Omaha businessman Dave Nabity and the city’s firefighters don’t get along too well.
Nabity — one of the leaders behind the attempt to recall Mayor Jim Suttle — is one of the city’s fiercest and most vocal critics of Omaha Fire Department administrators and the local fire union. He leads the Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector (the organization’s website hosts many of reports and memos on its views of Fire Department activity).
On Tuesday, The World-Herald published an op-ed penned by Nabity that called (in part) for the union to “say enough is enough and stand up for a complete leadership change.”
“Many suggest now is that time, especially since the cost of litigation, which is getting them nowhere, is coming out of their dues,” Nabity wrote.
- “The citizens want integrity, honor, dignity and trustworthiness from our public safety personnel. The continual lawsuits, personal attacks and willingness to disregard the labor agreements undermine the communication necessary to build solid long-term relationships among the fire union, elected officials and the public.”
Later that evening, the union fired back.
“Mr. Nabity would have the Firefighters simply lie down, rather than stand firm to enforce their rights,” the union said in a statement. “The Officers, the Board and the Members of Local 385 are willing to negotiate but they are not willing to roll over while the City abuses their legal rights simply because Dave Nabity thinks its a good idea.”
The statement goes on to say:
- “Nabity suggests that new leadership is needed in the Union but quite frankly, our elected officers could not have a better endorsement for their re-election campaigns than for the self-appointed Mr. Nabity to call for their ouster. Nabity wanted to be governor. He wanted to be mayor. In a desperate attempt to appear relevant, now he wants to dictate who should be elected to lead Local 385. We expect that the members of Local 385 will take as much stock in his recommendations as the public has in Nabity’s forays into electoral politics.”
Don’t forget Nabity and fire union president Steve LeClair recently settled competing lawsuits in Douglas County District Court.
Looks as though there’s still plenty of items for both sides to argue about.