Davis-Kavelman was called out of town on short notice when her
husband fell ill and had to be hospitalized. At the time of the
meeting, there was no word on his condition, but the mayor had
relayed to Alderwoman Marty Neitzel to take the position of mayor
pro tem and go ahead with the resolutions and plaque presentations.
Neitzel read a resolution for each of the departing council
members, recognizing their terms of service and dedication to the
Prather has served on the council a total of 15 years, first as
an alderman in Ward 4 from May 1, 1993, to May 31, 2000; then he was
elected alderman for Ward 2 in 2001 and will serve through May 4.
As she presented the plaque of appreciation to Prather, Neitzel
said: "I know you've worked on a lot of committees. I know you've
done a lot for the city in finance and the budget. We are going to
miss you, and I'm sure we'll be seeing you."
In his farewell comments to the council, Prather said: "First of
all, I am humbled to have been able to serve; it has been an honor.
Sometimes you think the big things like sewer projects or roads are
the main things, but some of my most rewarding (experiences) have
been when someone has just a little problem that all you have (to do
is) to call the street department and get it taken care of, and they
are so happy.
"I want to thank everyone for all their service. I have not
worked with one that I did not respect, honor and appreciate. I
think that those that serve their community are a special breed; it
takes a special person to do this.
"Wanda chaired the ordinance committee this year, and I was the
vice chair. It was suggested that we tackle an ordinance that really
there wasn't much language in, which was our city signs ordinance.
It didn't take long before we realized why nobody had tackled that
ordinance. It has been a long time coming, I have helped some, but
she (Rohlfs) has really put a lot of time into it."
Prather said that while the ordinance is on the agenda, it isn't
ready yet. The city attorney has a great deal of work to do on the
committee's draft, and that is going to take time. However, Prather
said that he felt strongly that the ordinance should be on the
agenda while he and Rohlfs are still members of the council, and
that is why they have placed it there.
Rohlfs' service to the people of Ward 4 began May 1, 2005, and
will conclude on May 4 of this year, for a total of four years.
As Neitzel presented Rohlfs with her plaque, she said: "No one
could have done the job you did on the sign ordinance. I want to
thank you for that. I'm so proud of you for what you've done. I want
to present you this plaque and wish you well."
[to top of second column]
After accepting the plaque, Rohlfs addressed the council, saying: "I
guess when we look back at four years, as when we are in high school
from freshman to senior year, we think it is a long time from
beginning to end. But when it is past, we realize how fast things do
"I guess when I appraise the situation I think about all the
things that were important, and I think the experiences and the
people are the most important things. When I look at the
constituents in Ward 4, I would never have gotten to meet a lot of
those that I have met had I not been on the council. I thank them
for all their input, and I have enjoyed working with them.
"I thank the department heads; you have taught me a lot and we
worked very well together, and I appreciate what you do. City
attorney, city treasurer, city clerk, all the ladies in the office
and members of the city council -- I have made some very dear
friends in the last four years, and I hope they are lasting friends;
and as Verl said, you have to appreciate these people for all they
do. I appreciate and now understand what all of you go through, and
I thank you for all the things you have helped me to learn
throughout the last four years."
Rohlfs also expressed appreciation to her husband, Gene, who she
said answers the phone at home, takes messages for her, reminds her
to call people back and generally has supported her in her work on
The final resolution was read by Rohlfs, recognizing and
expressing appreciation to the mayor.
Davis-Kavelman has served as Lincoln's mayor since May 1, 2001.
She opted to not run for re-election this year, and thus her term of
office will end on May 4, when Keith Snyder will be sworn in.
The mayor intends to be present at the April 28 adjourned meeting
of the council and will accept her plaque then.
After the regular council meeting, there was a small reception
honoring the departing council members and mayor.
[By NILA SMITH]