Mayor Beutler Presents 2012 Budget to Lincoln City Council

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler praises the $153 million dollar budget saying it doesn't raise property taxes, while that's true, Lincoln city councilman Jon Camp's concern, it's still hitting people's pocket books.

"I'm concerned about some of the fee increases. I think we need to be open and honest with the citizens, when we talk about no tax increases that fees in a way are another three letter word for tax at times," Camp said.

Beutler's proposed budget would add fees for repeated false fire alarms and vehicle extrication among others, while increasing golf, pool and parking meter rates.

"Above all it just makes sense, why should the most convenient places be the cheapest," Beutler said.

"I think businesses understand that, they want customers coming in their door, spending just one hour, shopping and then leaving and another car comes," Lincoln city councilman Gene Carroll commented.

"I find it somewhat difficult, where we're bringing in all these consultants and saying how we want to increase the downtown retail, and then right on top of that, double the parking fee," Camp said.

The other concern for some, a proposal to eliminate two Lincoln Police officers. Beutler told the City Council that Lincoln's priority is still public safety, as evidenced by police, fire and 9-1-1 taking up 50 percent of the budget.

"I want to cut them because it's cutting administrative costs, it's not cutting police on the street fighting crime," Beutler commented.

"There's a concern that at certain times of the day we just don't have much police coverage, so if we're going to free up two and a half equivalents on a police officers, maybe this is a time to help staff a little bit more as the city grows," Camp commented.

"Those who are advocating for additional officers for street duty, need to tell us what their goal is, second those advocates need to convince us that paying for additional officers for a goal that we are greatly exceeding is a better expenditure of limited funds than in areas that we aren't doing quite so well," Beutler said.


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