Miles Bannan, who has served as Chadron’s vice mayor, Monday was elected 3-2 to lead the city as Mayor John Coates retired from the council.
Bannan joined the council in 2014 as a write-in candidate, a memory Coates recalled in his remarks before stepping down.
Coates and Councilman Keith Crofutt, who was elected Monday as vice mayor, both ran for office in 2010 in a crowded field of 13 and failed to earn a spot on the council that year. Four years later, Coates and Bannan threw their names in the ring as write-in candidates and both won seats.
“I remember the first time we went to Lincoln for the League of Municipality meeting. Everyone was saying , ‘Oh, you guys are the write-in candidates.’ It was fun,” Coates said.
The last four years have been enjoyable ones as he’s worked with current and past council members, said Coates, who had a 100 percent attendance rate at meetings during his term.
“It has been a real honor to serve the citizens of Chadron.”
He recalled the efforts to design and construct the Chadron Area Aquatics and Wellness Center as one of the largest projects he was able to take part in, but said the most memorable was the opportunity to interview 19 local World War II veterans ahead of the Nebraska State Fly-in at the Chadron Airport this summer.
“It was just a great time to be able to sit down in the home of those veterans and have them just open up,” Coates said.
He and his wife, Amy, plan to travel and reconnect with family during retirement.
“It’s been a humbling experience, and it’s been a challenging experience,” he said of his time on the council. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
He was thanked for his service by all four of his fellow council members and presented with a plaque by new Mayor Bannan.
For his part, Bannan said he is looking forward to taking on the role of Chadron’s mayor for the next two years.
“I hope we’re able to accomplish good things for Chadron,” he said.
New council member Cheryl Welch also was sworn in Monday, joining Bannan and Councilman Mark Werner in taking the oath of office after all three won seats on the council in the November election.
“I’m excited and honored to be up here,” Welch said, calling it a privilege to serve.
In other business, the council approved bids for the purchase of two lots on Niobrara Avenue, one for $14,501 and one for $14,500; the latter is the city’s asking price for the lots, which have been available at that price for five years.
The council also discussed soliciting proposals from towing companies to enter into a contract for towing services to handle police-requested tows in the event arrests or parking violations and the like. The council will seek bids for a two-year contract.