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Newcomer to challenge Cook for council seat

A member of the Lincoln Independent Business Association announced during a LIBA luncheon Tuesday he’ll be running for the Lincoln City Council seat now held by Councilman Jonathan Cook, who represents southwest Lincoln.

Travis Nelson

Travis Nelson — a Bloomfield native who works in construction and describes his political leanings as conservative — said he intends to run for the seat Cook has held for a dozen years. Nelson is listed in LIBA’s directory as being part-owner of Nelson and Sons Construction in Lincoln.
The Lincoln Journal Star has reported that Cook intends to run for another term, but Cook has declined to comment for Winterized, saying only that he’ll announce his intentions in January.


Want to know how much state employees earn?

The Platte Institute has a cool new website they call Nebraska Transparency, which allows you to search for any state employee and see what their salary and retirement benefit was in 2009.

Gov. Dave Heineman, for example, makes $109,000 and gets nearly $8,000 annually in retirement benefits. Attorney General Jon Bruning earns $95,000 and gets about $7,000 in retirement funds.

You can also see how much vacation they’ve accumulated.

You can search by department, by salary range, even by vacation hours or retirement compensation range. The website is still a work in progress, which is why you can only see 2009 data for now and the University of Nebraska is not there yet.

Berk Brown of the Platte Institute says eventually, they will have city and county salaries on the website, too. It takes time to get the data from all of these entities and get it in the right format.

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