WAHOO – Gerry Tyler has scratched a few Thursday evening meetings off of his calendar.
The Wahoo man agreed to serve on the Wahoo Planning Commission in 1993 and then moved over to the Wahoo City Council in 2002.
He will continue to serve on the Wahoo Board of Public Works, but resigned from the council in June.
For Tyler, his service the past 26 years has been a way to give to the community and future generations as well.
Tyler said he can remember his wife’s dad being on the council. But, that wasn’t the biggest factor to him saying yes to stepping onto the Planning Commission.
When he and Christie Tyler moved back to town, their kids were still young He said the community was very supportive of their business and family, and he wanted to do his part to make sure his children had a great place to grow up.
“I wanted to see that atmosphere and culture stay,” he said. “This is a place that is nice and where you can raise your kids.”
Tyler said he has met a lot of people because of his city involvement, not only in Wahoo but in other communities too.
Over the years, he has regularly attended meetings and conventions for planning and zoning, League of Municipalities and Nebraska Public Power District. He said those were wonderful opportunities to network with people and learn more about government functions.
“I learned so much about the broader picture,” he said.
That helped during decision making, but it didn’t mean that the decisions were always easy.
Tyler said the city has had some tough choices on its plate these past few decades.
One of those big projects involved what to do with the power plant when government regulations required a shut down or a major investment to keep the engines running.
Tyler said it was the right decision to spend the money and keep the plant operational.
The same was true of the city’s relatively recent decision to purchase property for the purposes of service centers for all departments. He said sometimes change is needed.
On some decisions, there has been criticism that the public didn’t get enough say about big decisions. But, Tyler said he believes the city is being as transparent as possible.
“I can’t say it’s perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was in the past,” he said.
He credited the mayors and council members he has served with over the years as being good to work with.
Tyler said he was never been opposed in a re-election bid for council, but feels now is the time to step aside and let someone else roll up their sleeves for the city.
He said it is good to bring in people with different ideas.
However, he is still not quite ready to give up his work on the Board of Public Works. Tyler has been on that board that oversees utilities operations since it was created in 2002.
He sees Wahoo as a community that is continuing to grow and prosper and said he wants to continue to be a small part of helping to plan for the future.