To the editor:
We have now had
the opportunity to listen and examine the thoughts and
qualifications of the three Republican candidates for mayor of the
city of Lincoln. In my opinion, Beth Davis is the candidate best
qualified to serve as mayor of Lincoln.
Having had the opportunity to work with Beth Davis as treasurer
during her term, I have been able to watch her grow professionally
in the position and to adapt to the many concerns and problems the
city faces on a daily basis. She has responded in a positive fashion
to those concerns and problems and has been able to make necessary
compromises and decisions, which have led to many successful
solutions to those matters. She has gained valuable experience,
which is vital to leading the city of Lincoln as mayor over the next
We are at the threshold of meaningful economic growth in Lincoln.
The commitment of $600,000 by the city of Lincoln, at the urging of
Mayor Beth Davis, to construct infrastructure that would allow
Lincoln to entice a warehouse distribution company to locate in
Lincoln, offering 175-250 new jobs, is certainly a step in the right
direction. With proper promotional activities by the economic
development director, the city could create an atmosphere leading to
the recognition of Lincoln as a center for warehouse distributors.
Beth Davis has pushed for this type of growth for some time.
[to top of second
column in this letter]
Beth Davis is an energetic young woman who devotes a great deal
of her time to her mayoral duties. She is politically astute, which
has made her capable of obtaining federal and state grants to assist
with the costs of infrastructure improvements and ease the burden on
our taxpayers. We have an updated sewerage treatment plant and
downtown street overlay project, which have been completed during
Beth's term. Major street renovations that have long been on the
planning books should get under way in the 2005-2006 fiscal year
under Mayor Davis.
I urge the voters of Lincoln to give Beth Davis another term as
mayor of Lincoln in the upcoming primary and general election. She
is by far the best choice of the candidates running for the office.
(Posted Feb. 21, 2005)
Because it is so close to the election and there is no time for a
rebuttal, it was a difficult decision whether to run this letter. It
is in the interest of allowing the public to express their views
that it is being allowed at this late date.
However, in the interest of fairness to the candidate,
information directly related to the issues raised has also been
supplied. Readers are urged to review the links and two excerpts
added below the letter.
* * *
To the editor:
We believe the election
for mayor Feb. 22, 2005, should be about constructive change
regarding the planning and direction for the city of Lincoln.
If you like or want
higher taxes, excessive spending by the city of Lincoln, higher
debt, with very low cash reserves for the next four years, then you
should vote to re-elect mayor Beth Davis, in our opinion.
Because in the past
four years, there hasn't been a tax increase that Mayor Beth Davis
didn't like, want and also support, in my opinion. Beginning with
the city sales tax increase. She supported that increase from 6.25
percent to 6.75 percent. This caused us to pay more for almost
everything we purchase in Lincoln. This new sales tax increase is
averaging about $50,000 monthly and $600,000 annually for the city.
It also keeps these dollars out of circulation for our businesses in
Lincoln. Mayor Davis supported and was successful in her efforts to
get a city communications tax increase approved and collected by our
local telephone company. This new tax has resulted in higher phone
bills for many city phone users. During the recent mayor's debate
last month, Mayor Davis stated that she also supports the new county
sales tax proposal increase, from our current rate of 6.75 percent
to 7.25 percent, which all city and county residents would pay, if
approved. We will vote on this new tax increase, April 5, 2005,
during the city general election.
Can the city of Lincoln
afford two sales tax increases in two years? This new tax will raise
taxes to $100,000 a month and $1,200,000 annually and also remove
all these tax dollars from circulating through all of our city and
county businesses. Our city is so weak it can't afford any money
being diverted or removed from circulation, let alone $1,200,000
annually diverted as a result of this additional new sales tax
increase, and once again this is all fully supported by current
Mayor Beth Davis.
