Council targets Eikmeier for City Manager

Thursday, December 4, 2008
new City Administrator Donald Eikmeyer

The hunter became the hunted in a pleasant sort of way for the City of Cherokee and interim City Manager Donald B. Eikmeier last week.

Eikmeier, founder of Innovative Government Services in Elkhorn, Neb., and his company, were previously hired by the Cherokee City Council to aid in the search for a new city manager, and he has been serving as interim city manager here since September 15.

However, in closed session after last week's City Council meeting, the Council authorized City Attorney Wally Miller Jr. to draw up a contract with Eikmeier to become Cherokee's permanent city manager, a post Eikmeier has agreed to accept.

With the Thanksgiving Holiday last week, and City Hall being closed Friday, Eikmeier was unavailable for comment. However, City Clerk Deb Taylor said that Eikmeier has enjoyed his time here, and really likes the community and its people, and the city employees and department heads.

Eikmeier's contract will be drawn up by Miller and presented at the next City Council meeting December 9, according to Taylor.

Eikmeier has 15 years experience as a city administrator, the last position being the city administrator in Elkhorn, Neb. The city ceased to exist as the result of involuntary annexation by the city of Omaha.

Prior to working for the city of Elkhorn, Eikmeier worked for the city of La Vista, Neb., the city of Seward, Neb., the Southeast Nebraska Development District, and the North Central Regional Planning Commission (Beloit, Kans.).

Eikmeier served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam, which ended in August, 1971.

In 1974, he earned a BS in Geography with a minor in Political Science from Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney).

He subsequently has done graduate work at Akron University and at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Eikmeier's salary will be determined in the contract and announced at the December 9 meeting.

Before Eikmeier's interim appointment September 15, the City was without a city manager since former City Administrator Ron Strickland was terminated last spring.

In other action prior to the closed session, the Council approved the second reading and waived the third and final reading of an ordinance increasing garbage rates by $2 per month, and of an ordinance pertaining to Violation of Regulations.

After seeing drawings and specifications for the proposed sign, the Council gave approval for the Cherokee Arena Committee to erect a sign in the Greenspace Area on the east side of U.S. Highway 59 just north of the Little Sioux River Bridge. The attractive sign will identify the Arena and direct visitors to the Arena one block east of the Greenspace Area. It will be erected as soon as the funds are raised, according to an Arena spokesman.

The Council also authorized a handicap parking space for the Department of Human Services on West Maple Street. The parking space will be the one at the west end on the south side of Maple Street.

In other action, the Council approved payment #5 of $68,417.88 to Haselhoff Construction for the Cherokee Community Center renovation project, and approved the appointment of Ruth Hayes to fill a Library Board vacancy.

The Council also approved the appointment of new members Marlene Lundsgaard and Steve Schroeder to the Historic Preservation Committee.

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