Recall Attempt of Nebraska Mayor

It's been a rough summer for communities up and down the Missouri River. The Decatur bridge which served as a lifeline for the 2,000 cars and trucks that would normally cross every day is closed.

"Our town is really suffering because the bridge is closed," said one Decatur resident.

The flooding ruined the campgrounds in the community with a population of 418 and the $5,000 a month in city income.

"We were lucky," said Decatur Village Chairman Jim Nicola, who is also referred to as 'the mayor.' "It could have been much worse."

The water never made it to main street but politics have.

"It is three-and-a-half years until we vote him out," said Betty Sparks who organized a campaign to boot the recently elected chairman of the village board. "I started going to the board meetings and he argued with the board members."

Sparks says Jim Nicola, a man who had served on the board for 12-years once before, misuses his authority and refuses to address citizens' concerns.

The mayor says her claims are ridiculous -- especially in a job done for pride and no pay.

Reporter: "At any point did you think about just quitting?"
Jim Nicola said, "Yes I did. And a whole group of people got me, including friends and my wife, who said, don't let them beat you. That's what they want."

Remember Omaha's recall where organizers needed close to 30,000 signatures to put it to a vote? In Decatur, they needed 41. Organizers turned in 78.

"He doesn't have any communication skills. His initiative is not there for this town. It's just sad," said Lorraine Kellogg, who signed the petition.

"I think it's a waste of money," said Jim Maryott doesn't understand why there would be a recall so soon after an election with limited reasons for doing so. Nicola has been in office for approximately 7-months.

Of the 78 signatures turned in, the Burt County Election Commissioner threw out 4 of the signatures.

The recall election will be September 8 at the Decatur Fire Hall.


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