Lincoln Mayor addresses city council and public “from the heart”

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[July 01, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Tuesday evening the Lincoln City Council met for its Committee of the Whole meeting. This meeting is the time when aldermen have the opportunity to discuss in detail the concerns of the city and establish the requests for action that will be placed on the next voting session.

At the beginning of each meeting is a time for public participation. At this time, anyone in the gallery may come forward and address the council regarding matters of particular concern. On this night, Mayor Marty Neitzel addressed the gallery asking if anyone wished to address the council in public participation. When no one came forward, she said that she would like to speak. She said that she had a few things to say to the council “from the heart.” She added that she had not written anything down, she just knew what she wanted to say to them.

Mayoral address:

Tonight I’m going to give kind of my view of things I would like the city of Lincoln and our citizens to know. If you will notice, I have no notes. What I am saying comes from my heart, and I’m going on from there.

The Lincoln Revitalization Plan was spearheaded by citizens of Lincoln. They were giving their time freely, and I was on the steering committee. We agreed that it (the plan) would go before the city. We had the public view it at the Library and the Park District. The city did accept the revitalization plan completed.

Under the plan, I think behind all of the steering committee, was the quality of life in Lincoln, Illinois. I know that was mine, that is how I feel, what I want to help with in this town.

The citizens of Lincoln and the seniors, I have to first go with the seniors. I feel they are being taken care of well. The Timber Creek, the Castle Manor, Copper Creek, the hospital, the Symphony, the Christian Homes, The St. Clara’s Manor are all making a significant impact in Lincoln on renovation projects that will be for the senior citizens of Lincoln. Also, along with that is the Oasis. They are always trying different things to enhance what they (seniors) can do with their time. I feel with the seniors of Lincoln, I think we are doing a good job and are giving them quality of life.

Moving from that to another (topic), I don’t know if the citizens of Lincoln know this, but the Jefferson School, the value of the property was $300,000. The school district sold it to the city of Lincoln for $75,000. What a bargain! What a way to start that project (a new police station). With the renovation needed for that project, will be possibly half the cost of a new (police station). With that new facility, they will provide way greater quality of life and make this town safer for the citizens of Lincoln.

Now then, we’ll go to the street department. The Street Department’s new facility, with the money given to us by Nicor Gas, they have given us $4.2 million to put on our new street facility. It may cost us a little more with different types of upgrades that we do to the property to make it last longer. Do the citizens of Lincoln know what has been given to them, $4.2 million?

Another thing is the depot. The depot, do you know what an impact that will be on downtown and on Lincoln, in the fact it will bring people in on our trains to a beautiful facility right there in downtown. That is not going to cost us hardly anything. Just think of the depot with its new landscaping. I can see brides there, I mean so many things that can be used at that facility.

Another thing, going with the quality of life is the Third Friday. I give the credit for that to my city administrator. The people that are coming downtown are communicating. They want to communicate. They want to be downtown. That helps the businesses downtown because if they don’t see anything else, they come down and see what is there. It reminds me of the old times when I was a kid and every Saturday night my mom took me to downtown Lincoln. We didn’t get there until ten till nine, but she got us there. But anyway, my big strive is for quality of life.

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Now, going back to the Depot. Across the street from the Depot is the State Bank of Lincoln parking lot. In knowing that the Depot is going to be reconditioned, they have renovated their parking lot to the fact that they have new lighting, they have new fence, and I mean, it just will complement the new depot.

Going on down Pekin Street, we get to Integrity Data (Scully Building). Think of the money that man (Patrick Doolin) has put into that building. It is a landmark. The Scully Building is a landmark for Lincoln, Illinois. I am proud that he picked Lincoln for his business and brought employees here to make money here in Lincoln and live here.

Now, moving across the street to the city parking lot on Pekin Street, next to the library. This is a subject of much talk, and I want people to talk. The way I look at this is that it needs to be drained. The way to drain that parking lot is to make the point higher so that it drains downward. In doing the drainage of that parking lot, it will make it safer. In winter time, it will eliminate the ice where someone could fall and hurt themselves and sue the city. So that is my information on that. Now going to the corral, the corral for the garbage containers. If you go out to Hardee’s, Casey’s, Wendy’s, McDonalds, they all have corrals. When I was a kid and went to a restaurant, the garbage was right outside the back door with the flies and everything else. That is not the new way to do it. The new way to do it is through the corrals.

Do I want the new parking lot? Yes, I do. Does the city council want the new parking lot? It’s up to them, I don’t vote, but I feel like I can give my opinion, and that is what I have done.

Thank you



The Pekin Street parking lot has been a point of much contention with members of the Lincoln city council. With the aldermen split nearly in half, a vote was taken recently on moving forward with the project, which failed in a 3 – 5 vote.

On the Tuesday night agenda was a re-introduction of the topic, with the possibility that the aldermen would rescind their original negative vote and put a new motion to approve on the next voting session agenda.

At the end of the discussion held later in the evening, agenda items regarding the parking lot were added to the voting session to be held on July 18th.

LDN will have complete coverage of this week’s discussion on the parking lot in the Saturday edition.

[Nila Smith]

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