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(Neb)-Chadron City Council Picks New City Manager  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 08/04/2017 01:36 AM
CHADRON -  The Chadron City Council has chosen former Northglenn, Colorado, lead city civic engineer Greg Yanker as the new city manager. The vote Thursday night followed nearly 2 hours of public interviews of Yanker and veteran city and county manager Jon Holmes of Ottawa, Kansas. Yanker says he's grateful and excited to be selected.

      The secret ballot vote between Yanker, whose has never been a municipal administrator, and Holmes was 3-2 but all 5 council members indicated they felt so strongly about the qualifications of both men that they would be satisfied even if the choice wasn't the one they voted for.

       The council actually took 2 votes, the first to see if they were ready to choose the new city manager right then or if they wanted to wait a few days or weeks to further review Holmes and Yanker. Councilman George Klein at first expressed interest in waiting, but the vote to go ahead was 5-0.

     Mayor John Coates said afterward the vote surprised him because he'd set a requirement of at least a 4-1 margin and thought 2 members might want to wait.

     Coates, Klein, City Clerk Donna Rust, and City Human Resource director Bev Bartlett will now negotiate contract terms with Yanker, and the mayor expects quick action.

       Yanker says he's been happy as an engineer and really wasn't thinking about being a city manager when he and his wife, the former Jessica Heesacker of rural Hay Springs, decided to move to the Heesacker ranch, which straddles the Dawes-Sheridan county line. The Chadron vacancy occurred after they'd already begun the move and started him thinking about going into administration.

    SOUNDBITE

Yanker is a native of Colorado, but says he had ties to the northern Panhandle - close friends in the Alliance area where he'd buy animals for 4-H and would help with ranching - long before he met his wife when both were living in the Denver area.

       Although the council members indicated they would prefer Yanker to live within the city limits, they said they had no problem with his plans to live on the Heesacker Ranch, which was recognized Sunday at the Dawes County Fair as a century ranch...having come into the family's hands in 1917.


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