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Mayoral Candidates Reach Out To Public

Rebekah Rae

Mayoral Candidates Reach Out To Public

CREATED Apr. 19, 2013

Omaha, NE - Only weeks until Omaha chooses it's next mayor and the two candidates fighting for the job are taking no breaks campaigning.  At a public breakfast forum Friday, Mayor Jim Suttle said the public addresses are not about personalities, they are about the issues and credentials. 
It didn't take long before the mayor called out his opponent, Jean Stothert. Suttle called Stothert, "the voice of no".  Stothert didn't object to his comment, instead she added onto it stating, she says no to higher taxes and fees, "Saying no is difficult and I have said no when I had to say no."  Stothert feels the people of Omaha agree with her.

At each forum, the main topics stay the same, issues from their campaigns; economic development, job growth, crime, gun control and taxes.  Suttle takes credit for getting the city out of the recession, he says, "my administration made sure this city is in the black, Omaha was at the ten million dollar margin at the end of 2012."
Stothert says Omaha has done a great job with development over the years but that is not enough, many people don't feel safe.  "The crime rate is up, homicides and personal crimes are up in the last four years."
The two candidates differ on many topics including the decision made for the fire fighter contracts. Suttle says his fire contract was virtually identical to the police contract that the city council passed, "I'm sorry to say, Stothert destroyed that contract."  Stothert defends herself saying, "We kept saying we needed significant health care and pension reform and that was not delivered in the mayor's contract so the city council put the burden on ourselves."

Suttle and Stothert attended two forums on Friday, the first included a crowd of a few dozen, hundreds attended the second.  At both, their message stayed the same.