Councilman should resign so city can get on with business

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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.

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  • Why should Aaron allow them to walk all over him? If the city had such important business, then maybe they shouldn't have made such a stink about such petty "crimes" in the first place. He has a right to stand up for his own rights!

    -- Posted by PayItForward on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 3:23 PM
  • Not sure who is walking all over Aaron. It is fairly cut and dry. Is it a law? Yes. Did he break the law? Yes The city also did not "make a stink" the city would be breaking the law by not addressing the issue plus failure to address it puts the city at risk. The issue now is what is best for the city.

    -- Posted by dennis on Wed, Dec 21, 2011, at 3:57 PM
  • payit even if the city did make a huge stink about it, it doesn't matter. kircher broke the law. the city could throw a street party but it wouldn't make a spit of difference. kircher broke the law and everyone wants to feel sorry for him. time to go. and to top it off, he wants to kick and scream and prolong things for the citizens that elected him. that makes me feel like his only concern is himself. he needs to know that a lot of people don't like the law as it is written but they aren't necessarily supporting kircher for breaking the law. i have also heard it said that maybe he was a victim of a hateful neighbor. that would have been a possibility if there wasn't a conviction involved. if im not mistaken he paid a fine, does that indicate guilt? poor mr kircher, he's been slapped around and beat down all just because the city wants him gone.

    -- Posted by BTWinecleff on Thu, Dec 22, 2011, at 10:57 PM
  • It's clearly your opinion that the city didn't blow this up, and it is clearly mine, that they did. Even the chief of police said on the radio that these charges, or crimes, or whatever you want to call them are ludicrous. Basically this law when it comes to city councilmen is not in black and white, it's pretty gray, and I think that the city is spending an aweful lot of time, on the gray then on other things that have more importance. Just my opinion, as I believe this is the opinion section, but please do correct me if I am wrong! BTW, I said nothing about "Poor Mr. Kircher." I said that he should take a stand, as at this point he is. Not anywhere in my statement did I say that I felt sorry for him. These things happen, and I think that people forget that city councilmen are not flawless.

    -- Posted by PayItForward on Wed, Dec 28, 2011, at 3:38 PM
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