Did he have any second thoughts?
When news broke in
February that City Clerk Melanie Riggs had resigned and that the
clerk's office was under investigation, Snyder said that yes, he did
wonder what he was getting into.
But, he now feels that even this bad situation has turned into
something that is good for the city.
While the mayor and city council are limited on what they can say
about the situation at the moment, the mayor did express a few
thoughts. "A lot of city government functioned through the prior
city clerk, and at least on the surface everything appeared to be
running smooth and just fine," he said.
However, that was found to not be the case, and as a result the
face of city government is changing. Snyder explained: "This wasn't
just a simple thing that was resolved when the immediate problem was
addressed in February; it is something that has continued on and
will continue on. And there were some necessary changes that have
come out of this all that have been good for city government."
Three days in, he's meeting with the governor
Snyder may have known what he was coming into as mayor of
Lincoln, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't had a few surprises
along the way, including finding himself sitting in the governor's
office three days after being sworn in, speaking about the future of
The meeting had been long sought after by Sen. Larry Bomke and
included former Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman, Bomke, Rep. Rich Brauer
and the new mayor.
Snyder said that LDC wasn't really something that he had
discussed during his campaign for mayor because it appeared to be a
"back burner issue" with the state administration.
Snyder recalled: "But, in that first week, obviously it came to
the forefront with thoughts of what really could be done for the
future of the community to re-task that property and make it a
viable economic engine once again."
At that meeting with Gov. Pat Quinn, Davis-Kavelman shared with
Snyder and the others a list of entities that were interested in
using the property. Snyder now has the list and said that he has
indeed heard from several people regarding the property. He said
there is rarely a week goes by that someone doesn't contact him with
some interest in or suggestion for LDC.
[to top of second column]
A proactive council
In addition to the broadband and LDC issues, the mayor says that
a good number of other things have come up that he, the council and
others have been working on aggressively.
He praised the city council, saying: "The council has become very
good at wanting to be proactive and realizing that we can't just sit
back and accept what happens to us. If we take some action, at least
we are trying to draw our own picture of the future and not let that
just be handed to us."
He says that they are also striving to think outside the box. For
the council it is no longer just a "we can't do that" discussion,
but rather it is turning into a "what can we do?" discussion. He
cited as an example the recent discussions related to a plugged
sewer affecting an elderly woman's home.
He said the council has struggled with their decisions in this
matter, but they all seem to want to reach a compromise that will
work, not just for the city, but also for the resident. He again
commends them all for sticking with it and working together to reach
what will hopefully be an amicable end result.
Another big project where a change is being made is the way the
city deals with problem properties. The "fast track to demolition"
program is a strong and aggressive message to owners that the city
is not going to tolerate these problem properties.
In summary, the first 120 days of this mayor's term have been
quite eventful. However, it is by no means the end of this story,
but more like a beginning of laying new foundations.
[By NILA SMITH]
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