Dear LIBA Members and Friends,
Recently a city council member, Gene Carroll, ran radio ads attacking the Lincoln Independent Business Association and its 1,150 members. In these ads Carroll resorted to name calling, scare tactics and over-the-top rhetoric.
These radio ads implied that LIBA and its members advocated closing parks, pools, libraries, fire stations, and cutting Lincoln police officers. I am writing today to provide LIBA members with facts upon which to base their decision in the upcoming council election. To keep this letter current and relevant to today’s situation we looked back at the positions LIBA has taken during the past four years that Councilman Carroll has been in office.
- Parks - LIBA has not proposed closing any Lincoln city park. In 2011 LIBA specifically praised the Mayor and City Council for allocating an additional $352,000 to maintain public parks. Our organization recognized that poorly maintained parks are community eyesores. Therefore, LIBA supported upkeep of our city parks as a public priority.
- Pools – Contrary to Carroll’s claim, LIBA has taken no position on public pools. However, Councilman Carroll voted to close Meadow Heights public pool in 2009. In fact, Councilman Carroll seconded the motion and then voted in favor of the budget which closed Meadow Heights swimming pool.
- Police – LIBA does not want to cut police. In 2012, the initial city budget proposed cutting two police officers. LIBA testified before the City Council saying that Lincoln should consider increasing the Lincoln police force.
- Libraries - Over the past four years LIBA has not proposed, advocated, or supported closing any Lincoln library. In 2009 and 2010 the community discussed reducing costs by closing libraries or cutting their hours. In both 2009 and 2010 LIBA suggested that instead of cutting library hours the City review the management structure of Lincoln City Libraries to find efficiencies.
- Fire Stations – LIBA has not proposed closing fire stations, however, in 2011 LIBA did support the city’s proposal to close Station 11 in Air Park. Before supporting this proposal, LIBA members researched and deliberated. Members finally voted to support the proposal based on assurances from Public Safety Director Tom Casady that Air Park would continue to receive quality emergency services. LIBA also believed that Director Casady could find more in savings, but not at the detriment of a fire station. Casady said he would focus on LFR efficiencies, such as fuel, maintenance, administration, and beyond.
I hope this letter clarifies any lingering questions about LIBA, the values we embrace and the policies we advocate.