City of Lincoln
Chris Beutler was elected Mayor in May 2007 and re-elected in May 2011. He is a native Nebraskan, who has devoted the majority of his life to serving the City of Lincoln, the people of Nebraska and the nation.
Chris attended Yale University, where he played safety for the Bulldog football team and graduated in 1966. Heeding the call to public service by President John F. Kennedy, Chris joined the U.S. Peace Corps and taught children in Turkey. Chris is a veteran of the Armed Forces. He served in the U.S. Army, mostly in Thailand, from 1969 to 1971, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant. After his military service, he returned to Nebraska to attend the University Of Nebraska College Of Law, earning his J.D. in 1973.
Professionally, Chris worked in the title industry in support of Lincoln's commercial real estate and housing markets for over 15 years. He started, grew and sold his own business, Beutler Title Company.
As a development consultant for the City of Lincoln, Chris raised millions of dollars for the City's Parks and Recreation Department. Beutler's work was key to the renovation of the Sunken Gardens - restoring one of Lincoln's crown jewels.
Beutler was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 1978, representing Central Lincoln's 28th District. He was re-elected in 1982. He returned in 1990 and was re-elected in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
During his Legislative career, Chris was a champion for campaign finance reform. He led the effort to reduce the influence of big money in campaigns and increase the power of Nebraska citizens at the ballot box. Beutler has been a leader on the environment, enacting key water and anti-pollution legislation. He advocated successfully for education finance changes that boosted state support of classroom teachers and reduced educational reliance on property taxes. He was a strong supporter of business incentives that improved Nebraska's business climate and led to the creation of thousands of new jobs and new investment. He also effectuated court system administrative reform saving Lancaster County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
During his time in the legislature, Beutler served as chair of the Judiciary Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, the Executive Board, and the Performance Audit Committee. He also served on the Education, Rules and Appropriations committees.
In the 2006 session, Beutler was instrumental in securing an additional $1.1 million per year for City of Lincoln street building efforts. As Mayor, his aggressive efforts to secure funding for roads and other infrastructure have continued:
Other accomplishments of his Mayoral administration include the creation of the Development Services Center (DSC) to help developers create jobs more quickly. The DSC opened in the spring of 2010. He has corrected the City budget structural imbalance with a combination of budget cuts, revenue enhancements and reorganization. This was accomplished without increasing the City property tax rate and without closing branch libraries, neighborhood pools, recreation centers or parks.
The Mayor has been a champion for the proposed Lincoln Haymarket Arena development, approved by voters in May 2010. The 2008 passage of LB 912 (the Turnback Tax Measure) will return about $700,000 per year in state sales tax revenues for the project to the City of Lincoln.
Beutler created the Stronger Safer Neighborhoods Initiative to focus on revitalizing problem neighborhood areas. He also launched the Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative to improve energy efficiency and boost the use of renewable and clean energy technologies across the community. He also has appointed committees to tackle specific issues in the community, such as the City Audit Advisory Board, the Impact Fee Study Committee, the MOVE (Mayor's Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy) Council, and the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Health Care Safety Net.
Chris and his wife Judy live at 7021 Fernhill Place and together have five grown children - Lori, Alexa, Erica, Mikahla and Sam - and seven grandchildren.