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City of Lincoln/Lancaster County
City Council & County Commission
Super-Common Meeting Schedule

Friday, January 28, 2000 -
8:00 a.m.County-City Building
Conference Room 113

COUNCIL MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Jeff Fortenberry, Commons Chair; Jon Camp, Jonathan Cook, Coleen Seng; ABSENT: Cindy Johnson, Annette McRoy, Jerry Shoecraft.

COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Linda Steinman, Commons Vice-Chair; Kathy Campbell, Bob Workman; ABSENT: Bernie Heier, Larry Hudkins.

OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Mayor Don Wesely was absent. Gina Dunning and Ann Harrell, Mayor's Office; Director Kathleen Sellman, Steve Hendrichsen, Mike DeKalb, Kent Morgan, Nichole Fleck-Tooze, Planning Department; Jim Morgan, Director, Parks & Recreation; Mary Helen Elliott, Board of Health; Carol Douglas, Health Department; Russ Shultz, Noxious Weed Control Superintendent; Bob Moyer, Family Violence Council; Amy Evans, Director of Friendship Home; Marci Metzgar, Rape & Violence Crises Center; Kit Boesch, Human Services; Richard Thayer, Heritage Institute; Joan Ray, Council Secretary. Chris Hain, Journal Star Representative; other media guests and members of the public.

Chair Fortenberry called the meeting to order at approximately 8:10 a.m. Mr. Fortenberry delayed the vote of Minutes Approval until attendance of Common Members constituted a quorum. [Upon Jonathan Cook's arrival midway through the presentations, the minutes were called as the next item of business] Chair Fortenberry called for a motion to approve the Common Minutes of November 19, 1999. Ms. Coleen Seng moved approval of the Minutes; the motion, seconded by Ms. Kathy Campbell, carried by the following vote: AYES: Jon Camp, Kathy Campbell, Jonathan Cook, Jeff Fortenberry, Coleen Seng, Linda Steinman, Bob Workman; NAYS: None; ABSENT: Mayor Wesely, Bernie Heier, Larry Hudkins, Cindy Johnson, Annette McRoy, Jerry Shoecraft.

This Meeting was Scheduled to address:


Consolidation Issues - Discussion
Election of Officers


Mr. Fortenberry invited the Planning Director, Kathleen Sellman, to come forward to make the presentation. Ms. Sellman reported that the presentation would cover the two big projects for the next few years which would be the Long Range Transportation Plan Update and the Five Year Review of the Comprehensive Plan. She presented a chart which showed the projected time-line for completing that.

A secondary area for discussion is the progress Planning has made on hiring a Long-range Planner. That is a very short story, so she addressed that concern first. She reported that Planning had done a second recruitment and have received a number of applications from what is hoped to be a very qualified group of planners. She felt is was a better outcome than the first process. They have scheduled four people for interviews over the next week or so. Two will be coming in on the 4th and two on the 7th of February. The time-line is to have someone hired at the beginning of March. She was hopeful that that goal could be met.

Back to the Plans. The first is the Long Range Transportation Plan. This is a Federal Mandate through the Transportation Planning requirements. Lincoln has an existing plan that was adopted in December of 1994. That Plan was deemed by the Federal Highway Commission to have a five-year life. They believe that it expired in December of 1999. Therefore, we are under the gun to complete their requirements for having an up-to-date Transportation Plan and we will have that by September of this year.

There are a number of steps outlined on the attached sheet labeled `City-County Common Briefing, January 28, 2000.' Ms. Sellman had hoped for a go-ahead today. Ms. Campbell asked by when Planning would need the representatives appointed? It was noted that they would like them by February 11th - which would be two weeks from today, if possible. They would like to have the first meeting by the beginning part of March.

Ms. Sellman noted that this was a very aggressive schedule. Planning has had to narrow the scope of what would be looked at in the Transportation Plan which would typically be done as a part of the Comprehensive Plan Review. This is not the ideal way to do it; but because that Plan must be completed sooner than we believe the Comprehensive Plan will be completed, we must proceed.

