A sufficient number of recall petitions have been verified in the recall of all of Neligh City Council members, forcing a special election this fall.
According to Antelope County Clerk Lisa Payne, "164-plus" signatures have been verified in the recall attempt of Dale Wilkinson, Ted Hughes, Stephanie Wanek and Leonard Miller. Payne said 163 was necessary.
The special election is estimated to cost taxpayers $5,000, according to Payne. According to Nebraska Revised Statute 32-1306, the City Council will now have between 30-75 days to schedule the special election. Payne said she will now send letters to the council members telling them enough signatures have been verified to force the special election.
Bernadine Hughes and Merlin Mortinson, both of Neligh, picked up the petitions on July 16 and had 30 days to collect the necessary signatures and turned them in Aug. 14.
Petitioners turned in 196 signatures for Hughes, 196 for Wilkinson, 195 for Wanek and 191 for Miller. However, no signatures were submitted to recall Hartz.
According to the original affidavit filed, Hughes and Mortinson began the recall attempt due to “continued support/vote to approve the annexation ordinances has been done with repeated admissions that he/she has no idea what the future costs and revenues will be to the taxpayers of Neligh. This pattern of political conduct is alarming and sets the stage for future harm to the people of Neligh and to the business sector.”
The annexation was officially approved in July, two days before the petitions were picked up by Hughes and Mortinson.