News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
The recall against Neligh's four city council members has failed, and all four will retain their elected positions.
Results from Thursday's special election were announced at the Antelope County Courthouse by local election commissioner and county clerk Lisa Payne. There were 548 ballots cast in the special election.
The question on the ballot asked "Shall (name of the official) be removed from office?"
Results were for each council member is listed below
Leonard Miller: 164 Yes, 383 No
Stephanie Wanek: 178 Yes, 369 No
Dale Wilkinson: 202 Yes, 346 No
Ted Hughes: 203 Yes, 344 No
The Antelope County News spoke to each council member and Mayor Joe Hartz after unofficial results were announced. No more than two elected officials were present at one time.
Miller, who had the most votes to stay in office said, "I'd like to thank the City of Neligh for getting out and voting today and supporting us in the election. I think this is a vote of support for what the council has done in that we've cut spending and lowering the mill levy. Hopefully we can move on in the future with the support of the whole community and make Neligh a better place to live."
Wanek said, "Thank you Neligh voters for coming out today and voting in favor of progress and developing our community. It's time we all come back together and continue on for our future success."
Wilkinson, who was present at the courthouse while ballots were counted, said, "It's good to have it over with. I was very please to see it come out the way it did. It gives the council a chance to move on and do the things we need to do to keep Neligh on the move. That's our whole goal - grow Neligh and keep it on the move."
Hughes said, "I'd like to thank the citizens of Neligh who came forth to support the city council today, to support the true supporters of economic growth in Neligh. I'm happy to retain my council seat and look forward to moving on."
There was also a petition to recall Mayor Hartz; however, no signatures were turned into the courthouse by the deadline to support the recall. His recall attempt then ended.
Hartz was also at the courthouse awaiting election results and said, "It's a very positive feeling about community. We've talked about working together to grow our community, and I think this is the first step in our reacting to great news and now we can move on. . . . It's a great community, and hopefully any ill feelings will be left behind and we can start working together."
The election results were delayed slightly due to machine issues, according to Payne.
According to the petition, the recall was filed due to the council members' support of the annexation along Highway 275. Although annexation has long been talked about in Neligh, it took place following a request by Bomgaars to be annexed into city limits.
The retail store asked for annexation in order to receive financial assistance with a new water line necessary for expansion. The Neligh location is currently the smallest of all the Bomgaars store. The expansion will nearly double the Neligh store’s size.
In preparation for the recall, the city council took action to ensure the City of Neligh could pay regular bills if more than two council members were recalled. City employee salaries would be paid in November even if the recall was successful.