The Bellevue mayor has narrowed a list of nine applicants for an open City Council seat to two longtime residents, each of whom owns a business in the city.
Mayor Rita Sanders said she expects to choose either Dave Compton, a member of the city’s Planning Commission, or Michael Hall, owner of Twin City Masonry, as the new Ward 1 council member.
Ward 1 is the southeast portion of Bellevue, including Olde Towne and bordering Offutt Air Force Base.
Sanders said she wants to be thorough, especially because the appointee will serve nearly a full four-year term. The new council member probably will be in office as the city moves its headquarters and Police Headquarters out of Old Towne.
The person will also likely work through at least one tough budget year, a question of how the city should pay for new full-time firefighters and the completion of a bridge on the south side of the city.
Sanders said she likes Compton and Hall because they’ve both been active in the community.
“They already have community commitment,” she said. “They’ve already been part of the Ward 1 progress, and they both have been long-term committed to Olde Towne and to Bellevue.”
Nine men submitted their names to fill the seat vacated by Scott Houghtaling, who is moving for his job.
Compton, 49, is owner of D.C. Electric. His credentials also include serving on the Sarpy County Personnel Policy Board and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce board.
His vision for the city includes more child-friendly entertainment options, purposeful development near the new bridge and more development on Fort Crook Road.
“I’ve been here for 26 years, and I have a passion for the city,” Compton said.
He has long been involved in city politics. In 2010, the city asked the state to audit its contracts in part because of a discrepancy that was found in a contract with his company. Compton said at the time that he was unfairly singled out.
Compton said he has moved past any hard feelings.
“If I get on the council, my deal is I could work with the current City Council,” he said. “And I could most certainly work with the mayor.”
Compton filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. He said that happened because he was going through a divorce and some who owed his company money filed for bankruptcy. He said he is in the process of paying back his debts, though he’s not required to do so.
Hall, 59, is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and a recipient of the 2010 Bellevue Volunteer of the Year Award. He was the first elected treasurer of the Offutt Fallen Warrior Memorial and he provided construction, installation and support for the project, he said.
He said he applied for the council seat because of his love for the city.
“I’ve lived here since 1967,” he said. “I’ve raised my family here. I’ve built my business here. I will retire here.”
Hall said his relationships with the Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base would help him advocate for the city. As a councilman, he would push for more business growth.
Sanders said she hopes to present a candidate to the council for approval by April 8.
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