What we plan to do is take a look at the growth areas that have been added to the Plan since 1994. The road planning has somehow not happened before the growth areas were defined. The location of the arterials have not been defined. This is not the ideal way to do this type of a plan. There are a lot of unresolved issues. We will include in the next eight months a look at those projects that are already on our screens such as Antelope Valley, East "O" Plan, and whether there will be a crossing of Wilderness Park and where. The East and South Beltway locations will be reviewed. We have reason to believe that those are issues that can be settled within the next year. We would like, as a part of our Transportation Planning process, to see some of those questions answered. We have some enormous issues to look at, as well as some of these fringe area questions.

There will also be a fiscal analysis of how the City will pay for Transportation and other infrastructure improvements that will be needed as development occurs. This will receive a fairly detailed look which will begin as a part of this process. This will continue on beyond the adoption of the Plan. There will be some conceptual information that will be available for Plan Adoption in September. That look will be continued as we get into the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan is the Five Year Review. In that we will be looking at everything in that Plan, validating what we have and see where we need to go to improve the Plan as it is today. The Planning Department has outlined on the back of the hand-out sheet under 2. a-e what the major activities will be. We'll still be looking at the financing element and at exploring growth model alternatives - which will include the Stevens Creek Area. That is a question which is asked over and over again - what are we doing there - that question needs to be answered.

With the new Planner coming on and our new project moving forward, we'll see some answers to that. We'll have a lot of information for you; we'll be coming back to you on a regular basis and we hope to use this forum [Common] to do the updates. This is a City Plan and a County Plan - One Plan.


Mr. Mike DeKalb of the Planning Department gave a brief update. He noted that the Wilderness Park Subarea Study, of which all Common Members have a copy, had a public hearing at Planning Commission on December 1st. That Public Hearing was continued to December 15th so that all the members could have the opportunity to discuss and vote upon it. There was some very good support from people who were involved in the process. The process went very well. In that year and one-half of study, there were a lot of issues considered and a lot of consensus and agreements were reached on many hard fought positions that were ironed out through that process.

The bottom line was that the Planning Commission approved it unanimously on December 15th with one package of amendments which are clarifications to the language stating that utilities can, in fact, cross the Park if they're done in an environmentally sensitive way.

County Board had public hearing on January 18th and received testimony that was very positive. County Board approved it, so the next and last step will be bringing it forward to Council for approval. It has been scheduled for February 14th for Public Hearing on the Comp Plan Amendment.

Ms. Campbell commented for the record that when the County Board did preparation for the Public Hearing at a Staff Meeting, this subarea plan was discussed. As expressed at the Common, the Mayor had given an indication that the City was interested in owning Wilderness Park. So, when Kip was meeting with the County Board, we asked if we should sell the park? His answer was not what we expected - he said "no". He stated that he would very much like to see a continuing partnership in the parks area between the NRD, the City and the County.

Ms. Campbell felt that in terms of future growth and looking for future parkland, the County may have a role there to play and should not just assume that they have no role. She indicated that the County did have an opportunity to mention and discuss that with the Mayor. He thought that was interesting; so a dialogue has been started with the City and the NRD to look at the whole parks picture - not just Wilderness Park. We'll look at the whole area in terms of future growth and will, no doubt, bring the City and County Departments into that discussion...Planning particularly. This is just an FYI for Council. That is Kip's recommendation with which Lynn Johnson was in agreement.

Regarding the whole idea of conservation easements, city expansion and protection of some areas, Ms. Campbell noted that the County was the conduit in which the funds were initially channeled to buy and take ownership of Wilderness Park. In such cases, it may be in our best interest that, while it is not in the City boundary, it is out there...Stevens Creek comes into play may be more advantageous for the County to apply for grants to try to acquire that land and hold it until such time as the City is ready.

Ms. Campbell commented that they were also really interested in knowing what the criteria would be at the time that County might hold the land and what the mechanism or criteria would be to kick it into City ownership. Ms. Steinman mentioned that it might be some kind of banking mechanism for pooling park funds and determining who pays how much to support a particular piece of property. Ms. Fortenberry asked then, when it starts to cost County too much, the City will take it over? Ms. Steinman answered "absolutely". [Laughter]

Mr. Fortenberry thought it might be time to have a brief discussion about that mechanism. He noted that Common had asked the Planning Department to give periodic updates in order that these concepts not languish for want of a proponent (Planning Department) to take the initiative in some ongoing fashion. Mr. Fortenberry requested Mr. DeKalb to continue these updates.

Ms. Sellman commented that Planning wanted to keep tabs on what was going on. It's a tremendous effort and she felt it was important to make sure that momentum isn't lost; so they will be reporting back to the Common regularly. Mr. Fortenberry noted that expansion to the south has been in the Comp Plan for quite some time, so this seems like a renewed Comprehensive Plan amendment rather than a new one.

Ms. Campbell noted that after the City was finished with the subarea plan, the County would refer it to the County Ecology Committee. That Committee was originally formed to look at Wilderness Park, though it's scope has widened over the years. She felt one of the questions that County would ask is "does there need to be an adjunct committee?", because one of the recommendations of the subarea plan is that there be a technical committee to advise on certain things with regards to Wilderness Park. This referral will give the County another mechanism enabling County to have a committee to watch it. Planning and Parks are at the County Ecological Committee meetings. Ms. Seng asked if the NRD attended those meetings. Ms. Campbell indicated that they usually attended and were a member of the Committee.

There are questions yet to answer, but the Common has enough interest in it to know that we have to move forward and answer those questions. Mr. Fortenberry noted that the Parks Director was asking for additional budget monies to deal with issues within the current confines of Wilderness Park, but again, some kind of coordinated effort needs to be initiated so that everyone is talking because there are a lot of things that intersect this issue.

Mr. Fortenberry mentioned the letter from HWS, Inc. regarding Beltways and cautions regarding Wilderness Park. There should be a declaration of plans prior to acquisition of beltway right-of-way in that area.


Mr. Russ Shultz came forward for the presentation. He stated that his appearance before the Common annually is required by the Interlocal Agreement between the City and County which advises that the County will provide a combined weed program with the City of Lincoln not only providing for the noxious weed control program (a County-wide effort), but also to assume the duties of the weed abatement program. The agreement also states that Mr. Shultz will provide a report, recommendations and a plan for the next year. He explained that he had provided copies of those to the Common. [Copy attached to these minutes] Mr. Shultz touched on highlights of the report and answered questions. Methods of notification and proof of notification were addressed briefly. Mr. Shultz requested permission to discuss with the Law Department further options in these areas, to which the Common members agreed.

Mr. Shultz also discussed ownership changes. He noted that if there is an ownership change between the time of a force cut and the time of the special assessment hearing, which could be from May to December, then there could be a sale of the property and the new purchaser might not be aware of the bill and would receive a surprise assessment. What he suggested to alleviate such a situation would be to record with the Register of Deeds office the possible special assessment so that a buyer would be aware of it and it could be taken care of at the time of the sale.

Mr. Workman noted that last year, the City of Lincoln was listed as the Number Two violator on the weed violations list. Has that changed any? Mr. Shultz indicated that the City was Number Three this year. Mr. Shultz commented that the City agencies involved responded very well to the contacts his office made with them and the violations were taken care of in a timely manner.

Mr. Fortenberry mentioned the changes that had been suggested at the time of the last report which had proposed for wider and higher strips of cover being left in certain areas for better environmental and conservation management purposes. That was to have been discussed with the Parks Director to consider some of those issues so the City could get some of the more difficult areas out of the potential violation range of the law. Could you address that.

Mr. Shultz stated that he had made some policy proposals and had recommended that such steps not be taken, especially since the laws stated that we could not do that and also considering that things were working. He noted that that would put him in the position of having to determine what is and what isn't a problem. He has certain unwritten policies which allow for the wider, higher swath if weeds are not included in the long as the planting is used for a beneficial use and is grown for a crop, or a garden, or some beneficial use and is maintained, unless he is forced to, he will not pursue that [cuttings in those areas]. If it is a maintained planting for beneficial use, then that would be an exception. Mr. Fortenberry asked if Mr. Shultz had enough flexibility to make those determinations currently. Mr. Schultz agreed with Mr. Fortenberry when he had said that it's hard to argue with common sense.

