Gordon City Council Minutes December 10, 2015

Notice of the meeting was given to advance by publication in the Sheridan County Journal Star, the designated method for giving notice as shown by the affidavit of publication on file in the City Clerk’s office.  Agendas of the meeting were simultaneously given to the Mayor and all members of the Council.  All proceedings hereafter shown were taken while the convened meeting was open to the attendance of the public.

A meeting of the City Council of the City of Gordon was called to order at 6:00 p.m., Dec. 10, 2015, in the Council Chambers of the City Auditorium.  The Mayor noted the location of the Open Meetings Laws poster in the back of the room.

Present: Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans. 

Absent:  Morgan.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Grant to approve the minutes of the November 12, 2015 meeting.  Ayes:  Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Russell.

Motion by Evans, seconded by Bounous to approve the October 2015 treasurer’s report.  Ayes: Bounous, Evans, Russell, and Grant.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Evans to approve the November 2015 treasurer’s report. Ayes: Evans, Russell, Grant, and Bounous.

Motion by Grant, seconded by Evans to approve the bills.  Ayes: Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans.

Abbreviations for the legal:  EX, Expense; FE, Fee; GR, Groceries; MI, Mileage; RE, Reimbursement; RPT, Report; SA, Salaries; SE, Services; SU, Supplies.

Mayor Russell introduced Adam Wackler to council and the public present as the City of Gordon’s new Police Chief. Mayor Russell congratulated him and thanked him for his service to the City of Gordon.

Bill Nickolisen, resident of Fairview Drive, and several of his neighbors were present to discuss with council the concerns they have regarding the high traffic on Fairview Drive, and the misuse of Fairview Park. Mr. Nickolisen told council that the problem with the traffic begins about 2:00 pm and goes into the early morning hours. Not only are the residents concerned about the high amount of traffic, but also the high rate of speed that they are traveling at. Chief Wackler informed council that he has visited with residents of Fairview Drive and agrees with them that are several issues in this area, including drug alcohol use, and that he and his officers have been patrolling more frequently and have issued citations, but also informed council that the current ordinance the city has regarding use of the parks in Gordon after hours is very vague and not prosecutable. Currently the ordinance states in part that no one is allowed in the park at unreasonable hours, which is too open to interpretation. City Manager Jacob Sheridan will work on a stricter ordinance that council can pass to remedy this part of the problem. Mr. Nickolisen also asked council to consider moving the entrance to Fairview Park to the south side, entering from 4th Street, and close the entrance on the north side, making it a turn-around for fire and emergency vehicles and city maintenance vehicles only. His goal is to eliminate the through traffic. City Manager Jacob Sheridan agreed to consult with Street Superintendent Mike Winter to get an estimate together for council’s consideration. Mayor Russell informed Mr. Nickolisen and the other Fairview Drive residents present that she and the city council share their concerns and will be working to remedy this situation.

Diana Robins was present to discuss with council the possibility of beginning a Student Liaison program with the City Council. A student would be chosen by teachers and/or administrators from the Gordon Rushville High School and this student would sit with council and be given a packet for the meeting, just as the council members are. Ms. Robins told council that some cities that have this program allow the liaison to vote, the vote is not counted, however. She feels that it is a positive program that encourages student participation in the community, and can also be used as community service hours for scholarships and resumes. City Manager Sheridan informed council that he had done some research on this and there are other communities in Nebraska that have this program. Motion by Grant, seconded by Evans to allow City Manager Sheridan to contact Sherry Retzlaff, Guidance Counselor at GRPS, and begin working on a student liaison program. Ayes: Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Russell.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Evans to approve Brett Weaver’s request to allow the American Legion to have extended liquor sale hours December 31, 2015 until 2:00 am. Ayes: Bounous, Evans, Russell, and Grant.

Council was given information on the 2016 elections. There are two seats up for election on both the City Council and the Gordon Airport Authority. 

