|Gering appoints new police chief|
|September 11, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Gering Police Chief George Holthus
George Holthus, formerly a captain with the Gering Police Department, has been appointed as the city’s new Police Chief.
Holthus, a 26-year veteran of the force, was one of three candidates certified by the Gering Civil Service Commission. Others included Captain Jason Rogers and Sergeant Ed Tjaden.
Members of the council unanimously approved the appointment after being recommended by City Administrator Lane Danielzuk.
“It’s one of those things where we have our career and track history and prepare ourselves for that next step up,” Holthus said. “Several of our people have done that and the interview committee felt I was the right choice.”
He added he intends to make Gering a better place to live, work and play. “There are always things we need to look at and figure out how to improve things. That will be part of the process we’ll go through as we figure out our way forward.”
Holthus replaces former chief Mel Griggs, who retired in February.
During a short public hearing with no comment from the public, council also approved the city’s 2013 – 2014 proposed budget of $33,024,775. Total valuation of city property was $401,185,673, with the total tax levy remaining the same as last year at .29832.
In other action, the council was to reconsider a proposal to ask for Request for Proposals for a study to see if a proposed sports complex is feasible for the area. Members were also to discuss development of the city’s existing recreation facilities, including the softball and baseball diamonds.
Council member Dan Smith, chair of the Recreation Committee, requested the action be tabled. “A representative from the City of Scottsbluff talked with us about their interest in participating in an RFP,” he said. “I would move we enter into negotiations with Scottsbluff to develop an RFP feasibility study that would encompass both Scottsbluff and Gering sports and recreation facilities.”
Council member Jill McFarland expressed some concern the delay would slow down the process of evaluating the city’s recreation needs and said she hoped it wouldn’t result in another three-month delay.
She also said “I realize we do cooperative efforts with the City of Scottsbluff, but I want to go on record to say that as a Gering council person, I want there to be substantial benefit to Gering with this feasibility study.”
Council members also accepted a resignation letter from Rick Hurt, the city’s environmental services director. His estimated last day on the job will be Oct. 11.