One seat will be up for grabs on the Glenwood City Council in next Tuesday’s general election.
Steve Fornoff faces a challenge from Jeremy Wade Rodman for an at-large seat on the council. In August, Fornoff was appointed over Rodman to fill the seat vacated by Clare Bangs in a 3-1 vote of the council. That seat had become open when Bangs moved outside the city limits.
There are no other seats up on the five-member council.
Both Fornoff and Rodman bring their own set of experiences to what is expected to be a tight race between the short-term incumbent and the challenger.
Fornoff, 42, is a Plattsmouth, Neb., native and a 13-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department. He currently serves on the gang unit.
Fornoff had considered running for a seat on the council since returning to Glenwood five years ago, but had always worked the night shift making council service impossible. Fornoff said his schedule changed recently to a day shift allowing him to pursue the seat vacated by Bangs.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” Fornoff said. “I thought there was some things I could help out with and was an interest of mine so when the opportunity came around, I put my name in the hat.”
Fornoff has been on the council just three months, but he said he’s already seen areas where the council can improve. If elected to retain his seat, he’d like to make the council more transparent to the public and the decision-making process of council members more accessible.
“I want to get more information out to the community so they have a better understanding of why the council votes the way they vote,” he said. “I want the community to be more informed. I don’t think that’s a problem right now, but we can always do a better job trying to inform the citizens.”
Fornoff, who spent five years on the Glenwood Police Department prior to joining the Omaha force, would also like to see the city prioritize finding safe activities for entertainment in the city for youth and cover the city’s growing expenses without burdening citizens with higher taxes.
“Glenwood is a great, safe community,” Fornoff said. “Which was why as a policeman I love living in Glenwood. We don’t plan on going anywhere because of how much we enjoy it. I hope it can stay that way.”
Rodman, 41, is a Glenwood native who can trace his family history in the area back five generations. For the past five years Rodman has worked for McClelland-based SCOLA. He is a 1991 Glenwood Community High School graduate.
Rodman said he loves his hometown and could think of no better way to serve his community than on the council.
“I love Glenwood and I want to make sure we don’t miss opportunities in the future,” he said.
Issues that concern Rodman is the council vision. He’d like to see the council keep a sharper eye on progress while preserving the small town he grew up in.
“The current situation in Glenwood now is we’re not really paying attention to respecting the historical nature of Glenwood and not looking forward enough to things that are going to present themselves when the (Highway 34) bridge comes in,” he said.
Rodman also expressed concern over being blindsided by the rising costs of the new city hall while the roof of both the Glenwood Public Library and the Davies Amphitheater are in need of repair. Rodman added he also has safety concerns with sidewalks getting to and from the high school and the city’s lack of progress in building a new public swimming pool. Rodman sees his native status as an asset for those issues and the voters.
“Growing up here my whole life, I know a lot of people and I’ve dealt with the history of a lot of the events in this town and I’m aware of much of the history,” Rodman said. “Having that personal family history, I really care about the city and I want to make sure it’s taken care of for future generations.”