Mr. Workman noted that a few months ago the County Board voted to consider purple loosestrife a noxious weed. He asked if that meant that we're still waiting for the State to consider this. Mr. Shultz reported that the status on that issue is that it went through a hearing process and is now going through Executive Review and the Director is waiting for that to be sent to the Governor's Office and other agencies. When that is done, if things are favorable, they'll make the decision and we should be hearing about that within the next month or two. Mr. Workman asked if, even though the County determined it to be a noxious weed, it really isn't so classified until the State acts on it? Mr. Schultz answered that that was right, though he did note that the County does have the authority to denote a special one just for the County. But, basically, this was responding to a request as to whether or not the County would support that classification; we didn't really designate it as a noxious weed in Lancaster County, but only voted to support that designation at the State level.

Mr. Schultz agreed to keep the Common advised of his work with the Law Department on the notification issues. He commented that the Weed Control's main emphasis in the coming year would be to maintain the 95% voluntary compliance; continue to address the problem violators; and continue the purple loosestrife awareness program. He noted that they would also be implementing a billing digital entry system which had been used on 10,000 inspections last year, for a considerable budget savings. He noted that they would also be adding the Noxious Weed layer to the map of information on the Internet


Mr. Fortenberry invited the presenters to come forward. Ms. Kit Boesch had requested the presenters to share their expertise with the Common. Mr. Bob Moyer, Executive Director of the Family Violence Council; Amy Evans, the Executive Director of the Friendship Home; and Marcee Metzger, the Executive Director of the Rape and Spouse Abuse Crises Center, came forward to make the presentation.

Mr. Moyer began by noting that Lancaster County has been a leader in addressing domestic violence dating back to the 1980s with the start of the Domestic Violence Coalition. Beginning four years ago, a community plan was established that has created the Family Violence Council at the Lincoln Medical Education Foundation. He commented that in those last four years there has been quite a bit of success.

The plan envisioned three primary goals. One was to try to make victims safer; another was to hold offenders accountable for their behaviors; and the third was to try to change the overall culture that has supported violence.

We have primarily focused on those first two goals - victim safety and offender accountability. We have built some capacity and believe that we are ready to do more in terms of the overall cultural piece and have done some things in this area which are innovative and are some things that haven't been done in other parts of the country.

In terms of holding offenders accountable, we have one of the most aggressive prosecution situations in the United States. This year, we've prosecuted on 95% or more of charges, which is compared to some model programs that don't even prosecute 50%. We have gone from having only 18% of offenders receive either jail or probation to this year's 66%. When the project was started four years ago, there were 7 offenders on probation; now we have over 300. They are going to establish batterer programs that meet the requirements established by the Family Violence Council.

And this is just an aside that we've been asked about, adult probation. The Lincoln Council on Alcoholism and Drugs and the Family Violence Council have submitted a grant application (and even if the grant isn't approved, we're committed to doing this) a project which would provide cross-training for substances abuse counselors and domestic violence programs and then start to create standards for substance abuse programs where individuals have been court referred as a result of domestic violence. The issue is to make sure the two programs are complimentary to each other. We believe this would have the effect of having more people screened for substance abuse when they've been arrested for domestic abuse. That hasn't been done yet, but it will be.

Assault arrests have declined 20% in those four years, so from the offender accountability piece, we think we've made significant changes. On the victim safety side, we've increased capacity significantly at Friendship Home; we have seen record numbers of victims come forward, which we view as a good thing, because they were always there, but before they weren't able to access services. In the ‘90s this has escalated in an incredible fashion, but even though our capacity has grown, it probably hasn't grown as fast as the number of victims coming forward has grown.

Mr. Moyer noted that Common Members have heard this, but he wanted to reinforce the fact that domestic violence is the most frequent violent crime in Lincoln. In Lancaster County it is the primary cause of injury to women. We've been doing screening at hospitals now and have found that 16-25% of the people going through there are ‘positives' on this issue. But, we also want you to understand that it is a much broader issue, which relates to children.

