Wilmert made the motion and the second came from Stacy Bacon, who
has been a supporter of the ordinance since the beginning.
Immediately afterward, Tom O'Donohue said he wanted to clarify for
the record, that while the council members do the work on a new
ordinance, and to that extent are the authors of it, the city
attorney prepares the legal document that is eventually voted on. He
said he wanted to make this clear because constituents have asked
about it in the past.
When the floor was opened for discussion on the ordinance, Melody
Anderson was the first one to say that she would be voting no.
Anderson said she didn't necessarily disagree with the ordinance
before them, but she was uncomfortable with passing it without a
street parking ordinance to go with it. She also noted that she had
concerns about passing something that both the city attorney and the
zoning and safety office were not happy with.
Marty Neitzel told the council she would be voting no as well.
Her concerns were that the original intent of the council was to
curtail parking of trailers, but what was happening in this
ordinance was actually giving trailer owners more options of places
Jeff Hoinacki offered a different opinion. He told the council he
would vote yes. He said the new ordinance would give trailer owners
an alternative to parking their vehicles on the street, and it was
the street-side parking that was the real problem.
O'Donohue said he would have a difficult time voting in favor of
the ordinance, especially seeing as how city attorney Blinn Bates
and safety officer John Lebegue were opposed to it.
He continued: "I say this a lot: 'What do we want Lincoln to be?'
I don't think this is what I want Lincoln to be. I don't think this
is what the citizens want Lincoln to be."
Jonie Tibbs also said she would vote no. She told the council she
felt this ordinance would open the door for more abuse. She said
that she, for one, didn't want trailers parked in the driveway next
door to her home.
David Armbrust defended the ordinance, saying maybe it wasn't
perfect, but he reminded everyone there was a sunset clause, so if
it didn't work, the ordinance could be reversed.
Wilmert addressed some of the objections, saying first that the
original intent was not to curtail, as Neitzel had mentioned. He
reminded the group that it was Darren Coffey who came to the council
asking them to relax the 72-hour law for street-side parking.
Wilmert also talked about the pairing of two ordinances. He said
that at first the ordinance was to be done in two parts, but there
had been a consensus of the council to get the driveway parking
ordinance passed before they "tightened the screws" on the
street-side parking problem.
Wilmert said he had addressed every concern of the council during
the writing of the ordinance, and it was reflected in the final
O'Donohue agreed that the council had gone along with doing two
ordinances, but he had always believed it was their intent to pass
them at the same time.
[to top of second column]
Kathy Horn spoke up, saying first that she appreciated Wilmert's
work on the ordinance and that it had ended up being quite a can of
worms. She then asked if perhaps the ordinance on the floor now
should be tabled until the ordinance on street-side parking is
written and ready to be voted upon.
Sue McLaughlin, city administrator, liked the idea of tabling the
motion. She told the council that in looking at the ordinance, there
were a lot of ways to tweak it and make it better.
Mayor Keith Snyder asked if Lebegue or Bates had any comments.
Lebegue said he thought he had made himself clear on the issue in
the past. He said this ordinance will create more visual clutter in
the neighborhoods, and most progressive communities wouldn't allow
something like this. He added that front yards are the most visible
part of the property. He reminded the council that they need to ask
themselves what they really want the impact to be.
Lebegue brought up attracting new business, saying street appeal
is very important. "When businesses are looking to move to a
community, they drive through and see what it looks like. And this
would have a negative impact," he said. He also added that he felt
there were indeed those who would pave their entire front yard and
fill it with trailers.
Bates spoke quite clearly on the matter, saying, "This is a bad
idea, folks." He continued by saying that the safety office and the
law office have worked diligently to try to clean up the town, and
this was a step backward.
Wilmert again offered some clarification, saying it was never
intended that people would be permitted to pave or gravel their
entire yard. He said in the unlikely event that it would happen, it
could be addressed in some other way.
Holding his ground, Wilmert said he didn't want to table the
motion; he wanted to see this ordinance go forward. "At some point
you have to let this go through and be finished," he said.
When the vote was called for, Armbrust, Bacon, Hoinacki and
Wilmert voted in favor of passing; Anderson, Bruce Carmitchel, Horn,
Neitzel, O'Donohue and Tibbs all voted against; and the motion
No further discussion took place regarding this on Monday night.
It is not known at this time what the next step may be.
[By NILA SMITH]