Mayor Chris Beutler is declaring that the City of Lincoln has a budget shortfall of $3.3 million dollars. Rather than opening up the dialogue and investigating additional ways to cut spending, the Mayor wants to either cut eight important city programs or inevitably raise taxes.
Please read the following press release from the four Republican City Council members and stand for more budget transparency and dialogue about different ways to reduce spending.
COUNCIL MEMBERS QUESTION MAYOR'S BUDGET PRIORITIES (6/2/16)
Lincoln, NE - Lincoln City Council members Trent Fellers, Cyndi Lamm, Roy Christensen and Jon Camp today expressed their disappointment in Mayor Beutler’s budget shortfall announcement.
As elected officials charged with the duty to represent hard working taxpayers who rely on city government to provide important services, we refuse to accept that cutting 2.4% of a general fund budget of more than $170 million can only be done by considering the elimination of eight city programs.
Council members are calling on Mayor Beutler to immediately open up the budget process, forgo the “Taking Charge Survey,” and attend a pre-council in June to outline spending in the next biennial budget.
“The mayor has given Lincolnites a false choice between forfeiting long-standing city services and raising taxes without opening an honest dialogue about any new or increased spending included in the budget he claims has $3.3 million in shortfalls,” said Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm.
“I’ve worked hard during my term on the council to work with the mayor to solve the problems facing our city,” said Councilman Trent Fellers. “I’m calling on Mayor Beutler to open up the budget process early and work with us to fix this $3.3 million dollar shortfall.”
“Make no mistake, this survey clearly shows the public that Sunday library hours, neighborhood swimming, snow removal services, and the Pioneers Park Nature Center are ranked as the Mayor’s lowest budget priorities,” said Councilman Roy Christensen. “Rather than doing the difficult work of reducing spending across the board, the Mayor is using these programs and the public as cover for increasing taxes and spending.”
“I am tired of these political games every budget season,” said Councilman Jon Camp. “It’s time we stop playing games with the budget and take a strong look at how our budget process works to provide transparency.”