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New mayor ready to tackle first term
December 12, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Mayor Tony Kaufman

The day after winning the election for Gering’s mayor, Tony Kaufman started meeting with city staff and council members to get their input on important issues he will be dealing with once he’s sworn into office.

“I wanted to get up to speed on projects we have in the works and what the city is doing,” Kaufman said. “Once I’m sworn in, I’ll be ready to hit the ground running and get things going.”

One of the topics that kept coming up during the election season was the need for transparency and professionalism in government.
“I’ve talked to all the council individually and everybody is on the same page,” he said. “It’s just a matter of communicating issues of concern clearly, making sure council members know the issues in an appropriate amount of time and making sure we respond in an appropriate and professional matter. We just need to raise the bar a little bit.”

Kaufman added it’s easy to be passionate about issue of importance, but council needs to remember they’re all on the same team – team Gering.

“Our goal is to further and grow the community and enhance it wherever we can,” he said. “We need to do that together in spite of our differences that come up from time to time.”

He added during the last month, he’s learned that Gering has a great city staff and a great council. “I’m excited to work with the leaders we have in place as well as the newly elected ones,” he said. “All the staff comes with a lot of expertise in a lot of departmental areas, so we have a lot of opportunities to take the city forward.”

Another possible project that keeps being discussed is a meatpacking plant for the community. Kaufman said there has been some discussion, but only on a preliminary basis.

“It’s been very limited to date,” he said. “Every opportunity is a different one and this one would be much different from former proposals. As a community we need to be open, ask the right questions and make sure every opportunity is the right fit for our community.”

Kaufman said he’s excited about working with not only Gering, but also with other communities to more the area forward. “This should be an exciting time because there are a lot of great things on the horizon for the future.”
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