The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sun-Telegraph 

New Councilmember

Marva Ellwanger Appointed to Replace Joe Arterburn


On February 22, the Sidney City Council held a changing of the guard in a matter of speaking.

February 22 was councilman Joe Arterburn's last day as a seated councilman. He had submitted his resignation in the January 25 council meeting.

His resignation came with his wife Kathy retiring and they were spending less time in the Sidney community.

On February 22, Mayor Roger Gallaway announced the City had received two applications for Arterburn's seat.

“We had a couple of people apply,” Gallaway said.

He said both are big supporters of the community. He said he and vice-mayor Bob Olsen spoke with the candidates, but did not interview them.

He then recommended the council accept Marva Ellwanger as the new city councilperson. Gallaway said Ellwanger has demonstrated her commitment to the city.

Ellwanger was accepted with a 4-0 vote. Arterburn was not eligible to vote, according to City Attorney J Leef.

Ellwanger then completed her swearing-in and took her seat at the bench.

Prior to the council decision, City Manager David Scott said there are three council seats open for fur-year terms, and the fourth, formerly Arterburn's seat, will be decided for a two-year term in November.

On the Cheyenne County Clerk's web page, five candidates are listed for the Sidney City Council: Paul Strommen, Brad Sherman, Marva Ellwanger, Brandon Bondegard and Tony Jones. Sherman and Ellwanger are listed as incumbents.

Ellwanger comes to the city council with a lengthy list of community involvement. She has served on the Cheyenne County Chamber Board of Directors (including several sub-committees), Historic Preservation Board, Cheyenne County Visitors Committee, Cheyenne County Historical Association board, Nebraska Historical Foundation Board of Trustees, Sidney Boot Hill Restoration Committee and Sidney Legion Baseball Board. She also took part in the Sidney 150 Sesquicentennial Planning Committee (2017), Sidney Chautauqua Planning Committee (2018), wrote the Travel Stories Sidney Walking Tour for the Historic Preservation Board (2018), Chamber banquet committee for three years, Sidney Boot Hill Cemetery Ghost Tours, Nebraska Economic Development Association (NEDA) Conference in Sidney and has been a speaker for the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cheyenne County class.

She also is the recipient of the 221 Adams Industries Visionary Award and 2021 Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

Her interest in the city council grew after two people, on two separate occasions, entered her office and said “I have two words for you: City Council.”

“I've had a few come in and ask if I've ever thought about running,” she said.

With that, she thought now a good time to give back to the community. In addition to being selected to fill the rest of Arterburn's term, she is on the ballot for the Primary. She entered her name to fill the term with the intention of seeking election.

Tuesday night's decision by the council was emotional, according to Ellwanger, filled with excitement and nervousness she would do well ein the seat.

“I want to do well when I sit in that seat,” she said.

She said she will have to resign her seat on the Chamber (citing possible conflicts of interest), and with the Preservation Board (a position selected by the council).


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