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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Failed experiment in code enforcement

The Tekamah citizens’ survey of 2019 showed that a top desire is “strict enforcement of the city ordinances.” In the fall of 2020, a police officer was hired specifically for code enforcement (interview of Police Chief Jacobs – Plaindealer 10/6/2020). As of now, eight months later, no improvements or clean-ups of shoddy properties in the city is evident.

What happened? Clearly the trumpeted addition of a dedicated officer was only for show and indicates a lukewarm (at best) attempt to appease the citizens. Apparently, city government is more concerned about not hurting people’s feelings than making visible progress.

This failure could have been predicted since it is tied to the code enforcement organizational structure. Until this structure is reworked, failure and lip service will prevail.

To correct this, the first step the council should take is to remove the mayor and police chief from any role related to code enforcement. We gave them their chance and they dropped the ball on numerous occasions. This function should report directly to the council and have their complete support.

Next, consider if the proper person has been selected for this function and is provided with all the tools necessary for success. If not, make the necessary changes such as reassignment of personnel instead of additional personnel!

I urge the council to bravely address this issue now. We tried it the mayor’s way and it failed miserably. Tekamah very much needs success in this area of citizens’ concern.

Theresa DeVries


Thanks for your support

On behalf of the Tekamah Area Veterans, a very big thank you again to the community for your support of our fireworks stand.

This has been the primary money raiser for the American Legion and the Tekamah Area Vets, with sales supporting various programs like Boys and Girls State, Junior Law Cadet, Legion scholarships, Legion baseball, Memorial Day and July 4th activities and military honors at funerals.

This was my last year. I’m retiring from the fireworks biz. Thanks to all my fellow vets who worked at the fireworks shack and behind the scenes. A special thank you to Carol, my number one. Couldn’t have done it without all of you.

In these nine years I have had the opportunity to meet many of the good people of Tekamah, most of whom I might never have met otherwise. I have seen young people grow up and mature, and have heard how they are moving on in their lives. I have seen many of the same faces year after year, and they have always brought their friendly smiles and their support.

For me, every year has been a 10-day opportunity to interact with the great citizens of this terrific town.

In the future, perhaps a joint effort with other community organizations, using the current location, is one of the possibilities. Inquiries should be made to American Legion Commander Vic Jensen, or VFW Post Commander Larry Kahlandt.

Rich Smiley


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