|The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed|
|December 13, 2012 Lisa Betz|
The Gering City Council meeting last night was chock full of interesting moments. As publisher of the Citizen, I attended because the Council was set to designate its legal newspaper of record for the City of Gering.
Having mixed results two years ago when the Council last made this designation, I was prepared this year. I had contacted several residents and business owners in Gering asking for support of the Citizen. Many wrote letters, sent emails, and called their council members on our behalf. Some generous souls even came to the meeting prepared to speak on our behalf should it become necessary. For these efforts, I am grateful. There is nothing quite like the experience of asking for help, and receiving it.
I am pleased to say that the Council did vote to make us the official newspaper of Gering. What a feeling of elation it was, especially after the challenges we have faced in our young days as a newspaper.
Other business before the Council was Neal Smith’s request to build additional storage units at his M Street location. After about an hour of discussion and testimony, which left me with many questions about the whole matter, the Council elected to deny Smith’s request for the necessary zoning exception. Many Gering business people along M Street wrote letters of support for Smith’s venture, with one letter against it submitted by the neighboring doctors’ office.
The gallery heard the final remarks of outgoing councilman Manuel Escamilla as he individually thanked fellow members of the Council, praising each for attributes that he appreciated in them. Monett Ross, who stepped up to fill the chair vacated by Joyce Hillman-Kortum, had kind words for the council as well. Most interestingly, Ross said that she has been encouraged by Gering residents to run for the Council herself. I sincerely hope that she will. Ross has demonstrated a thoughtful approach to the decisions made by the Council in her brief time there and would make a good representative for the people of Gering.
Two newly elected council members, Troy Cowan and Justin Allred, were sworn in, as well as our new City Clerk, Kathy Welfl. New beginnings often have a spirit of hope and optimism. I like what I see in this new Council and hope for continued prosperity and good ideas for Gering under their leadership.
Don Christensen was elected Council president, meaning that he will be the one to run meetings and represent Gering publicly in the event that Mayor Mayo is unavailable.
One oddity of the meeting, City Administrator Lane Danielzuck took ten minutes at the end of an already long meeting to discuss the federal deficit. It left me scratching my head. Between the recent letter of support for the Keystone XL pipeline that he placed on the agenda for the last meeting and now this discussion of the federal deficit, my sincere hope is that Danielzuck will focus his attention closer to home in 2013.