NEBRASKA CITY – A panel of county officials selected Charles Cole of Otoe to fill a vacant seat on the Otoe County Board left by the resignation of Jim Thurman.

Cole, Chad Neubauer and Dan Giittinger applied for the position, which was decided by a panel of the Otoe County clerk, county treasurer and county attorney.

Giittinger ran for the office in the May primary, while Cole and Neubauer were write-in candidates in the November election. Thurman won the elections, but resigned to take a job in Colorado.

Cole: “My agenda is to work with the other commissioners to make sure that we work within our budget and our limits, but at the same time – like on my campaign when I ran as a write-in – I said I want to go outside of the borders and try to work with state government to try and help the county. Plus, I want to try and bring new business into Otoe County.”

Cole, who currently serves on the Otoe County Planning Commission, is a manufacturers representative for heating and cooling equipment.

He said Otoe County is an attractive place for new businesses that support its agricultural base, but said local government needs to do more than impose regulations to receive the benefits of a growing economy.

Cole:  “I want young kids to go away to college. When they go away, they come back home and they realize there’s not opportunity here, so they go to Lincoln or they go to Omaha. I want to make it so there are opportunities here in Otoe County, so they stay around their families.”

Court Magistrate Dana Schebaum administered the oath of office on Friday.