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City Council to ponder manager search

Friday, June 3, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council is expected to accept the resignation of city manager Kurt Fritsch, 7:30 p.m., Monday evening, during their semi-monthly meeting at Memorial Auditorium. Fritsch announced earlier this week that he had accepted a position as city manager of Warrenton, Oregon, and June 10 would be his last day. After accepting Fritsch's resignation, council members will discuss recruitment strategy for a new city manager and direct staff accordingly.

In 2006, then McCook city manager John Bingham also left his position to take a city manager position in Oregon. Bingham's stint there was short lived however, he was unhappy with the new position and returned to McCook two months later to be rehired as city manager. The rehiring of Bingham was highly criticized and his employment contract was approved on a 3-1 vote, with Councilman Aaron Kircher the lone dissenting vote.

One month later a vocal crowd of several hundred citizens communicated their unhappiness with Bingham's rehiring, during a April 2006 city council meeting.

The majority of council members supporting the hiring subsequently made an about-face on their position and a special meeting was scheduled to terminate Bingham's contract.

Contract negotiation with Fritsch began just four months after the Bingham termination and this August would have marked Fritsch's fifth year in the position.

The meeting will include a public hearing during Monday's meeting, to discuss a proposed project which will seek federal assistance to purchase a 2011 Dodge Caravan, lowered floor mini-van. The vehicle will be used by the Heritage Senior Center for public transport.

The Coppermill restaurant has applied to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission for approval to build an addition to their McCook location. The application calls for a 115' x 65' one story building, which includes a 32' x 32' storage area and an approximately 24' x 70' outdoor area. City staff has recommended approval of their request.

Other items on the consent and regular agenda

* An ordinance will be considered for approval that will authorize changes to the McCook municipal code book. The changes were noted by council members during their May 16 meeting and pertain to introduction of resolutions and motions, contractor and repair person permits, as well as truck and other specified vehicle permits.

* The water department is seeking approval to make water system improvements on C Street, between East 13th and Airport Road. The improvements seek to abandon an existing 4 inch water main and reconnect 15 service connections to an existing 10 inch water main on the north side of C Street.

* Drawings and specifications for a West 10th Street drainage improvement project, that city staff seek approval to set a bid date for, will be presented to councillors. The project cites constant issues with erosion from storm water drainage, between A Street and Dawson Street.

* The fiscal year 2012 contract between the city of McCook and the West Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging, which provides technical assistance, staff training and other support in the operations of the Heritage Senior Center, will be considered for approval.

* Figgins Construction of Red Cloud, Nebraska, has been recommended by city staff to receive the 2011 armor coating bid. The bid from Figgins, at $3.61 per gallon, was a 28 cents per gallon increase from 2010.

* Plans and specifications for the reconstruction of O Street, from Norris Avenue to Kelley Park Drive and Kelley Park Drive to Park Avenue, have been recommended for approval by city staff. June 28, 2011, will be the proposed bid cutoff date.

* An "Application for Manager" submitted for Christopher Henning to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, in connection with the McCook Walmart, will be considered for approval.

* MO Dough LLC has applied for a special liquor license for a class reunion in July at the Keystone Business Center, which will be considered for approval by councillors.

* Community Hospital has requested to close East M Street, between East Third and East Fifth streets, on June 11 for a 5K, half marathon and kids fun run. The event will benefit the American Cancer Society.

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Is there any possibility the city could hire someone from the city of McCook or surrounding area?? There has been alot of opinions from people who could qualify for the position instead of recruiting someone from far away to do this job. Someone from here, male or female, would have a better idea of what this city is like and what it needs.

Maybe we could do like they did years ago in McCook? The mayor took responsibilities of managing the city and it worked. $80K to $90K could be saved per year doing this. Just a thought.

-- Posted by edbru on Fri, Jun 3, 2011, at 1:30 PM

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