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Minatare board sets date for mayoral recall election
December 18, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Alfred Pieper, elected as Mayor of Minatare in 2012, will be facing a recall election early next year.

During the December council meeting, City Attorney Audrey Elliott informed council members the city had received a letter from Scotts Bluff County Clerk and Election Commissioner Vera Dulaney.

The letter, dated Nov. 19, said a recall petition circulated in Minatare contained the statute-required signatures of 35 percent of eligible registered voters in order to force a recall election. By statute, the election must be scheduled not less than 30 days from the notification or more than 75 days. Pieper was notified of the action by the city when the recall petition was first circulated to Minatare residents.

Council members agreed to set Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 as the date for a special election. The only question on the ballot will be yes or no on whether remove Pieper from the office of mayor.

Elliott said that if Pieper is removed from office, the council will need to approve someone to fill out the remainder of his term, which runs through 2016. Members can nominate someone or interested residents can express their own interest to the council. Once a person accepts the nomination, the council then votes to fill the position.

In other action, Elliott updated the council on progress, and lack thereof, in working with state and federal agencies to mitigate the citys water situation. According to the state Natural Resources Districts, any groundwater taken by municipalities must be replaced.
Minatare has contracted with Scottsbluff for its water supply, but that water has to be accounted for.

Elliott expressed her frustration with the USDA making continued additional requirements, which are only costing the city more time and money. She has been in contact with USDA officials and said she would have an update at the January meeting.

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