Lincoln City Council candidate profile: Kay Siebler

Kay Siebler
Kay Siebler(Kay Siebler)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 1:06 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 3:29 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The election to fill the Lincoln City Council District 4 seat representing downtown and northwest Lincoln will be among four people in the April 4 primary.

Democrats Kay Siebler, Brodey B. Weber and Maggie Mae Squires will appear alongside Republican Wayne Reinwald.

Two candidates will advance to the May 2 general election. The winner will fill the seat of council chair Tammy Ward, who declined to run for a second term.

10/11 NOW sent a questionnaire to all candidates and we did not edit responses. Read Kay Siebler’s profile below and view other candidate profiles here.

Occupation: Educator at UNO

Public Service History: PRESIDENT: Human Rights Commission, National Org for Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Nebraska Coalition for Reproductive Choice; BOARD MEMBER: YWCA, Nebraska Women’s Political Network, Lancaster County Commission on the Status of Women; CO-CHAIR: Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Gender Equity.

Briefly explain why you’re running for Lincoln City Council. I want to be a pro-active voice for thoughtful development and positive, forward-thinking change for a better Lincoln.

As a city council member, you’ll be tasked with approving a city budget. Explain any experience you have handling budgets. What are your priorities when it comes to budget negotiations and how do you achieve them? As Writing Program Director at various universities, I was responsible for the largest, most important General Studies program on campus. I had to hire, train, and manage teachers within budgetary constraints. I have also had to manage budgets for every single organization that I lead/have led. With any budget there are essential expenses that are non-negotiable. Once those are satisfied, there is a careful, critical, and thoughtful approach to determining non-essential programs/services/expenditures.

What can be done by the city council to improve housing affordability? Holding bad landlords accountable for substandard housing is key. Ensuring that all new housing plans incorporate a certain percentage of affordable units is also important.

What are your thoughts on using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for development? TIF has been used to redevelop and renovate neglected areas of Lincoln. Each TIF application, however, needs to be carefully scrutinized for thoughtful development and smart urban planning.

How should Lincoln work to attract new business and support and increase the number of small businesses? TIF is a good step, but Lincoln will be attractive to outside businesses only if the urban scape, infrastructure, housing and schools are seen as desirable. To nurture new small businesses and innovative start-ups we need to provide a culture of support and community.

When should Lincoln’s COVID-19 health emergency expire? When the health experts have determined the risk is no longer serious it will be time to retire COVID precautions.

Would you support an LGBTQ fairness ordinance ballot initiative? Yes.

A handful of Nebraska municipalities have outlawed abortion by local ordinance. Would you support a such a move in Lincoln? No.

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