Motion by Evans, seconded by Grant to approve the December board appointments with gratitude for their service to the City of Gordon. Ayes: Evans, Russell, Grant, and Bounous.

PLANNING COMMISSION (3-YR TERM) Carol Metzger, Jerry Krasomil, Lori Liggett

HOUSING AUTHORITY (5-YR TERM) Tim Bounous

HUMAN RELATIONS (3-YR TERM) Barney Fultz, Jason Hurd

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT (3-YR TERM) Joel Nelson

PERPETUAL CARE BOARD (3-YR TERM) Neal Ziller      

POLICE REVIEW BOARD (3-YR TERM) Marv Bussinger, Harlen Wheeler      

BOARD OF HEALTH (ALL MEMBERS ONE YR TERM) Nancy Russell (Mayor), Jacob Sheridan (City Manager), Adam Wackler (Chief of Police), Candy Allison (Citizen), Gordon Hospital Administrator and his/her designee.

After some discussion and a request by Councilman Bounous for more information regarding the purchase of new vehicles for the police department, motion by Bounous, seconded by Evans to table Resolution 2015-17 and Resolution 2015-18. Ayes: Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans.

Motion by Grant, seconded by Bounous to allow Mayor Russell to the Street Superintendent Certification for the NE Department of Roads. Ayes: Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Russell.

City Manager Jacob Sheridan and Police Chief Adam Wackler are in the process of hiring two new police officers. They have hired one, who is already certified. The new hire will not start until the end of January, so the need for the city council to secure housing is still present. Motion by Bounous, seconded by Evans to allow the city manager to secure housing for two new police officers. Ayes: Bounous, Evans, Russell, and Grant.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Grant to approve, with thanks, the application by Misty Belsky for the Gordon Volunteer Rescue Squad. Ayes: Evans, Russell, Grant, and Bounous.

City Manager Sheridan updated council on the ACE board meeting that he attended December 4. A company called Black Hills is in the process of purchasing Source Gas. ACE is currently working to secure the same relationship with Black Hills as they previously had with Source Gas, but warned there may be changes once the new ownership is in place.

After much review, City Manager Sheridan feels that the city’s zoning laws need to be updated and modernized. He proposed to council that they contract with his wife, Gwen Sheridan, to work with him and other department heads to complete this task. Motion by Bounous, seconded by Grant to approve and allow the mayor to sign a contract with Gwen Sheridan to complete this task. Ayes: Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans.

Council had been previously informed that the city’s workmen’s compensation carrier has refused to renew the city’s policy. City Manager Sheridan was approached by a representative from the League Association of Risk Management (LARM). They are a governmental pool of insurance with policies designed specifically for municipalities. The city has not received a quote from them yet, but it is in the process. The city’s current insurance agent, Dean Strong has also found a possible replacement for our worker’s compensation insurance. The council will call a special meeting toward the end of December so that both carriers can present their bids. The special meeting is necessary as the city’s insurance renews January 1, 2016.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Grant to go into executive session at 7:45 pm for discussion of personnel issues. Ayes: Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Russell. The only topic to be discussed in executive session is personnel issues. 

 The November police statistics were not available.

The council reconvened in regular session at 8:01 pm.  With no further business and no action taken, motion by Grant, seconded by Evans to adjourn.  Ayes: Evans, Russell, Grant, and Bounous.

City Clerk

Mayor

I, the undersigned, City Clerk for the City of Gordon, Nebraska hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the proceedings had and done by the Mayor and Council on December 10, 2015; that all of the subjects included in the foregoing proceedings were contained in the agenda for the meeting, kept continuously current and available for inspection at the office of the City Clerk;  that such subjects were contained in said minutes of the Mayor and Council of the City of Gordon from which the foregoing proceedings have been extracted were in written form and available for public inspection within ten working days and prior to the next convened meeting of said body; that all news media requesting notification of the time and place of said meeting and the subjects to be discussed at said meeting.

City Clerk

Published: December 16, 2015