VILLAGE OF HEMINGFORD COUNCIL MEMBERS
John Annen, Chairman
John Eugene Annen, completed 3 ½ terms over several years
John was born and raised in Hemingford by Darrel and Janice Annen with his sister Lori. After High school he went to Western Nebraska Community Collage for a Paramedic. He worked for Regional West Medical Center and for Valley Ambulance for a short time but came back to Hemingford to work for the Hemingford Telephone Company.
John married his wife, Carolyn, in 1989, they have one daughter, Melissa, and three grandchildren: Kinzee, Madison and Payton.
In John’s spare time he enjoys Hunting, target shooting, snowmobiling and spending time with the grandkids.
John is inspired when people try to make our community a better place to live.
John was first approached by several board members to run. This time, he was seeing the town going in a direction that I didn’t feel it was positive and felt that I could make a difference.
When asked who his hero was he said he had two. Jonny Unites and Bret Rasmussen.
John was asked about a quirky fact, he responded “When I was young, I had a pitch-fork go through my left foot. There is a scar on the top and bottom of my foot. I didn’t even notice that I was bleeding until after I finished chores.”
John’s interesting qualities are: a perfectionist, introvert and passionate about what he believes in.
Lynda Novotny, Trustee
Lynda Novotny, Council Member since 2016
Lynda was born to Bill and Iola Trickler, she was born in Alliance, the second child out of six, the family lived in Sidney until she was 11, when they then moved to California. She moved back to Hemingford when she was 28 because she loved this way of life.
Lynda has been married to Ron for 20 years, they are now both retired, and have two fur babies, Daisie and Naudia. They travel with them when they go on their travel adventures.
Lynda is proud that she ran her own successful business from 2009 to 2014. “No mater what life has thrown at me, I’ve landed on my feet”
Lynda likes to quilt and travel in her spare time, she does spend time at Pat’s Creative, helping out cutting fabric and other fun quilting projects.
Honesty inspires Lynda, it’s who she is.
Lynda wanted to be a council member because she felt the town needed new people on the council and she loves this town, and the people who live here. She is proud to call Hemingford her home.
Her hero is her father, Bill, he taught her to be a strong woman. Even though he was going to school, working two jobs he always made time for her, and her siblings individually. One quote he always said was, that she remembers fondly is “You can do anything you choose in life; the hardest thing is choosing.”
Lynda was asked what a quirky fact was, her response “my sense of humor, and I might be stubborn.”
Lynda has several interesting facts about her, she was a successful hair dresser for 45 years, she is a self-starter and “what you see, is what you get; I don’t play games.”
Rick Wacker, Vice-Chair
Richard Keith Wacker, Council Member since 2016
Rick was born to Rudy and Elsie Wacker, in Scottsbluff, he was raised with three brothers and three sisters, was the “middle child as much as you can with that many of us”. He graduated from Hemingford, in 1970, he was drafted in 1972, and served 3 years in the Army. He returned home and started to work for the railroad in 1975. He retired in 2014, he worked for 39 years.
Rick has lived in Hemingford since 1991, and married Carol Ruffing in 1991 too. He has five children, four girls and one son. Three girls from the first marriage and one from his current. He has six grandchildren.
Rick feels that his major achievement is raising 4 girls. He is also his own carpenter, machinic and electrician, and that he survived 39 years on the Railroad.
Rick loves to be outside, and all kinds of different sports, motorcycles, fishing, boating ect.
He is inspired by people who have every reason to be “down and out” but are not. Those people who have disabilities that do not let that define who they are as a person.
Rick wanted to be a council member because he likes to be busy, and have lived around Hemingford most of his live. He really wants to make a difference and give back to the community.
Rick has several heroes, first his parents, they were very hard workers. His daughter, Michelle, she has risen above a physical handicap and has made a good life for herself.
Rick was asked what a quirky fact was, his response was “I always have to have a hat on, you almost never see me without one. I’m easy going. And I enjoy creating stain glass art.”
Some interesting fact about Rick is that he power lifted and competed until he was 45 years old. His max are: Bench: 340, Deadlift: 585, and Squat: 480. Another interesting fact, is his first hair cut by someone other than his father was when he went to the Army at 21, and his dad was an Army barber. “Dad cut everyone’s hair, even my mom and my sisters”. One more interesting fact is that Rick enjoys an eclectic range of music, from classical to western, but not rap he says.
Deb Planansky, Trustee
Debra Planansky, Council Member since 2019
Deb was born in Alliance, to Donald and Mary Becker. Deb has three sisters and one brother. Deb graduated from Alliance High in 1975. Deb then went to Nursing school and received her Licensed Practical Nurse in September 1976. On February 14, 1979 she married Rodney Planansky. Together they have three sons, six grandsons and two granddaughters.
Deb feels that a major achievement would be when she headed a fundraiser auction for the Hemingford baseball fields. This auction collected $5000 for the fields. Another proud achievement for Deb is that she organized and packaged and sent many care packages for local servicemen and service woman who were serving during “Operation Desert Storm”. Another achievement Deb has under her hat is that this year will be the 5th year for the Senior Santa Surprise Project. What this project does is she gathers gifts and baked goods for all of the Box Butte County Nursing Home Residents and then has Santa Claus deliver them to the Nursing Home residents before Christmas. She coordinates with the Nursing Home’s and is HiPAA compliant, but personal for each resident.
In her spare time, Deb likes to read and go camping at Fort Robinson. She loves to spend time with family and friends.
When Deb was asked what inspires her, she said “I was raised respecting my elders and helping others. So, I suppose my parents.” She also wants to mention her in-laws. Rod’s father passed away last March, they enjoyed hearing stories about when he was growing up.
Deb does not have a single hero. Her heroes are the men and women serving in our military. They provide us our freedom.
Some quirky facts about Deb are she is terrified of heights. “Oh, by the way, please don’t sneak up and try to scare me. For some reason, I go into fight mode and swing my fists. Now you are warned.” Deb also requires plumbed toilets.
Deb was asked why she wanted to become a council member, she said “Hemingford is such a wonderful place to live. I want to give back to the community. There are a lot of things that are coming up and I want to be a part in improving our community.” Deb also wants to let Hemingford residents know that she promises to do what is right, and will listen. She will serve as a board member to do what is in the best interests of the residents of Hemingford.
Marcie Thomas – Trustee
Marcie Thomas, Council Member since 2019
Marcie was born in Charleston, SC and lived there for 12 years, then moved to Pensacola Florida, with her mother, Linda, three brothers and one sister.
Marcie met the love of her life, Chris Thomas in 2000. Marcie moved to Hemingford in 2001, married Chris in 2003. Together, they moved to Denver in 2004, and returned to Hemingford in July 2009. They have two dogs Mack the boxer and Mingo the mastiff.
Marcie is most proud of starting and running two successful businesses here in Hemingford. MCT Trucking in September 2009, and MC Signs & Decals in 2016. Earlier this year, they moved from a home-based business into a brick and mortar space, downtown Hemingford, being able keep business and home life a little bit separate.
In Marcie’s spare time, she enjoys target shooting and riding ATV’s around Kings Canyon.
When asked who does she get her inspiration from, she said, “Chris, my husband, he has great work ethics.” Marcie also said, he makes me think of things differently.
Marcie wants to be a council member, because she wants to be a part of Hemingford growing.
Marcie’s hero is her mom, Linda, because she raised her five children by herself.
Marcie was asked what her quirky fact about her was, and her response was “I don’t like my butter melted on my toast.”