During Mayor Davis'
first term she supported the city borrowing over $650,000 to pay for
the remodeling of the old Kmart building owned by an out-of-town
owner/landlord/investor so he could then lease these two properties
to Dollar Tree and Goody's, two very strong retail chains. We are
very concerned about these leases because neither the
owner/landlord/investor nor the tenants, Dollar Tree and Goody's,
have anything to lose by pulling out of these leases and leaving,
because none of the parties have any money at risk regarding this
rehab property, only the city of Lincoln and its $650,000. Most
real-estate leases are easily broken and difficult and expensive to
Mayor Beth Davis is a
regular and active member of the Lincoln Planning Commission, and
during the time that Casey convenient stores announced their desire
to locate here, she led the opposition and fight that led to the
defeat of the Casey's store's first petition by her own appointed
city planning commission. This is the same commission that she
appoints all members to and she also serves on. It was the result of
sounder minds serving on the Lincoln City Council that later voted
for the approval of the Casey convenient store's second petition,
despite Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis's continued strong protest against
[to top of second
column in this letter]
We are lucky we now
have Casey's in Lincoln. That effort has led to 10-12 additional new
jobs, lower gasoline prices, now similar in price to the surrounding
area and much lower gas prices than we have enjoyed here for several
years. A new Casey's $650,000 building, on a previous $5,000 (value)
vacant lot, is now on the tax rolls. This vacant lot was previously
used as dump site by the previous owners. This, coupled with the
several thousand dollars of sales tax income paid to the city of
Lincoln annually from Casey's sales of gasoline, pizza, doughnuts
and other miscellaneous merchandise, has been a real blessing for
the city of Lincoln. Thank god Mayor Beth Davis didn't get her wish
to keep Casey's out of Lincoln.
Mayor Beth Davis later
requested and received $10,000 from Lincoln City Council in 2003 for
the 150th Lincoln Sesquicentennial committee, which she chaired.
Mayor Beth Davis approved the use of these moneys to be included
with some of the other donated money that was used during the
above-named event for what I believe were two downtown beer and
street parties in the city of Lincoln. It was [at] at least one of
these two local beer parties in downtown Lincoln that I believe
Logan County Judge Donald Behle acted as a bartender, by serving
beer, during the event. You may remember the public outcry after it
became public knowledge about Logan County Judge Donald Behie's
questionable conduct during that event.
My definition of
insanity is when people continue to do things the same way, but they
expect different results.
We voters can only
obtain constructive change by voting for change on Tuesday, Feb. 22,
2005. You pick the candidate that you feel is best suited and
prepared to lead the city of Lincoln during the next four years and
then vote for that person. We can and must do better than Beth Davis
for mayor over the next four years. It's for sure that Lincoln can
ill afford four more years under Mayor Beth Davis' leadership, in
Les Van Bibber
(Posted Feb. 21, 2005)
Related information from LDN archives:
"Two great retail businesses ready to come to Lincoln,"
posted Oct. 7, 2003
"City opens discussion on $5.8M business proposition,"
posted Oct. 15, 2003
"City delves into business proposal details," posted Oct.
"Then there is the matter of protecting the city from debt
liability, should things not work out for the stores. Diversified
has said that they or the stores occupying the space will guarantee
repayment of the portion of the bonds not related to the traffic
light. This is saying that if the stores pull out before the loans
are repaid, they will pay for the remaining amount owed except for
the estimated $155,000 traffic signal."
"City finances improving -- Street improvements not far down the
road," posted Sept. 28, 2004.
"Plotner said he thinks the increased receipts may be attributed to
all the new businesses that have come to town in the last year, such
as Dollar Tree, Goody's, Ace Hardware and others. We can't know for
sure if they are the source of that increase unless they choose to
tell us, the way that Coy's Car Corner did recently, Plotner said."
There were two letters to the editor opposing the judge
bartending at the city sesquicentennial event. Both letters are from
Les Van Bibber.
The first letter can be read on this page posted on Oct. 1, 2003:
The second letter can be viewed on this page posted on Oct. 9,