BROKEN BOW— Safety has been a center of discussion at the Broken Bow City Council meetings for a few months, but as 2019 winds to a close, this time Broken Bow 7th graders are getting involved. On Tuesday, December 10 at the regular meeting, a trio of 7th graders spoke to the council as part of a class, but with real safety concerns on their minds.
The three asked the council to consider placing a lighted caution crosswalk sign at the south side of the football field where there currently is a stop sign but no crosswalk. They informed the council that placing a crossing at the intersection would remove a few of the parking spaces, but could potentially save lives in the future.
The council was in favor of the idea and informed the kids that they would have to do a few more steps before they were able to pass an ordinance on the issue. While nothing was approved at the meeting, the council did ask that when the topic was back on the agenda if the kids would come back to speak again, which they said they would.
The zoning administrator position was back on the agenda as the workload for City Clerk Stephanie Wright continues to grow as she recently took on the city treasurer’s role. After a discussion between council members and the mayor, it was decided that the position would need to be filled and soon. Once incentives and other detailed were completed, it seemed that the council would most likely be advertising for the position.
The council also discussed forming a new safety committee as Council President Rod Sonnichsen noted that the effectiveness is lacking and is the “worst it has been in six years.” It was discussed that everyone needs to be held accountable from top to bottom which has not been happening. He informed the council that he believed the policies needed to be changed to make enforcing these policies more effective.
When talking about the safety committee, there were mixed feelings about involving the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union. Councilman Jacob Holcomb believed that the union should not be involved in the city’s safety committee as what they are doing has been ineffective, but he did believe that change needs to happen.
City Attorney Jason White did step in briefly to inform the council that whatever they decided going forward would need to be in line with the contract between the city and IBEW. The entire council did agree that there needs to be more involvement from city employees on safety issues to see where other issues might exist and to also gain input to know the direction that is needed.
Other agenda items that were approved was the appointment of Councilman Chris Myers to the Custer County Communications Advisory Committee, the appointment of Monte Clark to the Street Superintendent position from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, and the approval of the Trotter Lot Split located at 930 South 5th Ave.
While there was an agenda item to cancel the second meeting in December, concern on contract negotiations resulted in a date change instead. The final regular meeting for the Broken Bow City Council for 2019 will now be held on Friday, December 20 at 6 PM.