Former Chadron Police Chief Ted Vastine has been appointed interim Chadron city manager, effective Monday, Oct. 24, even though he is out of town and won’t return for more than a week.
The Chadron City Council, currently a three member body, unanimously approved Vastine’s appointment at a brief special meeting Friday afternoon. The previous city manager, Sandy Powell, resigned Monday, in the wake of a recall election that took John Chizek and Steve Duncan from their council positions.
Vastine served as Chief of Police for Chadron from 1976 until he retired in 2003. Widely respected and well liked in the community, Vastine was The Chadron Record’s Citizen of the Year in 2002.
Council member Karin Fischer, who made the motion to appoint Vastine, said he was visiting family in Ohio and would return Nov. 1 or 2, but the appointment was made effective Monday “in case decisions need to be made” before his return.
Fischer also said she was confidence that Vastine would refer any police issues brought to him to the current chief, Tim Lordino. “I’m sure he will honor the existing structure,” she said.
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The council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. to discuss advertising for a permanent city manager.
Also on the agenda for the special meeting will be consideration of candidates for the two council positions that are vacant as a result of the recall of Chizek and Duncan. As of Monday afternoon, nine people had submitted their names for consideration. They are: Robert Hardy, Paris W. Fisher, John E. Gamby, James. E. Mapes, Jr., Loren L. Zimmerman, Billy G. Barth, Mary M. Vetter, Joseph Red Cloud-Lehner and Bryan LaPorte.
The prospective candidates are being invited to the meeting to make a presentation to the council, according to City Clerk Donna Rust.
The council will select two people to fill the vacant posts until Dec. 2012. Both of those positions, one for a four year term and one for a two year term, will be on the ballot in the Nov. 2012 election. A third council seat, currently held by interim Mayor Donny Grantham, will also be on the Nov. election ballot.