Hastings mayor moves to fill vacancies

HASTINGS, Neb.- Two key vacancies in Hastings city government will be filled next week pending approval of mayoral appointments.

Mayor Corey Stutte is looking to appoint Jeniffer Beahm to fill the empty ward one seat on the city council. Beahm is a Hastings College admissions counselor who moved to the city in 2011. The ward one seat was vacant due to the November election winner having moved out of town.

Mayor Stutte looks forward to a full council with four new members.

"I think everyone's ready to move forward," said Stutte. "So, i'm excited about that. I'm excited about the opportunities that are presented there. I think everyone's going to be able to work rather well together. So, we'll dive right into it."

Stutte will also be asking for Hastings attorney Matt Baack to be appointed to the long vacant seat on the Board of Public Works. He will fill a term scheduled to expire in 2018 and would bring the board to a full five members.

Stutte says it will also reopen talks on management authority of the utilities board.

"We're going to split the council in half and we're going to split the board of public works in half and we're going to put everyone in a room and we're going to start talking about these issues," said Stutte. "We're going to have some managed discussions over January and February about what's going on with the board of public works."

Stutte hopes to have some resolution on the utilities management issue by March.

These and other appointments to be recommended Monday are helping Stutte put a mark on the city early in his term.

"Being able to come in and look at these board and commission seats and being able to take a good chunk out of that - i think we're making ten at this first meeting - is a good opportunity for us to really say, 'Let's move forward, let's take action and let's really help Hastings grow," said Stutte.

Stutte added he is still looking to fill up to ten other openings on various boards and commissions.