Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nelson's Trials Continue

One of the items on the McCook (NE) City Council's consent agenda Monday night was a modification to the contract for a bronze statue honoring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) to be placed outside his boyhood home.

The sculpture will depict the Senator as a boy, standing with his parents, receiving his Eagle Scout award and the modification was so that the artist could be paid per figure, rather than with one lump sum.

The item was pulled from the agenda for discussion by Councilman Aaron Kircher and Dick Trail, a former city councilman, a former county commissioner and a current columnist for the McCook Daily Gazette.

Mr. Kircher wanted to ascertain that because no city funds are being used and the council is simply acting as a conduit for money from other sources, whether they had received the money and if they had approval from the funders for the contract change.

While Mr. Trail wanted to know that in light of recent sentiment, if the artwork could be delayed.

The city attorney replied that a delay would not be possible because the contract has timed benchmarks which must be met and Mark Graff of the Nebraska Community Foundation, the funding agency, explained that though many people may feel disappointed with Nelson's Health Care Reform vote, the artwork signifies more than just the Senator, but also the importance of family and community involvement.

After the discussion, the contract changes were approved.

Related: Sen. Nelson Cautions Health Care Debate Far From Over
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