Norfolk City Council Reschedules Vote After Procedural Error

NORFOLK, NE — An addition to a river overlay district in northeast Nebraska is getting another chance at approval.

Norfolk City Councilman Rob Merrill gave notice at the Council’s meeting on Monday that an item will be placed on the January 22nd meeting agenda to give officials a chance to rescind the action taken on December 17th, when the Council mistakenly ruled that a motion failed.

With one councilman absent, the body voted 4-3 in favor of expanding the North Fork of the Elkhorn River Overlay District.  The motion failed because it needed five votes.  However, state statute says the mayor can cast the deciding fifth vote in case of a tie or if there is a missing council member.

“We want to do things the right way,” Norfolk City Attorney Dani Myers-Noelle said.  “In this case, this is something that is rare.  There’s not usually a vote that breaks down like this…. Everybody is in support of utilizing parliamentary procedure if we need to to correct what happened at the last meeting.”

If he had been given the chance, Mayor Josh Moenning says he would have cast the decisive fifth vote to approve the motion.

“This is a way for us to help control and manage new growth and development along our riverfront corridor, which is something that was in our comprehensive plan which passed last year,” Moenning said.

The Council will have a new discussion on the motion on the 22nd in which amendments to the proposal can be made.  Then, the group will cast another vote.  Unless a councilmen in favor changes his vote, the motion will pass first reading.

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