City of Lincoln
2009 Media Releases
Public hearing set for Monday
Mayor Chris Beutler today said his proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year puts Lincoln in the best position to face the future. And he said the modest revenue increases he has proposed are necessary to maintain the City's quality of life.
"We saved the pools, libraries and rec center services that will keep our kids off the streets and engaged in positive activities," Mayor Beutler said. "We saved a senior companion program, police non-injury accident reporting, a Health Department program that helps women have healthy babies, and badly need parks maintenance. We are investing in job creation and growth with the Fast Forward Fund and the Development Services Center."
Beutler said the half-cent increase in the telecommunications tax will equal about only 50 cents on a $100 monthly phone bill. And he rejected the idea that the City should instead rely on "vacancy savings" to balance the budget. "We must end the practice of budgeting less than the amount needed to fund the jobs in the budget, an accounting gimmick that increases overtime costs, leads to backdoor service cuts and lessens transparency," Beutler said.
The Mayor's proposed budget proposes a spending increase of .04 percent at a time when the national recession that has negatively impacted sales and property taxes, 70 percent of the City's revenue sources. Since taking office, Beutler's budgets have cut nearly $10 million in spending and 143 jobs, more than 6 percent of the City workforce. The City has moved to end the $2-for-$1 retirement match and has negotiated contracts that increase salaries by an average of about 1 percent, the lowest increase in 40 years.
"I am confident that Lincoln's citizens are wise enough to know that making our community great requires us to make some the tough choices," Beutler said. "We simply cannot cut anymore without damaging our quality of life."
The Mayor urged citizens to educate themselves on the City budget before the City Council's public hearing Monday, August 10. The Council will have a regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. that day. The public hearing is scheduled for 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. with a 30-minute break at 6.
The City Council will meet again Wednesday, August 12 to vote on changes to the Mayor's recommended budget. This meeting had been scheduled for 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers, but it has been moved to 3 p.m. and will be held in Room 113, next to the Chambers. The Council is scheduled to adopt the budget at its 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday, August 24.
The insert on the City budget was published in the Neighborhood Extra Saturday, August 1. The insert is available at the County City Building, Lincoln City Libraries and on the home page of the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov.