Schmidt Presents Petition; Bevard Approved For Fire Department
A regular meeting of the Mayor and the City Council of Cozad convened on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
The minutes from the September 8th and September 15th were approved as presented.
Travis Munster, owner of Big E’s in Cozad, appeared before the council with applications for two special designated liquor license requests.
The first request was for an Oktoberfest Dance scheduled at Big E’s for Friday, October 10th, 2014 from 5 p.m. –1 a.m. Munster has contacted nearby businesses for their approval and a double fence will be place around the beer garden. Police Chief Randy Adams told council members he had no concerns regarding the event.
The second request is for an event at Natural Escapes on Saturday, October 25th, 2014.
Both requests were approved by the council members and forwarded to the NLCC for their approval.
Cozad resident Orville Schmidt addressed the mayor and council regarding his request to be on the council’s agenda.
Schmidt’s request dated September 6th, 2014 stated: “I request the City Council change all rules and regulations so to permit a person on the City Council to serve on the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department at the same time. To support this request I shall present to the Board, a petition signed by several hundred adult Cozad residents. I will also include a request previously signed by all members of the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department.”
Schmidt submitted a petition signed by nearly 600 Cozad residents supporting this proposed change.
Schmidt had gathered these signatures on behalf of his son, Scott Schmidt, also a Cozad resident, who had approached the council members on this subject three previous times.
During previous council meeting, the Schmidts had been told that it would be a ‘conflict of interest’ if a volunteer fireman were on the council when approving the budget. If two firemen were on the council and had to recuse themselves from the voting it would make passing a budget next to impossible.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale had also told them that city codes passed under city resolutions prevented firemen, who are city employees since they are insured by the city, couldn’t serve on the council.
Mayor Nancy Meyer accepted the petition, but told Schmidt that she had no idea if the signers were registered voters.
Schmidt replied: “You and the council have had over a year to consider this issue. Does the council care about what the citizens of Cozad want? What would be illegal about changing the rules?”
City Attorney Trusdale reemphasized that state statutes in regards to initiative and referendum issues requires that they be placed on ballots for voters to decide.
“The council cannot vote on this tonight; they can only accept your petition. In order to vote on changes of personnel it has to be placed on the agenda. We will review this for content, but cannot enact ordinance or resolution changes tonight,” Trusdale continued.
Scott Schmidt then approached the council. “This is the fourth time this issue has been presented in these chambers. Each time council members remain silent and each time we are told there is a different reason you cannot act on it. “
“As to the petition, it is not important to check to see if the signers are registered voters. They are residents of Cozad who are voicing the same frustration my father has expressed to you tonight.” he continued.
“Why are you ‘moot’ on this question? Although you operate under the Open Meetings Law it would appear that this issue has already been decided. I would like to hear from each council member on why this motion has died for a 2nd the past three times it has been on the agenda” Schmidt asked.
Councilmember Jared Jacob replied, “It is a conflict of interest to serve on both the council and the fire department. Also, I have never received any phone calls on this matter.”
Councilmember Brian Montgomery answered, “We will have a decision made by next time. We didn’t know exactly what would be presented here tonight.”
Councilmember Mike Swan commented, “I have never heard this issue brought up in the coffee shop and have never received calls on it, either.”
Scott Schmidt replied, “You have a petition in front of you from the residents of Cozad and the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department. I would ask that you consider this issue out of respect and consideration for the residents whom you represent. If elected, volunteer firemen could recuse themselves from voting on the fire department budget just as any other person representing a Cozad business does so when a claim is presented by that business for payment.”
“I do appreciate hearing some justification from you tonight instead of stone cold silence,” continued Schmidt.
Orville Schmidt asked, “Why could firemen serve on the city council prior to the present administration?”
City Clerk Kloepping noted, “The present council was not present when the ordinance was passed in the early 1990s.”
Al Svajgr, a Cozad resident for 37 years, addressed the council saying, “I applaud you for accepting the role of leadership in our city as council members. In a town where we are struggling to keep businesses open and face other important issues are we going to tell our firemen that we do not want them to serve in city leadership?”
City Attorney Trusdale assured the Schmidts that he would locate the administrative document containing the ordinance city code barring firemen from being on the council.”
Consideration of Ordinance No. 1454 in reference to LB 1044 relating to abandoned vehicles was scratched from the agenda.
Cozad Chamber of Commerce Director Sandra Bappe’s request to block off Meridian Street between 7th and 9th and 8th Streets from Meridian to F Street for Spook Night on Monday, October 27, 2014 was approved.
