O’Donohue offered his formal resignation several weeks ago,
saying he would finish out the year with his last meeting being on
At the first meeting in January, Todd Mourning will be sworn in to
At the time of his resignation, O’Donohue had learned that he had
been elected to the Logan County Alliance Board of Directors. He
said that because of this, he felt being on that board and the city
council would constitute a conflict of interest. O’Donohue had
already said that he would not run for re-election in 2015, so the
resignation merely moved up the timeline on his departure.
O’Donohue joined the city council in May of 2010 as a mayoral
appointment to replace Nathan Turner, who died suddenly in February
of 2010. After the re-organization of wards in the city, he ran for
Ward 4 alderman in 2013. At the lottery for seating position on the
redefined council, O'Donohue drew the two-year straw, signaling that
he would have the option to run for his first four-year term in
In the years that O’Donohue has served on the council, he has been
vocal on several somewhat controversial issues in the city. He was a
proponent for hiring a city administrator and served with Snyder and
David Wilmert on a special committee that resulted in the hiring of
temporary administrator Sue McLaughlin.
He supported the formation of a TIF district in Lincoln and the
establishment of a utility tax for the city of Lincoln.
O’Donohue worked closely with Lincoln zoning officer John Lebegue in
upgrading several zoning ordinances and establishing a new fee
structure for building permits.
As an insurance professional, he worked with former Alderman Stacy
Bacon to improve the city’s insurance programs, and reduce costs to
Perhaps, his most controversial undertaking was his involvement with
the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County and the city’s
taking over the management of the hotel/motel tax. The work done on
those projects resulted in O’Donohue and Snyder becoming active
members of the Tourism Bureau’s Board of Directors and the
re-organization of that board and agency.
O’Donohue was also a proponent of a unified organization for Lincoln
and Logan County. He served on the initial UOC committee and was
elected to the board of the newly formed Logan County Alliance.
Known to his fellow aldermen as outspoken and strong-willed, he
often bucked heads with his fellow city leaders, but always
contended that he was acting based on what he believed was the best
for the city.
Snyder commented on his appointment. “In 2010, I know there were
eyebrows raised when I appointed you to the City Council. But I
think that I can speak for those of us involved in the city, that as
we spent time with you, got to know you, and watched how you handled
your responsibilities here, we found you to be a hard working
conscientious and very dedicated member of the city council. You
took on many difficult tasks from actually day one with the
insurance. Recently you jumped in with both feet with the tourism
issues as well as frankly most anything else that has come before
the city, and we appreciate that. You have served the city well.
You’ve never been one that is shy about sharing your opinion. But,
we always found it to be a well thought out opinion and one that
made sense, once we had the opportunity to consider things from your
point of view. We very much appreciate that openness and honesty.
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Snyder also commented that he had discovered that O’Donohue had a
keen interest in the traditions and history of the City Council and
how things have operated. It was also noted that O’Donohue had
become a student of the Robertson’s Rules of Order, which is a guide
on conducting proper meetings under the Open Meetings Act.
On Monday evening as his fellow aldermen offered their good-byes to
O’Donohue, Marty Neitzel commented that while they didn’t always
agree on issues, she respected O’Donohue, and had enjoyed having him
on the council. She said one thing she always admired about the
council on the whole was that they could disagree in the chamber and
walk out the door as friends.
Others who commented on O’Donohue’s departure included Jonie Tibbs
and Kathy Horn. Horn commented specifically on O’Donohue’s work on
the city’s insurance issues.
Melody Anderson said she had always appreciated O’Donohue’s feedback
on issues. She agreed with Neitzel that the aldermen are not always
on the same page, but they work it out.
Appreciative comments were also made by Fire Chief Mark Miller and
City Clerk Susan Gehlbach.
In recognition of O’Donohue’s service to the city, Mayor Snyder
presented him with a plaque, thanking him for his service to the
Snyder ended his commentary with a tongue in cheek jab at
O’Donohue’s signature T-shirts. O’Donohue is known to wear his
Superman T-shirt often under an open flannel shirt. Snyder commented
that he had heard that O’Donohue had been elected to the
chairmanship of the new Logan County Alliance. He presented
O’Donohue a T-shirt with a quote from superhero Spiderman, “With
great power comes great responsibility.”
O’Donohue accepted the gifts and a handshake from Snyder and made a
brief comment. He said he enjoyed his time working with the council,
and the city leaders and department heads.