What we know is that domestic violence is, for most of these, the primary risk factor for these events: Most truants come from violent homes; most runaways come from violent homes; most pregnant teens come from violent homes. Date rape, sexual assaults of children, even some food addictions and eating disorders are included in this whole range of problems associated with children, including juvenile crime, that are related to violence in the home. Mr. Moyer offered his opinion that if you really wanted to make a dent in juvenile crime, a good place to start is with the domestic violence in these violent homes, where we know from an actuarial standpoint so many of the `problem kids' come from.

In many of these areas, we're talking 70-80% of the people who have these issues have come from violent homes. We do think there is a correlation between being in those violent environments and having those risk factors. The dollar spent on domestic violence is a dollar spent on, not just domestic violence, but on a wide range of social problems. It is really a significant prevention strategy, not only because we should stop domestic violence, but because of all of the rippling problems that result from it.

Ms. Amy Evans, Director of Friendship Home, came forward and made a point by allegory that preventative measures are often less expensive and of greater effectiveness than measurers taken after the fact to treat symptoms created by a problem. She felt that it would be great if this logic could be applied to domestic violence before it escalates into homelessness, pain, injury and the myriad problems pointed out by Mr. Moyer. What we've learned as a nation is that we cannot apply a conventional medical prevention rule to domestic violence. The reason for that lies in the dynamics of domestic violence. When we look at domestic violence, we know that the violence generally increases...starting with pre-battering violence such as threats and breaking objects then escalates by stages to the point where it is moderate to severe when the batterer begins using fists and weapons on battered women.

We know that the women, generally, also move through predictable stages in their experience of the violence. They generally start with denying that there is a problem. They want to feel that they can control it or that it will change. They don't want to leave the abuser, they want the violence to stop. They tend to look at ways that they can make it predictable. The set up goals of "when" - it will end "when...he gets a new job"; "when...he moves from the night shift". So, they begin with denying and minimizing what they are experiencing. The next level is generally self-blame. The batterer is reinforcing this. This continues her efforts to control it for a while.

The next step is reaching out for help. Generally what we find, the women are experiencing moderate or severe levels of violence before they ever reach out for help; before we as a community and as intervenors have any idea about what is happening at home. We just don't see the first threat.

Ms. Evans stated that there are some promising concepts in prevention. One is awareness and education about these issues. It is important to notice, though, that when we promote awareness, when the community is educated about domestic violence, what happens is that there is an increase of demand for services. More women come forward to tell us about the violence that they're experiencing and to ask for help. The help requests at the Rape Violence Crises Center have increased over the past 10 years by 1200%. At Friendship Home the average monthly case load has doubled in the last 5 years - to approximately 300 women and children per month.

Domestic violence is a serious risk factor in a number of issues that the community faces. As we talk about services for teen runaways in this community, it opens serious concerns. Getting the children and their mothers safe would dramatically alter their perceptions and options and their futures.

Friendship Home looks to the City and County for financial support of our expanded shelter options. Our new shelter facility is completed, but we need your financial support to offer those beds. One dollar of intervention in domestic violence spent now prevents future family violence. It stops the violence and interrupts the inter-generation cycle of violence. It allays a host of other community problems, such as family violence, juvenile violence, teen runaways, teen pregnancy. It's really a bargain in public dollars very well spent.

Ms. Metzger of the Rape Violence Crises Center came forward. She spoke of collaboration and coordination of the various services offered in the City and ways to most effectively offer those services without duplication and respond to domestic violence both through interventions and in prevention. She noted that her agency worked with a myriad of other agencies in law enforcement and the victim witness program and the child protective services and child guidance. All of these agencies see how this issue impacts their clients and families and the work place where they have to deal with it.

She stated that these agencies, including her own, are working with more hope. They are looking at taking the next step through the Hanna-Keelan Human Services Plan; and putting into that much more specific information in terms of intervention and prevention in relationship to domestic violence. She stated that she was not here to ask for any dollars in relationship to the planning process, but was here to ask the Common to participate as leaders in the community with us as we embark on this endeavor to build the understanding and awareness and the interventions in relationship to domestic violence.

Ms. Metzger offered Ann Frank's comment "thank goodness we don't have to wait a single day to begin making a difference". She noted that she believed that, and encouraged the Common Members to participate with the agencies of help.

