McCOOK, Nebraska -- City Councilman Aaron Kircher championed hosting city council meetings at the Heritage Senior Center but was in the minority, with the City Council voting 4-1 to return to Memorial Auditorium.
Kircher reiterated his stance that it should be a top priority of City Council to accommodate handicapped members of the public who wished to attend City Council meetings and the senior center was the best location with that in mind.
Mike Gonzales disagreed with Kircher and said he believed the absence of the electronic voting system was a higher priority, saying that he had seen votes influenced simply by the voter being the final vote and the stress of the situation changing their vote.
Kircher responded that a council member should not be "afraid" to cast a deciding vote with Gonzales arguing it had nothing to do with "fear."
Jerry Calvin agreed with the concerns of Gonzales and added that he felt it was a fair trade-off to inconvenience "some meeting attendees that may show up, some of the time" versus city staff on a regular basis, referencing the setup involved to accommodate city council at the senior center. Kircher responded that holding meetings at the senior center was relatively "a new thing, I understand it is difficult for staff, but I feel these issues are easier [for us] to address than the other."
Handicap individuals that wish to attend city council meetings are encouraged to phone city staff in advance so that accommodations may be made.