Spring 2014 Election
Elkhorn City Council President Brian Olson elected mayor
ELKHORN—The first item on the list of things to do as mayor is fix the roads, Brian Olson said after being elected mayor Tuesday.
Olson was with family and friends at his home when he heard the news.
“We’re going to move Elkhorn forward with our plans to build parks and take care of our roads,” Olson said.
Olson, elected alderman in 2012 and president of the city council in 2013, ran against Gary L. Payson Sr., a veteran councilman and former city council president.
Howie Reynolds did not seek re-election after serving two terms as mayor.
Olson had 77 more votes than Payson.
As mayor, Olson plans to draw upon his council experience to help improve parks, roads and businesses.
Olson wants to attract jobs, businesses and new residents by changing Elkhorn’s zoning ordinances, which have not been altered for 12 years, he said. Olson wants ordinances adjusted to welcome new businesses.
One way to achieve that, he said, is to use the group of area business owners he formed to go through ordinances and identify what is and isn’t working.
Among his plans is to create a marketing program directed toward businesses.
As for spending, the city has not spent unnecessarily, and he wants to keep taxes at a minimum. In the past two years, the city has reduced taxes, Olson said. But he does think the city can plan better for “big ticket items,” such as the city’s water treatment plant, firehouse and City Hall.
Olson also wants to address a utility issue. Groundwater is leaking into wastewater sewer lines, meaning more water than necessary is being sent for treatment, increasing utility rates, Olson said. He wants to fix that.