Ms. Kit Boesch, who had arrived during the presentation, added that this is what she would hope would be the first of several presentations which these Human Services Agencies would make to the Common in regards to the Hanna-Keelan Needs Assessment.

There are Nine Priority Areas. She felt one of the things they had learned from that report was that there are probably Three Top Priorities, then Six Others, very related; and all of them are very interrelated. As the committee looks at how to go forward to implement these, one of the things which is really obvious is that we can't implement all nine of these by September.

What we would like to do is have a community approach with one segment approaching one of the priorities and building on what we already have. The truth is that of all nine areas, one that is, thanks to the City Council and the Mayor and the County Board, so much more ahead than some of the others is the area of domestic violence. That is why we brought this presentation to you first. She felt that as we go forward, there are probably two or three areas that will be prioritized to begin implementing the plans that have been recommended and will build on what has already been started.

She felt it was important for the Council, the County Board and the Mayor's Office stay attuned to the needs that are brought forward in domestic violence as well as housing, and several of the other priorities. She suggested maybe even just 15 minutes at Common Meetings like this to examine three or four of those priority areas that will be implemented in the next several weeks. This is one of the first steps.

Ms. Steinman stated that she felt it would also behoove the Common to pay attention to the way domestic violence in the community has been approached, because that approach has been so successful. She commented that she remembered when she was on the Police Department when the issue was first looked at as a collaborative priority. It wasn't until the Council was founded that we really were able to focus on what needed to be done and how we would accomplish it. She felt that that might be a model for approaching other areas that seem intractable right now.

Mr. Fortenberry asked Mr. Moyer that as public officials seeing the ripple effects from domestic violence, what in his assessment are the root causes of domestic violence? Mr. Moyer stated that, in general, the culture supports domestic violence in a lot of ways, some of which are overt and many of which are covert. He noted that a great example would be a presentation of the Illusion Theater (which is a great little group that goes around giving presentations at schools on why you shouldn't be violent). One of the lines in their presentation that stuck with him was something to the effect that even though we have anti-violence messages such as their very performance, when they study history, basically what is studied is white generals who conquered people [using force]. So there are some messages sometimes in our culture that say violence works. Batterers are batterers because it works. We have not held them accountable; it has been a successful strategy for them, so why should they change?

Another issue in the causes of violence is a sense of entitlement and how we feel about other people. Domestic violence is rooted in a belief system that we are entitled in some way to behave with our partner in ways that we would not behave with other people. That's why it's not about anger or other issues, but about power. Most violence comes from the same place, where, somehow, the person has created in his or her mind an entitlement to behave in that way toward other people. In violent homes, for some reason the batterer has somehow created in his/her mind the belief system that he or she is entitled to behave in a certain way. How they got there is often through messages that they've picked up through their culture. It may have been stated as something about what they have a right to expect, or something their peers have told them. This works, particularly in the domestic violence arena, by setting up an interpretation of the message in the batterer's mind that produces violent behavior.

Mr. Workman stated that he was taken aback by the statistics presented which show that 80% of the major youth problems might be traced back to domestic violence. He has a tendency to agree with that statistic. He asked if there was any data on what percent of domestic violence would "go away" if we could solve our alcohol abuse problems? Mr. Moyer stated that there is a high, high correlation between the two. He rushed to say that he could not prove that being in a violent home causes a child to be a runaway, but he can say that there is a high correlation. In the same vein, he cannot prove that drinking causes domestic violence. Many, many people drink and they are not violent. There are violent people who quit drinking and actually become more violent. But, the two are co-related. It is the case that some people, when they drink, have that entitlement notion that they can behave in certain ways while they're using alcohol that the don't or wouldn't behave when they're not using alcohol. This would suggest that there is an education process that could be put into effect [to alter that notion].

To summarize, he noted that if we could get rid of substance abuse and domestic abuse, we would solve an awful lot of problems that the community eventually winds up paying for.

Ms. Evans added that findings show when abusers who are also abusing substances and going through substance abuse treatment that they may stop abusing substances, but the domestic violence recurs. They are two separate problems though they are related. The abuse needs to be treated with treatment services also. One doesn't go away when the other is treated. She also stated that the batterer treatment is an important part of our array of response to domestic violence. The percentage of success is really very small. It is not a terribly successful intervention strategy or prevention strategy for domestic violence.

