The recall attempt of all City of Neligh elected officials has one resident saying enough is enough. And he doesn’t believe he’s the only one who feels that way.
Nate Metschke, who has lived in Neligh for nearly 15 years and is the music teacher at Neligh-Oakdale, said he’s embarrassed by recent behavior in the community and is taking a stand against the negativity. Metschke is asking other Neligh residents to join him in a “We Support Neligh” campaign in hopes “the real majority are heard loud and clear.”
“I love Neligh. I support Neligh. And I know I’m not alone in this,” Metschke said. “We have a wonderful community, and it’s time the silent majority stepped up and put a stop to this negative behavior that has brought a dark cloud over Neligh. I’m tired of my friends in other towns poking fun about all of the negativity in the news about Neligh. There are a lot of great things happening here for us to be proud of.”
Metschke recently started a “We Support Neligh” Facebook page, created a paper petition for people to sign to show they support the community and hopes to have signs for people to put in their yards. He said “We Support Neligh” isn’t about being for or against annexation; it’s about being proud to call Neligh home and supporting one another.
Plus, Metschke said, it would be interesting to compare the names of those who pledge their support of Neligh with the names of those who sign the recall petition against Mayor Joe Hartz and the four council members - Dale Wilkinson, Ted Hughes, Leonard Miller and Stephanie Wanek.
“Petitions aren’t anonymous. It’s not like going into a voting booth privately on election day,” Metschke said. “If you sign a petition, it’s public. Everyone will see your signature against the mayor and council members. There’s no anonymity in signing a recall petition.”
Metschke said he’s spoken to many Neligh residents since the recall petition was filed last Thursday and not one person was in favor of the recall. In fact, Metschke said most people were “appalled and embarrassed” that the effort was taking place in Neligh. Metschke said there’s a lot of concern that a recall was filed by people “who haven’t even attended meetings” about annexation.
Metschke said it’s time to stand up for the silent. He said just because people aren’t very vocal doesn’t mean they agree with the negativity being spread around the community.
“My mom always said, ‘Just because you talk louder doesn’t mean you’re right,’ ” Metschke said.
He added, “I really care about our school and community. We were lucky to find a great interim superintendent, but we’ll be looking for a permanent one soon. The board talked about a full search beginning as early as October. And if you think superintendent candidates don’t research a town first, then you need to think again.”
Metschke said what is happening now will have a long-term effect on Neligh, and it’s time for those who have been silent to stand up and pledge support for Neligh.
“I don’t think people even realize what they’re doing to the future of our community. Most people who live in Neligh support our leaders and want what’s best for our town. This negative behavior is affecting our future. If you’re tired of it, then you need to pledge your support of Neligh,” he said.
Metschke said if people support Neligh, then they should “Like” the Facebook page “We Support Neligh” or sign a paper petition that is being circulated through town or message the Facebook page for a yard sign proclaiming their support of Neligh.
“People don’t always agree, and that’s fine. Actually, it’s great to disagree because then more ideas may be shared,” Metschke said. “But just because you don’t get your way doesn’t mean Neligh should get rid of all elected officials. We saw something very similar to this not very long ago, and Neligh has to stop these knee-jerk reactions and start working together. We can stop this negative behavior right now and start working together. Let’s show everyone that you support Neligh.”