Tuesday, May 6

Newcomers take seats
on Lincoln City Council

[MAY 6, 2003]  Three new Lincoln City Council members took their seats Monday evening at the first regular meeting in the city's new fiscal year.

The three are Jonette "Jonie" Tibbs, Ward 3, who defeated incumbent George Mitchell for the seat in the February primary; Orville "Buzz" Busby, who ran unopposed for the Ward 4 seat vacated by Bill Melton; and Derrick Crane, who defeated recently appointed Martha "Marty" Neitzel in Ward 5.

Neitzel, however, still has a seat on the council. Because of the resignation of Michael Montcalm in February and the sudden death of Alderman Joseph Stone last fall, two seats were vacant in Ward 5, and Mayor Beth Davis appointed Neitzel to fill the other vacancy several weeks ago.

Although not a newcomer, Melanie Riggs, former deputy city clerk, also assumed a new position, attending her first meeting as city clerk. Juanita "Nita" Josserand, who served as clerk for the last 16 years, retired as of April 30. Riggs has often sat in on meetings when Josserand could not attend and has been with the city since 1988.

Mayor Davis also reappointed four department heads and the city attorney, Bill Bates. Rich Montcalm continues as police chief, Bucky Washam as fire chief, Les Last as building and zoning head, and Donnie Osborne as street superintendent. Osborne plans to retire this summer.


City Clerk Melanie Riggs goes over some of the city’s many documents with newly elected council members Derrick Crane (left) and Orville “Buzz” Busby 

Davis also appointed incumbent Pat Madigan as mayor pro tem and named committee chairs and members. Although she said her philosophy is generally not to reappoint the same council member twice, she made an exception in two cases this term. Ward 2 Alderman Verl Prather will continue as finance committee chair and the other Ward 2 Alderman, Steve Fuhrer, will stay on as chair of the ordinance and zoning committee.

She said she believed it was important to keep some continuity in these committees because of the financial difficulties the city has faced in the past two years and because the finance and zoning committees are still working on readjusting city fees to match those in neighboring communities. Vice-chair for the finance committee is Benny Huskins, and vice-chair of the ordinance committee is Busby.

Other appointments are Busby as chair of the fire, water and ESDA committee, with Madigan as vice-chair; Crane as chair of the buildings, grounds and local improvements committee, with Tibbs as vice-chair; Neitzel as chair of the insurance committee, with Fuhrer as vice-chair; Glenn Shelton as chair of the police committee, with Prather as vice-chair; Tibbs as chair of the sanitation committee, with Crane as vice-chair; Huskins as chair of the sewerage and drains committee, with Shelton as vice-chair; Madigan as chair of the sidewalks, forestry and lighting committee, with Dave Armbrust as vice-chair; and Armbrust chair of streets and alleys, with Neitzel as vice-chair.



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[Photos by Joan Crabb]
The three newly elected members of the Lincoln City Council study city documents before the regular meeting Monday night.  Right to left are Jonette “Jonie” Tibbs, Ward 3; Orville “Buzz” Busby, Ward 4; and Derrick Crane, Ward 5.

Additional assignments as representatives to various organizations are Shelton to the Healthy Communities Partnership; Huskins to the Lincoln Planning Commission; Prather to the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce; Neitzel to the Looking for Lincoln program; Tibbs to Main Street Lincoln; Crane to the city's Historic Homes and Buildings Commission; and Madigan, Shelton and Neitzel to the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities, Minorities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth.

Also Prather to the Logan County Board; Fuhrer to the Tourism Bureau of Logan County; Huskins as a voting member of the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Management Commission; Armbrust as a voting member of the Logan County Planning and Zoning Commission; Fuhrer as a voting member to both the Logan County Economic Development Council and the Logan County Economic Development Foundation; and Prather to the Lincoln Statue Corporation.


Davis also pointed out that the city will be down 10 employees as of Sept. 1 of this year.

Because of the projected budget deficit, the council laid off two employees each in the fire department, the police department and the street department. Davis said another firefighter and another police officer have resigned and pointed out that the resignation of Josserand has left a vacancy in the clerical department. When Osborne resigns as street superintendent in August, the number of vacancies will be up to 10. None of these vacancies will be filled at the present time, she said.

In addition, the half-time position in the Office of Building and Zoning office has been eliminated.

Lloyd Evans, director of the Logan County Health Department, presented the Lincoln City Police Department with the Public Health Partnership Award for supporting the Health Department with its programs and services.


Lloyd Evans, (right) Logan County Health Department director, presents the department’s Public Health Partnership Award to the Lincoln City Police Department at Monday’s city council meeting

He said for 12 years the police have been helping the Health Department do its best for area citizens, such as helping with the domestic abuse programs, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Task Force, conducting tobacco and liquor "stings," and working at the health fairs.

"In Lincoln we are blessed with people and organizations that go beyond the confines of their jobs," he said.

[Joan Crabb]

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