County commissioners will wait for new board member before scheduling solar zoning public hearing

YORK – The York County Commissioners will wait for a new board member to be appointed for District 3 before re-scheduling a public hearing regarding solar zoning regulations.

This decision was made Tuesday morning, as the county board met in regular session.

At the start of Tuesday morning’s meeting, before the Pledge of Allegiance, York County Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier asked for a moment of silence in memory of York County Commissioner Stan Boehr.

Boehr was in the middle of his four-year term when he unexpectedly passed away last week.

“Unfortunately, this board finds itself down to four members again,” Obermier said.

In just a little over three years, three county commissioners have unexpectedly passed away while in office – Commissioner Paul Buller, Commissioner Woody Ziegler and now Commissioner Boehr.

“He will be deeply missed by his family but also by everyone in York County,” Obermier said Tuesday. “His time with us on this board was not long, but he was part of us and he will be missed.”

Later, the board addressed the issue of when to hold the long-awaited solar zoning regulation hearing. It had been scheduled to be held Monday, April 15, but it was postponed out of respect for Boehr’s family as his funeral was also held on April 15.

“My thought, moving forward, is that we schedule the hearing sometime in May, after an appointment is made,” Obermier said. “Unfortunately, because this county has been through this multiple times, many are already aware of the process.”

York County Clerk Kelly Turner explained the process of appointing someone to fulfill the rest of Boehr’s term on the county board. She said she, the county attorney and county treasurer had met on the matter, to put forth the timeline.

The panel of the county clerk, county treasurer and county clerk chooses the replacement, per state statutes.

She said advertising for candidates in District 3 will start today, April 16.

“Applications will need to be sent to us by April 30,” Turner said. “Then, we will do interviews during a public session on May 8, starting at 5 p.m.”

Following the interview session, a new county commissioner for District 3 will be chosen and arrangements will be made for that person to be officially sworn in the following morning.

“This person’s first commissioner meeting will be held May 14 and at that point, we can see how caught up they are (on the proposed solar zoning regulations and the process), and we can consider at that point a date for the public hearing,” Commissioner Obermier said. “Also, by having the hearing at that time, in late May, planting will be mostly done so that will make it more convenient for ag producers to attend the hearing as well. I’d assume most interested applicants have been following this (the solar regulation issue and conversations).”

Commissioner LeRoy Ott said he felt waiting to hold the public hearing, until after a new commissioner is appointed, “is the right thing to do. That’s what all the public comment has been about, since this happened, is to have a full county board when it is held.”

“We will wait to see who our next commissioner is and go from there,” Obermier said.

An applicant must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. The person must reside in District 3 and be a registered voter with no felony convictions. Interested applicants should send their cover letters and resumes to the York County Clerk’s office at 510 North Lincoln Avenue, York, NE, 68467 or email them to payrollhr@yorkcountyne.gov.

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