Mr. Moyer stated that this was because behaviors probably started at an early age and were modeled in violent homes, many times. By the time we see them, the behaviors are well established which have proven successful for the batterer. There are significant trust issues with those people and it is very difficult to change them. But that is one of the reasons we have an interest in them and now feel we're ready because we had a successful model in developing batterer programs to look at the co-relationship between substance abuse programs and domestic abuse programs.


Ms. Mary Helen Elliott came forward to make a presentation for the Board of Health. She presented the Common with the "Healthy People 2010 - Health Objectives for the Year 2010 for Lincoln & Lancaster County Nebraska". She also presented to the Common hand out material that included the graph of accountability, which Common member requested be changed to show the Board's accountability not only to the citizens of the community but also to the Council, Mayor and County Board. Ms. Elliott agreed that this would be done.

The handout material also included a copy of the Interlocal Agreement between Lincoln and Lancaster County forming the joint City-County Health Department as a full-time public health service as defined in Neb Rev. Stat § 71-1626 (Reissue 1996), an outline of the Ends Policy which includes a Jobs Description of the Board of Health as well as an "Achieving Ends Policies" statement.

These two documents [on file in the City Council Office] were the basis for the presentation as Ms. Elliott went through and summarized each document for the Common.

In ensuing discussion, it was determined that the Board should arrange to make three reports each year to the Common to keep County and City officials apprised on current issues before the Board. The Common Meeting updates would also give the Common members the opportunity to give input and direction to the Board Members on these issues.

In order to make this reporting an official policy, Ms. Kathy Campbell moved that the Board report to the County Commissioners and the City Council Members three times yearly at Common meetings. This motion was seconded by Ms. Coleen Seng and carried by a vote of 7-0.

Old Business

Consolidation Issues - Discussion - Mr. Richard Thayer of the Heritage Foundation was present and made brief remarks to the Common regarding City/County Consolidation efforts. He noted that Lincoln/Lancaster County had done an exemplary job of consolidating governmental services for the community and hoped that the cooperation would not be diminished, but instead be re-energized. He hoped the Common would be able to move ahead working and building on that foundation.

Mr. Thayer recommended building on the last report. He recommended that a Task Force be formed and time lines set. He offered Intern monies from the Heritage Institute to help provide staffing needs to help lighten both the work load and the expenses incurred by County and City in these efforts.

Mr. Fortenberry stated that the he, Ms. Campbell, Ms. Seng and Ann Harrell (assigned by the Mayor as the Administrative over-seer) had reviewed the report and would discuss a time line with the Mayor. Then recommendations could be made.

Ms. Ann Harrell commented that the Mayor had not had a chance to review the report. The Mayor's office has asked each Department to review and submit input. Ms. Harrell believed Ms. Gina Dunning, Chief of Staff for the Mayor, had noted that many of the recommendations have been achieved and believed looking at other venues to address City and County governmental needs would be beneficial.

Ms. Seng inquired when the Directors' reports would be available for review by the Common. It was determined that this compilation would be available for the March Common meeting. Mr. Fortenberry suggested that after the City and County officials had reviewed this input, and the Committee had met and discussed options, a decision could be made as to whether or not a Task Force should be implemented, and the direction of action the Common wished to pursue could be discussed. It was agreed that the March Common meeting would be the place for this discussion to continue.

New Business

Election of Officers - Mr. Fortenberry opened the floor for nominations for the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Common for the upcoming year. Kathy Campbell moved the nomination of Bob Workman for the position of Chair of the Common. The nomination was seconded by Linda Steinman. Receiving no other nominations, Chair Fortenberry called for a vote on Mr. Workman's nomination, which carried unanimously.

Coleen Seng moved the nomination of Jon Camp for the position of Vice-Chair of the Common. The nomination was seconded by Kathy Campbell. Receiving no other nominations, Chair Fortenberry called for a vote on Mr. Camp's nomination, which carried unanimously.


Mr. Fortenberry called for a motion to adjourn. Adournment was moved and seconded by several Common Members. The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consensus at approximately 9:55a.m.

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