it comes to the misallocation of $3 million in unrealized investment losses into the General Fund.” Since mid-December, community members have said the $3 million was misallocated and should have been disclosed during the Measure K or utility users’ tax discussion. Two topics Joiner said the public might want to hear about at next Tuesday’s meeting are a discussion of the city’s reserves policy and an inter-fund loan report. The News Messenger asked Joiner if he recommend the public attend the next City Council meeting. “I have always recommended the public attend City Council meetings,” Joiner e-mailed, also suggesting that the public attend “any and all council sub-committee meetings that interest them.” “An aware, engaged and knowledgeable citizenry is in the best interest of our entire community.”