Recall petitions were picked up at the Antelope County Courthouse on Thursday morning and included defense statements from three of the five elected officials targeted.
Bernadine Hughes and Merlin Mortinson of Neligh signed affidavits for the five recalls last month. They both picked up the documents at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.
The recall is against the entire elected governing bodies of the City of Neligh - Mayor Joe Hartz and City Council members Ted Hughes, Stephanie Wanek, Leonard Miller and Dale Wilkinson.
At the courthouse Thursday morning, Hughes and Mortinson said they believed the recall is the right thing to do and spoke of their admiration for Neligh and its many resources.
"I love living in Neligh. There's everything I want here," Hughes said. "A good grocery store, the county seat is here, the doctors and physical therapy is just wonderful up at the hospital."
Mortinson said, "I've been here all my life, doing business here, and I found the people very friendly. There are excellent resources here, like hospitals and doctors."
As for his reasons behind the recall, Mortinson said, "I'm just trying to stand up for the rights of the people and hopefully it makes it better for all."
Recall petition circulators will need 162 signatures to force a recall special election of the city council members and 187 for the mayor. They have 30 days to collect signatures, all of which must be from City of Neligh residents and registered voters. All recall documents are a matter of public record.
View rules of a recall.
The following are the defense statements made by the city council and mayor that will be included with the petitions.
Mayor, Joe Hartz:
When I took over as mayor of Neligh there was already an Economic Development Plan in progress. The comprehensive plan included an increase in new downtown business and along 275 - corridor.
We needed to expand city limits for future growth. Our estimated projections show municipal revenue growth for upcoming years while managing future costs.
Councilwoman, Stephanie Wanek:
In 2011, the city of Neligh voted in favor of economic development by a 9:1 margin. I have kept this goal of the community at the forefront in my short tenure on the council. Through hard work, dedication, and making needed changes, we can secure a prosperous future for the town we all love to call home.
Councilman, Ted Hughes:
Ted Hughes continues to support annexation because he believes everyone should pay their fair share of the costs associated with operating a municipality. He is very aware of the financial benefits and liabilities to the City. He is tired of the misinformation generated by the people who don't want to support Neligh and do not want to pay their share.
Councilman, Dale Wilkinson:
Councilman, Leonard Miller: