Lincoln City Council Primary Candidate: Trevor Reilly
Twelve candidates, including three incumbents, are running for the three Lincoln City Council at-large seats. Voters will cast a ballot for three candidates in the April 6 primary election and six candidates will advance to the General Election on May 4. 10/11 NOW sent a questionnaire to all candidates and we did not edit responses. View other candidate profiles here.
- Name: Trevor P Reilly
- Occupation: Hemp Consultant
Why are you running for a seat on the city council?
I am running to give Lincolnites a third voice on the city council. It seems like every four years, we are given a choice of candidates that market themselves as different but then align with each other 99% of the time. I want to provide an alternative that will focus on maximizing the services that everyone utilizes and reduce the city code that affects the business owners and entrepreneurs who have a stake in the city’s growth.
What are your key issues in this election and why are they important to address?
I want to prioritize reducing unnecessary city code which restricts development in the city. Provisions like height restrictions and minimum square footage requirements have prevented the development of new housing. I also believe we should not be wasting our law enforcement officers’ time by citing people for marijuana possession and paraphernalia charges.
Higher property tax valuations continue to lead to higher property tax payments in the city of Lincoln. Does this concern you? Why or why not?
Yes- it concerns me as an indicator of a housing shortage, and that spending is too high to keep up with Lincoln’s tax base. We need to analyze the budget and identify where the city is losing the nickels and dimes that residents expect to be more prudently used.
Do you support a recent effort by the Lincoln City Council to keep an emergency declaration in place for Lincoln during the COVID-19 pandemic?
While I supported the initial efforts, the emergency declaration should be ended. The city should not be relying on D.C. to fund the necessary city services that our residents and business owners pay taxes for. The emergency declaration has also been used as a pretense for passing heavy-handed regulations, and I would seek to reverse this trend.
Would you do anything differently in terms of the city’s response to the pandemic?
I would have applied more effective measures on focused prevention. The N95 masks that the city procured should have been prioritized on healthcare workers and the elderly members of the community, followed by at-risk/immunocompromised individuals. The city could have presented more accurate information over the summer rather than passively allowing the mayor’s office to dictate all the mandates that followed.
Did you support a recent effort to recall Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and four city council members?
I did support the efforts to recall the mayor. I think Lincoln should consider how powerful the resistance was to a small group of citizens’ actions and then reflect on how they would feel if they were part of that group. I think that the residents of Lincoln deserve to feel like they have some control over Lincoln’s political process and not be met with derision and scorn when they offer a point of view opposite of the majority.
Does Lincoln have an affordable housing shortage? If so, what do you think should be done to fix it.
As I have said, reducing code would enable a surge of development of “middle housing,” which differs from the traditional single-family homes and large apartment complexes. This would resemble cottage squares and mixed-use living units that would provide a much more diverse housing choice for minimalist millennials and empty-nest baby boomers.
The most recent budget in Lincoln came with $12 million gap filled by fee increases in 15 different areas, as well as department budget cuts. Do you support the effort made by the council? Would you have proposed other changes?
I support the efforts to reduce spending, and I would further examine the narrow margins of how Lincoln manages expenditures and revenues with the city parking system.
If elected as council, how will you apply your experience to address future budget negotiations?
In my experience, I believe an item within the budget that can not be defended as benefiting the entire city should be eliminated. Services such as law enforcement, fire protection, and city streets should be adequately funded, but the city council should scrutinize all growths in spending.
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