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Fremont City Council President faces censure vote after outburst with constituents

Posted at 6:54 PM, Nov 13, 2023

FREMONT, Neb (KMTV) — It was back in September when the City of Fremont hosted a Hispanic Music Festival Downtown.

A constituent who lived in the area wasn’t happy with the music playing so late so they reached out to their City Councilman and City Council President Mark Jensen.

“We had a conversation. And at a point towards the end of the conversation, he said in my mind some things that were very inappropriate and I responded in kind,” said Jensen.

After that conversation, a complaint was lodged against Jensen and just a few days later at the next council meeting another heated exchange took place.

“Following the city council meeting this person’s wife came to the city council complaining and being very…more than happy to share what I said without telling the whole conversation I took offense to that,” said Jensen.

The issue with the outburst at the meeting wasn’t just in Jensen’s tone, Council Members are also not allowed to respond during public comment.

The incident has started to concern another member of the Council, Paul Von Behren, who has introduced a motion to censure Jensen.

In a statement to KMTV Von Behren said:

“His conduct has certainly been a distraction. Worse, it has also created division in the Council and given the people of Fremont one more reason not to trust City government.”

Functionally not much would change for Jensen if he was censured, it would only be an official statement that the council does not condone his actions.

Von Behren hopes a potential censure will show constituents that city officials are taking their complaints seriously.

But Jensen believes the drama has gone on for too long and the motion is just another distraction from the work the city council is doing.

“The important thing, we are actually moving forward on getting a police station built. That’s relegated to a second-class story and that’s not the way I believe it should be. That's what’s important, this is not,” said Jensen.