Wednesday, February 18, 2009
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City: Benefit package for mayor cut

Gehlbach declines clerk nomination; Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial commemorative print presented; fairground streets to get seal coat

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[February 18, 2009]  The Lincoln City Council met on Tuesday night for an "order of business" meeting. All 10 city aldermen were present, and with a light agenda, made quick work of the voting for the night.

RestaurantGehlbach declines nomination

Deputy City Clerk Susan Gehlbach has taken her name out of the race for city clerk in the April 7 election and will not be the Republican replacement of Melanie Riggs, who withdrew from the election after tendering her resignation on Feb. 9.

Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman informed the council  that in a meeting earlier in the day, Gehlbach had declined seeking the position.

Gehlbach told the council she had decided that she didn’t want to run for office and would prefer to just keep her job as the deputy clerk.

As deputy clerk, Gehlbach’s job description includes filling in as acting city clerk when needed. However, with no city clerk at the moment, the council will need to vote Gehlbach in as an interim clerk. A miscommunication at the last workshop meeting resulted in that vote being omitted from the agenda for this week. It will be added for the March 2 meeting.

Alderman Verl Prather said that when the motion is made, he wants to make sure that it includes giving Gehlbach the clerk’s pay retroactive to Feb. 9, when she took on Riggs’ duties as clerk.

No benefits for the incoming mayor

The council voted unanimously to remove the health, dental and life insurance benefits from the compensation package for the incoming mayor. This will save the city just under $8,000 per year.

In making the decision, the council said that because the mayoral position is not full time, benefits should not be included, as in most workplaces nothing is offered to part-time employees.

Main Street Lincoln presents a gift to the city

Barb Reinwald, president of Main Street Lincoln, along with Jackie Baker, grant administrator, and the mayor, as co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of Lincoln, presented the city with a print of the painting done by artist Jennifer Boeke entitled "Lincoln in Lincoln."

The painting depicts a rally at the Logan County Courthouse on Oct. 16, 1858, when Abraham Lincoln was a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat.

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Reinwald said that the original painting is currently located in the board room of the president’s office at Lincoln College and will eventually be on display at the new Heritage Museum on the college campus.

The print given to the city is No. 200 of the limited edition prints. She said that the 200th print was specifically selected for the city as a representation of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

"The city of Lincoln was instrumental in establishing the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and it is only right that a commemorative piece be placed in City Hall," Reinwald said.

She expressed appreciation to Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs, who is also executive director of Main Street Lincoln, for writing the grant that enabled the painting to be commissioned.

City will seal fairground surfaces

The Logan County Fair board, a private entity, not part of county government, has asked that the city apply seal coat to all the paved surfaces at the fairgrounds. This is something that the city has done in the past, and it is only requested about every eight years.

The motion was made that the city will do the work with the understanding that the fair board will reimburse them for materials and labor.

The vote was 9-0, with David Armbrust abstaining.

Armbrust has been involved with the fair board for the past 30 years and said that he would abstain from voting to avoid a conflict of interest.


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