Cozad Rescue Squad Chief Marlene Williams appeared with Sandra Bevard for reconsideration of her application for membership in the Cozad Fire Department. Council members approved her application.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that the TerraGator no longer needed by city workers to remove sludge had been sold. A leak at 6th & B Streets had been repaired and they were now working at 6th & Locust Streets in Cozad.
Electric Commissioner Britt German reported that last week meters were read and that this week his department is working on year-end inventories.
Cozad Rescue Squad Chief Marlene Williams shared that Mid-Plains Community College had requested that EMT students be permitted to participate in “ride-a-longs” with the Cozad Rescue Squad. They will provide a certificate of insurance for the students.
Cozad Police Chief Randy Adams reported that a Lexington resident had recently been cited and fined for dumping off tires at the Cozad Recycling Center. Adams reminds residents that this is against the law.
City Clerk Susan Kloepping expressed concern over the amount of postage and time spent on vegetation letters in the municipality since May.
According to Police Chief Adams, 352 vegetation affidavits have been served since the third week in May, with many being repeat offenders.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale told council members that Police Chief Adams had gotten one camper unplugged and disconnected in the city limits since the last meeting.
Monsanto Presents Cozad Schools With $25,000 Grant
Laying the ground work for education is the job of teachers each and every day in schools across America. The Monsanto Funds, ‘America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education’ grant made it much easier on Friday night with the presentation of a $25,000 grant to the Cozad Community Schools to complete the task of teaching agriculture to students of all ages.
For the Cozad Community Schools instructors, it just became more manageable to lay the ground work of agriculture for students with the grant that is planned to be used towards the purchase of a green house to assist greatly in the education of biology.
“The Haymaker Greenhouse will provide our faculty and students an opportunity to learning that we haven’t had in the past,” expressed Cozad Community Schools Superintendent Joel Applegate. “It will also provide us opportunities to build strong partnerships with the patrons of Cozad. We are so blessed to have received this grant from Monsanto.”
MAKING IT OFFICIAL were a group of Monsanto representatives that presented the Cozad Community Schools with a $25,000 Monsanto America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant on Friday evening.
Cozad Blood Drive To Be Held September 30th
The national average is that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Here in the 100th Meridian City, you can make a difference by donating blood to those in need.
Tuesday, September 30th, you can attend the Cozad Blood Drive at the Catholic Parish Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to give to the cause and make a difference.
If you would like to make an appointment to give blood or have questions about the Cozad Blood Drive, call Deb Malcom at 325-1058 or 784-5200.
Breakfast Fly-In Fundraiser For Darin Hoffmaster
There will be a Breakfast Fly-In Fundraiser and Silent Auction being held for Cozad’s Darin Hoffmaster.
Darin was recently diagnosed with ALS.
Airplane rides for youth will be held on a freewill donation basis. Mid State Aviation and Eagles/Young Eagles will give rides from 8 a.m.-11 a.m.
The event will take place on Saturday, September 27th, 2014, starting at 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Cozad Municipal Airport.
There will be a free breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee.
It is open to the public.
All breakfast, silent auction and airplane ride proceeds go to benefit Darin.
2104 LHS Royalty:
ENSHRINED AS the Royalty of the 2014 Lexington High School Homecoming (ABOVE) during halftime of the football game against Alliance on Friday night was Kevin Andrade, King; and Ana Hernandez-Cruz, Queen. (RIGHT) Enjoying the ride through the Homecoming parade in Lexington is the Minutemaids volleyball team that tossed candy and waved to the large crowd that lined the downtown streets of the Plum Creek City.
Livin’ Light Conference To Be Held October 4th
Come celebrate with us at our Livin’ Light Women’s conference. The theme this year is “Broken to Beauty.” Our speaker is Lora Jones from Liberal, Kansas. Lora will be sharing about her life story and the God who has sustained her.
The free conference will be held at the Cozad High School auditorium.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and there will be a coffee/sweet bar (free will donation) and worship will begin at 9 a.m. Lora Jones will speak at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Highlights include a drama on the Samaritan woman at the well, special music by Puppets in God’s Service, music by Cozad Bible church and shopping on site with “New Life Christian Bookstore” from McCook. Lunch will be available on site for $7.
Pre-registration is requested for seating and required for lunch. Contact Char Carlson at 308-848-3260. Find us on facebook at Livin’ Light; register under the events tab.
Come bring a friend and be refreshed.