Wednesday, April 30

Riggs sworn in as new Lincoln city clerk

[APRIL 30, 2003]  In a brief ceremony, Melanie Riggs, former deputy city clerk, was sworn in as the new Lincoln city clerk at an adjourned regular meeting of the city council Tuesday evening.

Starting May 1, Riggs will fill the unexpired term of Juanita Josserand, the former city clerk. Riggs has served as deputy city clerk since she came to City Hall in 1988.

"She is going to do a great job," Josserand told the council. Josserand is stepping down after 16 years as city clerk and a total of 32 years as a city employee.


[photo by Joan Crabb]
Melanie Riggs, newly appointed Lincoln city clerk, takes the oath of office from City Attorney Bill Bates. Mayor Beth Davis is seated in the background.

Riggs came to City Hall from what is now J.M. Abbott and Associates, where she worked in the computer and bookkeeping departments. As deputy clerk she oversaw all accounting areas and served as clerk when Josserand was not available.

"I think she's going to do a very good job," agreed Alderman Verl Prather. "I just want to tell Nita [Josserand] what a good job she's done over the years."

Prather also thanked the two retiring aldermen, Bill Melton and George Mitchell, for their work and leadership. Melton, the council's senior member, is retiring after 22 years. Mitchell has served for eight years.

Mayor Beth Davis said the city would miss the two retiring aldermen and told them they might be called upon in the future.


"Be prepared. I'm going to put you on a commission of some sort," she said.

She also thanked their families, many of whom were in attendance, "for all the years you have allowed them to come to these meetings."

A reception for the retirees was held after the meeting.

In other business, the council also accepted the working budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins May 1, with a deficit of $121,469 in the general fund. The council has made deep cuts in the budget to counter the losses in city revenue over the last two years and this year took the drastic step of cutting six city employees, two each from the police, fire and street departments.

However, Verl Prather, finance chairman, said he believed the actual budget would almost balance because of a change in insurance for city employees. The change must be ratified by three unions representing city employees. These unions have 60 days to decide to accept the new dual-option health insurance plan.


[to top of second column in this article]

The new plan will save the city about $100,000, according to insurance chairman Glenn Shelton, and will give employees the option of an HMO or a PPO.

City Attorney Bill Bates said two of the unions, the fire and the police unions, have said they would accept the change and waive the 60-day notice. He said he was still waiting to hear from the three-member telecommunications union but expected them to agree to the change.

"There has been cooperation between the city and the unions. I think we will be able to go ahead and change plans and save the city a considerable amount of money," he said.

Retiring City Clerk Juanita Josserand also held out hope the budget for the coming year would stay in balance.

"These are only budget requests, and we never spend all our budget requests, especially if we all watch it," she said.

Prather announced that Mayor Beth Davis has pared her coming year's budget to $1,500 to help with the budget squeeze.

Decreasing revenue because of historically low interest rates on city investments and decreased sales tax revenue has left the city with unexpected shortfalls.

Police Chief Rich Montcalm told the council that two members of the department are currently attending a training session at the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., to learn how to clean up hazardous meth labs. The training is paid for by the federal government and there is no cost to the city.

Montcalm said he is being considered for the FBI's management training course, also held in Quantico. The 10-week course will begin Jan. 1, and Montcalm is still waiting for final approval from the FBI. Pat Madigan, chair of the police committee, said he thought this would be a good program for the police chief to attend and said he felt sure the assistant chief would be able to handle the chief's duties in his absence. This training is also paid for by the federal government.

[Joan Crabb]

Articles from the past week







Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor