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It takes an open-meetings notice: North Platte City Council members to march together in Christmas parade
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It takes an open-meetings notice: North Platte City Council members to march together in Christmas parade

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One probably shouldn’t expect Mayor Brandon Kelliher and the eight North Platte City Council members to break into song when they march in next month’s Christmas parade.

But a recent legal notice to that effect called to mind that most, um, harmonious of local governing boards: Iowa’s (fictional) barbershop-singing River City School Board from “The Music Man.”

Of course, those four weren’t up against Nebraska’s open-meetings law when singing “How can there be/Any ‘sin’ in ‘sincere’?/Where is the good in goodbye?”

With that in mind, consider the text of City Hall’s notice:

“Notice is hereby given that the Mayor and Council of the City of North Platte, Nebraska, will participate in the Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. in Downtown North Platte.

“NO FORMAL VOTE OR ACTION WILL BE TAKEN DURING THIS GET-TOGETHER.”

What’s up with that?

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Simple: If the majority of an elected governing board talks or gets together, it’s an official quorum for doing public business.

Cue “I move that we/Buy ourselves a pitch-pipe/So we can all sing in tune”?

Kelliher, who chuckled at the analogy, said current or past council members have marched in the parade before. They just couldn’t have more than four together in one place.

He decided it was worth jumping through the open-meetings law’s hoop so the council and mayor can hand out candy together while walking through the Canteen District.

“I feel that to make a community grow, you have to get everybody together, even though we don’t always agree on everything,” Kelliher said.

He hinted that the city’s nine elected leaders have something special up their sleeves. No, it isn’t a rendering of “Seventy-Six Trombones.”

“There is an additional surprise which I won’t mention,” Kelliher said. “People will just have to come and see us.”

But “memorable attire” will be involved, he added.

Good, since they’d have to spend money on legal rehearsal notices if they ever got the notion to organize “Mayor Kelliher and the City Council Octet.”

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