Mayoral candidate position: Keith Snyder

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[February 21, 2013]  The following position paper is provided by Keith Snyder, current mayor and candidate for mayor of Lincoln.

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Where I Stand Keith Snyder

Four years ago I said I was running for mayor because I loved this community and I wanted all of us to work together to build a better and brighter future for Lincoln. After four years as mayor I love this community more than ever and have seen time and time again how people working together can make a positive difference in Lincoln today and into our future. I would like the opportunity to continue to serve alongside all of you to give Lincoln the future it deserves.

I promised to do three things if elected Mayor in 2009: Energize Economic Development, Elevate Community Pride, and Engage the Future. The City accomplished a lot in those areas as we overcame revenue shortages and other challenges. Here is a partial list of our accomplishments

Energize Economic Development

  • Worked to save Logan Correctional Center and its 350 jobs and $73 million economic impact.

  • Fostered environment where over $65 million in commercial development took place.

  • Convened two economic development summits.

  • Helped craft the first economic development master plan for Lincoln and Logan County.

  • Working with IDOT to acquire and rehabilitate the Lincoln Depot as a downtown economic catalyst.

Elevate Community Pride

  • Re-started the community clean-up program.

  • Demolished dilapidated houses that were eyesores and hazards in local neighborhoods.

  • Started "From the Ground Up," an all-volunteer effort that has:

    • Beautified the downtown square & city parks;

    • Established three community gardens;

    • Repainted two railroad viaducts;

    • Planted over 40,000 red tulips across Lincoln.

  • Established the Sidewalk Chalk Art event.

Engage the Future

  • Implemented electric aggregation saving families and small businesses an estimated $200/year.

  • Secured $675,000 State grant for downtown redevelopment and revitalization.

  • Leased city-owned land behind Wal-Mart to the Lincoln Futbol Club for development as a soccer complex.

  • Created a high speed rail committee that developed the only set of comprehensive recommendations for any community on the Chicago-St. Louis line.

  • Developed a five-year capital improvements plan that objectively assessed the City's infrastructure and proactively planned the improvement and maintenance of those streets and sidewalks.

All of these things were accomplished only through working hard and working together. The City has been blessed with a great City Council, dedicated City employees, and engaged and active community members. What we've done these past four years is only the start of what we can all accomplish together.

So what does the future hold for Lincoln? We need to continue our focus on economic development, community pride, and the future. But as we do that the next steps in positioning Lincoln for the future will be to:

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Redevelop Downtown

Why? Because it is the heart of our community, and it needs to be a vibrant, prosperous, and popular place for businesses, residents, and visitors. How do we redevelop it? With these three steps:

  1. Create a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District for downtown so we can fund improvements ourselves and not have to rely on grant funding or dollars from already shaky State and federal governments.

  2. Make the streetscape improvements to downtown to upgrade the overall attractiveness of our public spaces downtown and attract private investments.

  3. Leverage public investments to attract additional dining, entertainment, and retail businesses through effective marketing and proactive and coordinated attraction efforts.

Revitalize our Neighborhoods

Why? Because neighborhoods are the lifeblood of our community. When we enliven a neighborhood, we enliven our entire community. We can begin to revitalize our neighborhoods with these three steps:

  1. Create neighborhood associations to allow neighbors identify challenges and concerns, plan and carry out improvements, and find resources to make the neighborhood a better place to live.

  2. Target investments in our neighborhoods for the greatest impact by coordinating neighborhood enhancements with the City's recently adopted five-year capital improvement plan.

  3. Rejuvenate neighborhood parks based on neighborhood input and direction and allow the parks to be the impetus to revitalize the neighborhoods in which they are located.

Renew Citizen Engagement in City Government

Why? Because citizen engagement reinforces our community, and it builds our democracy and our citizenship. These three steps are how we plan to renew citizen engagement in the near term:

  1. Create a new City website that's crisp, attractive, easy to find and navigate, and more functional.

  2. Utilize app-based and social media tools as means to communicate with the City about services, complaints, and policies.

  3. Offer better opportunities for proactive two-way communication between the City and its citizens where true dialogue can occur.

For more information on my candidacy, please consult my website: www.SnyderForMayor.com.

Thank you for your consideration, and I would appreciate your vote. The primary election is next Tuesday, February 26. The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm at Lincoln Christian Church.

With your vote we can give Lincoln the future it deserves.

[Text copied from file received from Keith Snyder, Lincoln mayor]

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