During her recent State of the City Address, Mayor Gaylor Baird made the claim that Lincoln is entering into its “Golden Era.” The Mayor proposed a “13 Pillar” plan to make Lincoln a better place to live and work. The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) found this plan falls short of the improvements Lincoln needs for its businesses and their employees. Below are proposals we believe will improve the business climate and improve the lives of all citizens.

Economic development is the cornerstone of growth for our future. We urge Mayor Gaylor Baird to consider our list of pillars for Lincoln’s economic development and to improve life in our city. These priority pillars would be instrumental in cultivating economic prosperity and creating a real “Golden Age” for Lincoln’s businesses:

  1. Reduce government regulations that deter and obstruct business growth.
  2. Expedite local permitting processes that can delay business and development projects for months.
  3. Reduce taxes so our elderly population will not feel it necessary to leave their homes and move away from our city. Lower property taxes will make it easier for younger families to own a house and start families in our city.
  4. Increase the downtown police presence to combat the rising downtown crime rate so that more families and elderly feel safe going downtown and providing patronage.
  5. Increase the number of police officers to improve Lincoln’s case-closure rate and get criminals off our streets.
  6. Reduce flood plain restrictions so that local standards do not surpass state and federal standards.
  7. Protect downtown businesses from those who loiter, sleep, and defecate in businesses’ doorways.
  8. Change design standards to allow businesses and developers to control what their projects will look like without influence from regulatory boards with no interest in the business.

One of the Mayor’s 13 pillars for the city to “work to become an AARP friendly city.” At the recent “pink card” meetings where the public provided testimony to the government subdivisions raising their property tax asking, we saw many citizens of all ages concerned about the large increases in property taxes this year. Lowering property taxes seems like a great way to “work to become an AARP friendly city.”

The Mayor also mentioned SmartAsset.com ranking Lincoln as the 10th best city in the country for young professionals. Yet, at the pink card meetings, young people said they can’t afford a house for their young families and may need to look to other cities as their future place to work and raise a family.

Carrying out these priority pillars will bring Lincoln more commerce, create more jobs, improve the quality of life for all citizens of Lincoln and achieve a more prosperous economic future.

Mayor Baird was elected to represent the people of Lincoln, including the businesspeople and their employees. Now, we ask for Mayor Gaylor Baird to help make Lincoln the best place to build a business and hire and retain quality employees to ensure a Good Life for all.

LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining, please call LIBA at (402) 466-3419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.