President Dennis Child removed from Council; parking on Main Street discussed at length

President Dennis Child removed from Council; parking on Main Street discussed at length

By Scott Bidroski

The Gordon City Council met for their first meeting of August on Thursday, August 10.

The meeting began at 6:00 p.m. and began with an Opening Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Every member of the Council was present including President Dennis Child, Alyssa DeHart, Kelly Grant, Tim Bounous, and Tom Evans.

The first agenda item was a possible vacancy due to State Statute 19-613.

DeHart stated that current Council member Dennis Child does not live inside city limits which is required for that individual to be on the Council.

On his application to run for an open position on the Council, Child listed the address as 816 W. Lucas, which according to the current map is outside city limits.

DeHart added a member of the Council can be removed for this according to State Statutes 19-613 and 32-560.

Child rebutted that he does own property inside city limits at 150 Sheridan and that the property that he owns at 816 W. Lucas is a business address, not residential.

A discussion occurred between the Council members about the address that was listed on the application to run for Council and where Child actually lives. Several of them expressed their opinions on the matter.

Ultimately, a motion was made to create a vacancy on the Council and it was approved with a 3-1 vote. 

Bounous, DeHart, and Grant all voted in favor with Evans voting against it. Child abstained from the vote due to motion being in regards to him personally.

With the passing of the motion, Child then stepped down from his spot on the Council for the remainder of the meeting.

The minutes of the July 13 and 27 meeting were then presented and approved by the Council.

The July 2023 Treasurer’s Report was presented to the Council.

Some highlights from report were brought up by City Manager Glen Spaugh.

He noted that the line item for Ambulance Services was over $100,000 in collected fees. This marked the first time that they have gone over that mark.

He also noted they are 360% over budget on the donations line. Donations for the fireworks and the new ambulance were a majority of the reasons this is high.

On the expense side, the City is at 96% of their overtime budget. This is due to the snow removal in the beginning portion of the budget year.

The payroll and bills were then approved by the Council.

Rhonda Baseggio was present and brought up the topic of maximum time limit for parking in the business district of Gordon.

Baseggio asked the Council who is in charge of enforcing ordinances in the City of Gordon. She was directed to call the police if an ordinance is being violated. 

A back and forth occurred between Baseggio and Council member Tom Evans as the two share some parking spaces in front of their respective businesses on Main Street.

Evans has vehicles parked on Main Street quite often due to the nature of his business; car repair. One vehicle was noted by Evans as being there for an extended period of time as it awaits a transmission fixed.

Baseggio wants the Ordinance enforced and ticketing and towing to occur. She feels that if it is not enforced, then there is no point to even having ordinances on the books.

The Council requested that Baseggio, Evans, Chief of Police Clay Heath, and City Manager Glen Spaugh get together and come up with a solution that could work for all parties involved.

Deputy Clerk Shelby Reynolds then gave the Council an update on the 2023-24 budget.

Reynolds stated that Department heads had received documentation to request funds for the next fiscal year.

She added that the Budget Overview with the Council will be the August 31 Council meeting.

Department heads will also be present for that meeting to answer any questions the Council may have.

Department reports for the Gordon Police Department and Gordon Volunteer Rescue Squad were then read aloud.

The final item on the agenda was the Manager’s Report.

Spaugh stated that the Council has his report in front of them and if they have any questions, to let him know and he can answer them.

The Public Comment portion of the meeting was then opened.

Joe Headrick spoke first in Public Comment.

Headrick brought an open letter to all involved that he wants to present to the Nebraska Unicameral.

In the letter, Headrick highlights wanting to protect women and children and the suspending constitutional rights for those convicted of crimes against those two groups.

Headrick would like this proposal to be ballot measure in the form of a petition or initiative signed by registered voters throughout Nebraska.

Dale and Tony Kelly then spoke to the Council about a issue with water damage on the street that runs by their father’s residence.

According to the two individuals the work was not completed or done correctly.

They stated that the blading of the road is just helping create a funnel for the water to continue down the road.

This is creating a problem with access to the residence.

The Council encouraged both Tony and Dale to get a hold of Dan Bishop to see where they were at with the project. 

It was also noted that the Council and Spaugh had given Bishop the go ahead to continue with the project.

Marlys Slater then spoke in public comment. 

She wanted to state that she appreciates Tom Evans and his business. She also added she is okay walking a bit further to access downtown businesses.

With no further business on the agenda, the Council adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m.

The next meeting for the Council is set for Thursday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m.

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