Bazata is ready to return to the Randolph City Council 24-year hiatus

RANDOLPH — Dennis Bazata has worn a number of hats within the Randolph community.

He has volunteered to put on a hat he has already worn by pledging his service to finish the council term of Tim Lemmons, a community member who is moving away.

"Dennis Bazata has 12 years of experience on the city council previously. “That's what I was hoping and looking for in the next council person,'' said Mayor George Bradley of Bazata joining the council.

Bazata's dozen years on the council (1984-1996) previously were ended when his children became involved in multiple activities.

He said he made the choice to spend that time period with his family as he said he didn't want it to get in the way of his family life.

"I remember back in the day when I quit. During my last term, I thought to myself that I would get back into community service. I always enjoyed it. It was always a passion of mine,'' he said. "I offered my service to Mayor Bradley. I decided the time was right when Tim Lemmons resigned. I always thought I enjoyed the time on the council and whenever the time is right I would get back into it. I can see if it is what I want to do after two and a half years when the term is up. When I was a councilman previously, I think it was an issue that we were losing stores downtown. That was my concern at the time. I was also proud at that time to be a part of the Centennial celebration. It was fun to be a part of that.''

Bazata's resume shows his effort to make his community a priority. His service includes ROAR, the community fair livestock show, FFA (Future Farmers of America) boosters, St. Frances Catholic Church activities, Knights of Columbus financial secretary and treasurer for the FFA Boosters.

After 40 years of dedication to the Randolph Public School, Bazata retired after serving as an agriculture instructor and FFA adviser for 28 years, athletic director for 15 years and high school principal for 12 years.

Originally from Howells, Bazata came to Randolph after graduating from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1979.

He and his wife, Gail, have two children, Erin and Bryan. They also have six grandchildren.

Bazata said his parents have been the inspiration for him to become the person that he is today.

"My upbringing and my parents were a huge factor in who I am today. My Dad had really strong views. He was always that way until he passed away. He was a tremendous influence on me,'' Bazata said. "I think public service is something not everyone is cut out to do. You have to really want to do it. It is something that you really don't know if you can do unless you try it because you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You make decisions that affect people. You have to not mind doing that. It makes you more resilient. Coming off my school administration term, I learned to be more that way, more resilient. Some people don't always agree with decisions. It is something that a person does to make this service a part of their life to help people. It is not something that you should do if you are not willing to put yourself out there.''

Bazata relates that he hopes that people understand that you are there to help.

"People need to keep in mind the city council is a group of people there to help the community. Not everyone will agree,'' he said.

An overview he said he hopes people realize is in the instance of the flood plain project, the effort completed has been a good job by the city council because the project is a effort designed to help people as a whole.

"I think my goals really amount to let's get the flood plain project done,'' Bazata said.

He said then the council can move on to what needs to be done next.

"You always try to help make a difference,'' Bazata said. "The long term goals include an effort to help maintain and continue to make a good vibrant community so people don't want to leave.''

He said he hopes to be a part of the community in a positive way.

"The spirit of the community in Randolph make it a great place to live and raise a family,'' he said. "I am proud to call it home. The community has a lot of positive things happening. Randolph has been resilient.''

Bazata said as a councilman he wants to hear from people.

"I think that's important. I appreciate when people contact me,'' Bazata said.

He said if people have an opportunity to talk about things it may ease their minds.

"I learned that from my school job. People don't necessarily think about things or always care about things unless they are negatively impacted."

Bazata said a council position doesn't mean that your opinion is the only one that matters.

"I think it is very important to listen to the opinions of people,'' he said. "When an issue comes up, that's why we want to hear from people. Sometimes decisions are made that affect people in an adverse way. You have to care what other people's opinions are.''

Bazata said as an administrator at school he was always concerned about what the staff was thinking on an issue.

"It was important to me what their views were,'' he said.

Bazata expects to bring this attitude to the Council as he indicated he hopes to have conversations about the city's structure and expresses concern about having lost population in the past with people not choosing to come back home.

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