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LINCOLN -- A former member and a newcomer are vying to serve on the City Council to represent the Ward 2, Position 2 seat.

Doug Curtsinger served as a council member from the late 1980s until 2004. He ran for the Position 1 seat in the November 2016 election against incumbent Troy Myers but was defeated in that race.

Amanda Carey Thomas is running for her first elective office.

City Council members serve two-year terms. The race for Ward 2, Position 2 is the only one on the November ballot. The other candidates are running unopposed. No one filed for Ward 3, Position 2, currently held by Gary Eoff.

While the two are seeking to represent Ward 2, all registered voters in Lincoln will have the opportunity to cast a vote for either of the candidates.

Council members receive $100 per meeting.

Thomas, 37, lives on School Street and is a special education teacher. She holds two bachelor degrees and two master degrees.

Curtsinger, 60, is retired, lives on County Avenue and has some college education.

The Washington County Enterprise-Leader emailed the same questions to both candidates. Their responses are below.

Question: Why are you running for this position?

Curtsinger: To help Lincoln and the people of Lincoln.

Thomas: I am running for this position so that I can help Lincoln become a more functional town; one that is known for its many positive assets. I think it is time to add a mix of new members on the council, to incorporate new ideas, promote a community unity, and change the internal and external perspectives. We can use those with past experience to guide us. But it is time for new ideas and incorporation of knowledge and this is done with electing new members.

Question: Have you previously served in elective office? If so, please name each position and dates:

Thomas: No, I am new to this but ready to jump in and do what needs to be done.

Curtsinger: Yes, Lincoln City Council, late 1980s until 2004.

Question: List what you believe are your qualifications to serve in this position.

Curtsinger: Lots of experience with the city and with work.

Thomas: I am an active community member, one that tries to make a difference, regardless of how small it may be. The smallest differences add up and can change a lot. I have a lot of knowledge and experience towards volunteering that I can use to make this community better. I can use my education (I have two Bachelor's degrees and two Master's degrees) to bring forth new ideas on how to promote Lincoln in a positive light. My children live here and attend Lincoln schools. They deserve, and have the right to, a great community. Changes happen from within each home, within the schools, and also within the government.

Question: The election ballot includes a question on a 1% sales tax for fire and police. Do you support the new sales tax? Would you elaborate on why you do support it or do not support it.

Thomas: I will only support it IF the wording and monetary benefits are for the police and fire. I do not want the money to go into a general city fund, but a fund that is specifically set aside for the fire and police departments. Only then will I fully support it. We all hate tax increases, but in this case, we must look at what the city of Lincoln needs- more funding and more financial support for our fire and police personnel. Without the additional support, our city, our community, and our lives as a whole, will reign in chaos without the police and fire departments. I fully support them and will continue to do so.

Curtsinger: Yes, we have to pay higher wages.

Question: What do you feel are the most pressing needs the City has at this time and how should the Council address those?

Curtsinger: The city needs more for people to do.

Thomas: Lincoln had a bad reputation. It is going to take more than just the city council to fix the problem. But by modeling and the incorporation of city council and community involvement, we can work together to change the perspectives on and towards our town. The Council needs to be open and willing to listen to the community members that they serve. I have noticed that this does not happen. People need to be heard, they need a chance to understand the 'why's', and they need to be understood by those who have been elected.

Question: If elected, do you have any goals as a City Council member for the city in the next four years in office?

Thomas: My goal is to bring together more community involvement. When people get involved with their community, the world can see it. We can work together to create a much stronger, more creative, and more efficient community.

Curtsinger: Make Lincoln safe and make Lincoln a place where people want to live and call Home.

Question: Any other information you would like to add?

Thomas: I believe in community involvement. Which is why my family and I have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the community in our home, free of charge. Even though I am working full time and going to school full time, I still make the time to volunteer within my community. Community involvement should be a priority. After all, city council without their community is useless.

Curtsinger did not respond to this question.


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