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Greensburg accepts mayor's resignation, names new one

  • Associated Press
  • Published Friday, June 1, 2007, at 1:34 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

— The Greensburg City Council on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Mayor Lonnie McCollum and set a June date when the city will begin contacting owners of property that hasn't been touched since the tornadoes destroyed the town.

The council replaced McCollum with former council president John Janssen and also accepted the resignation of council member Marsha Klein. The moves left open two seats, which the council chose not to fill.

Neither McCollum nor Klein attended the meeting. Klein indicated Wednesday in a written resignation that she could not properly serve on the council after moving to Kinsley and working in Haviland.

McCollum, 61, announced his plans to resign last week, saying he needed to give more time to his family and that he was not very tolerant of different views on how Greensburg should rebuild.

June 15 is the datewhen the city will begin contacting property owners who have not made attempts to clean their debris since the tornado that ripped through the town the night of May 4. The city will ask for consent to remove debris.

City Administrator Steve Hewitt said 120 properties have shown no progress toward removing debris.

The city will not target properties scheduled for demolition by a contractor or volunteer groups, only those whose owners have no intention of removing the debris. The city's bill for clearing properties will show up on owners' tax statements.

The council also, to the applause of the standing-room-only crowd, voted to keep the fee for new construction building permits at $35, although mechanical, plumbing and roofing permit fees have been raised to $50.

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