By GREG SCELLIN
The Geneva City Council met together for the first time in months when the council met Monday, June 1, in the meeting room at the Geneva Public Library. The meeting was also available by conference call. The gathering was limited to 25 individuals in compliance with new Directed Health Measures issued by the Nebraska Governor’s Office. About 15 people joined Geneva Mayor Eric Kamler, city administrator Kyle Svec, city/clerk treasurer Kelly Stroh-Heath, city attorney David Solheim and the city council—minus councilman Chuck Udell.
“We have a full house here,” Kamler said at the beginning of the meeting. “This is our first in-person meeting since March 16. Hopefully, this set-up will be best to accommodate things.”
Items covered at the June 1 meeting included:
• A request was fielded to allow tables to be set out in front of the Geneva Senior Center for morning coffee drinking.
• Fillmore County Hospital CEO Chris Nichols reported that a no-visitor policy is mostly still in effect at the hospital (check first). “I foresee things staying the same for quite awhile,” Nichols said.
• Kamler outlined COVID-19 phased operating plans for city buildings. He noted the library is now open by appointment only. The Rialto II Theatre/Geneva City Auditorium will be closed through June at least. The Geneva Log Cabin, Lions Club Building and Geneva Senior Center remain closed. City parks remain open with social distancing strongly recommended.
• Kamler nominated Nancy Meyer to the Geneva Commission on Aging. Community member and upcoming council candidate Joe Casey asked if there was a shortage on the committee. Kamler said former committee member Dr. Carroll Verhage was asked by himself to step down from the committee based on a Letter to the Editor he had submitted in recent weeks.
“There was some misrepresentation about the board and I asked him to step down,” Kamler said.
Councilman Cody Lightwine read a statement beginning with his disappointment that Kamler made the move by mail. He also commented about how the decision was made and that expressions of one’s thoughts should be encouraged and not condemned. This, if needed, should happen in person and not by mail, Lightwine said. We should avoid group-think. Lightwine’s comments were followed by applause.
The council voted 3-1-1 (Lightwine—no, Marks—abstain) on the appointment. Because a vote of the city council majority plus one being needed, Solheim suggested that Kamler could vote on the nomination. He voted yes.
• For the first time, a bike trail was mentioned as an addition to the proposed paving project by the Fillmore County Hospital.