The city of Huxley didn’t have to look far for its new police chief.


Following the announcement of Mark Pote’s retirement, the Huxley City Council had planned to hire a search committee to find his replacement. Last week, the council voted to reject that motion, mutually agreeing that Sergeant Gerry Stoll was the right man for the job.


Mayor Craig Henry addressed the council. “My recommendation to the council is as follows,” said Henry. “As much as I think the folks (search committee) would do a really good job, I don’t think we need to invest in the extra funds for the expenditure. I’d like to see us vote this down and move directly to a resolution to appoint Gerry Stoll as our permanent police chief, which I will be glad to bring forward at the next council meeting. I think he’s earned the respect of our community. He’s done a great job for us and that’s my recommendation to council.”


The mayor’s comments were echoed by council member Tracey Roberts, who stated, “I was involved with the initial conversation with this company and initially I thought it would be a good idea to go searching out. After I had some time to think about this and realizing what an asset Gerry is to the city and how much time and effort he has already put in, I feel he is more than qualified to be nominated to this position.”


The council voted unanimously to reject the consultant agreement, paving the way for Stoll to become the new Police Chief of Huxley, pending the vote of a final resolution that will be brought before the council, likely at the July 24 meeting.


In other council news:


• In response to the recent resignation of Parks and Recreation Director Travis Bakken, the council voted unanimously to appoint Heather Denger as Interim Director. Denger has been the administrative assistant for the Parks and Recreation Department and also its main fitness instructor. “The young lady has done an excellent job,” noted Mayor Henry. “She has a lot of good ideas she’d like to bring forward and the Parks and Rec Board is in favor of moving in this direction.” The official job opening will be posted for 10 days.


• Fireworks Update: Sgt. Stoll reported to the council that fireworks complaints were mostly normal compared to other years over the Fourth of July holiday. Stoll said there were 18 complaints, 12 warnings and 1 confiscation of fireworks.


• Sign Ordinance Update: Language of the city sign ordinance was updated and approved by the council. Existing signage (tennis courts) was grandfathered in unanimously. The waiving of the second and third readings was also approved unanimously.