Steve Dawes, who came third in the 2012 primary race for the Ward I City Council seat, is the latest candidate to announce he has submitted his name to Mayor Rita Sanders.
Sanders must choose a replacement for Councilman Scott Houghtaling, who was elected to a second term in November but who is leaving town to take a job in Ohio. Houghtaling’s resignation is effective March 31.
In a letter to the mayor, Dawes said an anomaly needs to be solved in which most Ward I homes pay up to 20 percent more for the natural gas they receive though Black Hills Energy when compared to other city residents who get their natural gas from the Metropolitan Utilities District.
“For Ward I to pay over 20 percent more for natural gas than the rest of Bellevue is a travesty,” he told Sanders in the letter.
Dawes cited his support for a sales tax increase that was decisively rejected by voters last fall as a reason he didn’t perform as well at the polls. Although his position might have reduced his chances of winning, Dawes said it was the right thing to do.
“Unlike property taxes that can only be levied on Bellevue citizens, a sales tax is paid by visitors from outside our city limits as well,” he wrote. “Creating reasons for outsiders to spend inside our city limits makes a sales tax increase a ‘win-win’ situation.”
Dawes recounted his community involvement. He said he served as founder and chairman of the Indian Hills Theater Preservation Society in Omaha and is a co-founder of 2020 Omaha, another preservation group.
He said he spent 25 years with the Omaha Parks Department and the Missouri River Wastewater Plant where he secured a wastewater treatment license.
“As Bellevue grows to the only open areas left to it, this knowledge will be extremely valuable,” he said.
Dawes is joined in seeking the post by former Bellevue City Councilman Chuck Fredrick; Steve Carmichael, Bellevue’s former chief building inspector who came in second to Houghtaling last November; and Olde Towne businessman Dave Compton, who is currently a member of the Bellevue Planning Commission.
The City Council Monday night officially accepted Houghtaling’s resignation, a move that formally opened the application procedure.
Bellevue residents who live in Ward I should submit letters of interest, including a resume, to the mayor’s office at 210 West Mission Ave., Bellevue, Neb., 68005. Or applications may be sent via bellevue.net.
The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. on March 22.