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Councilman should resign so city can get on with business
One councilman, convicted of harboring a "potentially" vicious dog, has stepped down and another, convicted of disturbing the peace, hasn't done so yet.
An outside attorney brought in to advise the city said that a 1920s law was worded such that the two councilmen forfeited their seats at the time of their convictions. What does that mean?
The mind boggles at the possibilities.
We're not lawyers or legislators, but it looks like the lawyers will be busy dealing with it and the legislators probably should be.
Among the questions:
* Could the council members who resigned be reappointed?
* If the other councilman doesn't resign, how is he removed from office?
* What about city business in the interim?
* What about action the city has taken since the two seats were apparently forfeited? Is it open to legal challenges?
* What if the law under which the two councilmen left office is eventually ruled unconstitutional?
* What's the implication for other Nebraska cities with the city manager form of government? We doubt the people who wrote the law intended that city council members could be removed for having a noisy party or a snappy dog, but that's the way it looks right now.
No matter how unjustified, Councilman Shane Hilker has already resigned and Aaron Kircher should do so as well, so the mess can be sorted out and the city can get on with important business.