City Council Ends Meeting With No Vote

It's been a long summer for the Lincoln City Council and city agencies. They're working through Mayor Don Wesely's 2002-2003 budget proposal. Council members were expected to vote on the budget Monday, but a new issue was brought to the table and the meeting ended without a vote.

Mayor Wesley's goal is to fill a 5-and-a-half million dollar gap in the city's budget. By doing this department heads were asked to get rid of pay raises or cut back on employees. The Mayor wants to avoid raising property taxes, but now it might not be a choice. In May and June two of the city's three labor unions agreed to make concessions to help fill the deficit. The City Employees Union and the firefighters union both made cutbacks to salary increase and overtime pay. However, the police union voted to keep their contract the same. This forced Chief Tom Casady to cut back on school resource officers. Now, Mayor Wesely says fairness has become an issue.

The city council plans to vote on the budget next week. A public hearing is set for mid-August.