The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:
Q: Has the circulation of the recall petitions started in York yet? Can you tell us the procedure again?
A: York City Council member Diane Wolfe, the petitioner, picked up the petitions from the York County Clerk’s office at 1:15 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19.
She and her fellow circulators (who are calling themselves People FOR York) now have 30 days to gather signatures from registered voters in the city limits of York.
They are asking that a special election be held to determine whether York Mayor Orval Stahr should be recalled from his position.
They must gather at least 1,149 signatures for the matter to go to a special election, according to York County Clerk Kelly Turner. She said this was based on the number of ballots cast in the last mayoral race, including those in which had write-in votes for people other than the candidates.
Wolfe’s official statement, regarding the recall effort, is the following: “Through intimidation, unethical behavior and mishandling valuable information, Orval Stahr is not fit to serve as Mayor. He’s broken the trust of the city department heads, and the community. Targeting the police force, fire department, other elected officials as enemies; wielding threatening rhetoric; and back-channeled, unauthorized communication – Stahr has proven to be self-serving, and neglectful of York’s best interests.”
The mayor’s official defense statement is the following: “I ran for Mayor because I believe that it is time to do what is right for the taxpayers of the City by controlling City government spending and expanding employment opportunities and the tax base. The accusations made herein have been documented to be false. I will continue to work for economic expansion, balanced budgets and openness in City government.”
Once the 30-day timeframe has expired (or the required number of signatures are obtained and turned in), the county clerk is allowed 15 days in which to examine the petitions in order to officially certify whether the minimum number of valid signatures has been met. If so, the matter is then to be decided by special election.
If the minimum required number of signatures is not collected, the matter will not go any further.
If the matters goes to election, the voters would be asked if the mayor should be recalled. The majority decides that question.
Q: I heard the city was going to do the annual flushing of the fire hydrants. Is there any way they can put that water in a tank wagon or something and use for other purposes? I hate to see that water just go down the drain.
A: York Public Works Director Mitch Doht responded: “Due to the volume of water that we use in flushing, that would not be feasible. It can take us upwards of 10 million gallons of water to complete our flushing. That’s like filling up the balloon water tower 14 times. Collecting and transporting all of that water would not be financially feasible. We try to minimize the amount of water used, but the most important thing during our flushing operation is to run each hydrant until it’s clear. We do this twice a year.”
Q: Did the city have to move any snow last Sunday? I was just curious if it was necessary, if it was needed.
A: “No snow removal or salt treatment of any kind was done by the city for the first snowfall,” said Mitch Doht public works director. “I think we made the right call. The streets were sloppy for a bit, but it all melted quickly. Since each snow removal operation can cost $10,000 or more, we try to pick out appropriate opportunities to save money. It was difficult for the public works guys to see snow on the streets and not do something about it, but they survived.”
Q: With the city’s alleged money problems, I was wondering if the street department was allowed to purchase salt/sand/brine for snow removal this winter. Or was that axed too?
A: Mitch Doht, public works director, said the city’s salt budget was cut from $80,000 to $60,000.
Q: I saw someone raking leaves into the street – a lot of leaves. Is that OK? I was under the impression that putting a bunch of leaves into the street would be frowned upon and probably against the city codes.
A: “That is definitely against city code,” explained Mitch Doht, public works director. “Debris on the street makes its way into the storm sewer system, where it can cause restrictions to the flow of stormwater. Please don’t do it, and call the police department if you see someone else doing it.”
Q: Is there a Kiwanis Club in York?
A: There was an active Kiwanis Club in York several years ago but we haven’t been able to contact anyone who is currently a member or knows who is. We haven’t received any meeting notices regarding the Kiwanis Club for a few years either.
If a Kiwanis Club still exists in York, we encourage someone to call or email the News-Times with their contact and club information as a reader wants to donate some old Kiwanis memorabilia to the group, if it exists.
Q: Why weren’t the dispatchers included in the Hometown Heroes section that paid tribute to all the firefighters and EMTs?
A: Historically, the News-Times has always included the dispatchers in the tribute section dedicated to law enforcement as they are employees of that area of service.
Q: I was so dang mad last weekend when I went to the recycling trailer here in York and saw that someone left garbage and old paint cans sitting there. Why do people do that? That is not the place for those types of items. Can you revisit what should and should not be left at the recycling trailers?
A: The accepted items are: aluminum cans (rinsed and crushed); aluminum foil (rinsed and crushed); plastic No. 1 liter and small pop bottles (remove lids, flatten); Plastic No. 2 soap and bleach containers (remove lids, flatten); milk jugs (remove lids, flatten); steel cans (food containers only), wash, remove label, flatten; newspaper and magazines (tie in bundles or place flat in brown grocery bags); cardboard; office paper; computer paper.
Items that are not accepted: Plastic No. 3 and up, glass, batteries, liquid paint, liquids, chemicals, solvents, hazardous waste, trash, oil containers, chemical containers.
The items must be sorted into the marked bins on the trailers.
The trailer is available at all hours except Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings when the trailer may be in transit to the recycling center for emptying.
Now, remember, there are items that may be taken directly to the landfill (separated from general trash): tires, used oil, appliances, tree yard waste, recyclable materials.
Items not accepted at the landfill are: batteries, wet paint, liquids, chemicals, solvents, hazardous waste, asbestos. All chemical containers must be triple rinsed. Barrels must be empty, rinsed and have one end cut out.
Q: There is a historic marker by Milligan regarding the Blizzard of 1888. I saw it but never had time to stop and read what it all said. Can you find out and print it?
A: Here is the text on that historical marker:
“One of the most spectacular and harrowing events in the history of the Great Plains was the Blizzard of January 12, 1888. Other storms had produced colder temperatures and greater amounts of snow. It was the combination of gale winds, blinding snow, and rapidly falling temperatures that made the 1888 blizzard so dangerous. The storm’s full fury lasted up to eighteen hours in many parts of Nebraska. Because of the suddenness of its onset, the blizzard caught many children away from in one-room schoolhouses. In an attempt to rescue her two sons, Charles and Thomas, from school Mary Masek of Milligan trekked nearly two miles to the schoolhouse. Finding the building empty, she started for home, but she never reached her destination. She was found frozen to death huddled near a cottonwood tree, only a short distance from a neighbor’s farmhouse. The Blizzard of 1888 created the scene for heroic acts. Mary Masek, like many Nebraskans, fell victim to one of nature’s most violent displays while courageously attempting to save the lives of her children.”
Q: I watch so much reality television and I still remember a time when there wasn’t such a thing as reality television. Can you find out what the first reality television show was, that started it all?
A: While there might have been some television shows considered to be of that genre, the first to really grab the public’s attention was The Real World which was first broadcast in 1992. It is credited with launching the modern reality television genre.