Suttle still strong with previous donors
Other campaigns throw out a lot of words to describe Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle. “Damaged.” “Unpopular.” “Weak.”
But Suttle’s standing with his previous supporters is in great shape. a World-Herald analysis found that three out of four of his previous donors who are active in this race are again backing the mayor.
That’s the highest rate among any of the five contenders, though it’s not exactly a fair comparison. None of the challengers have ever mounted a citywide race. So while previous supporters may have thought someone would make a fine city council member or state senator or even governor, they may be less sure about the candidate’s readiness for the mayor’s office.
Resignation not related to raise, Finance Director says
City Finance Director Pam Spaccarotella, whose salary has been a source of City Hall controversy, will leave her position in November to go into business for herself.
She did not give specifics about exactly what her post-city career plans are, but said she intends to stay in Omaha.
The announcement came a week after Mayor Jim Suttle agreed to roll back a $25,000 raise that was awarded to her in August 2011 but made public only recently.
Spaccarotella said her decision had nothing to do with her salary, and was something she’s been considering for months.
“These plans were in place well before the raises became an issue,” she said.
Next police chief may be in for the long haul
After having three police chiefs retire in less than five years, the City of Omaha is in a position to get at least nine years of service from its next police chief before a full pension kicks in.
It will be 2021 before either internal candidate qualifies for a full pension, according to the city — and the two external candidates would have to ride it out for three decades.
The soonest either internal candidate could draw any check from the pension fund is 2016, when Capt. Greg Gonzalez would be eligible, said Stephanie Unger, the city’s benefits manager.
Deputy Chief Todd Schmaderer would follow in 2017. That’s the year when retired Stockton, Calif., Chief Blair Ulring and Chief Christopher Domagalski of Sheboygan, Wis., would become eligible for any Omaha pension, and only $15,000 at that.
The past three Omaha chiefs — Alex Hayes, Eric Buske and Tom Warren — all retired after long careers capped by short stints as chief, and each is drawing an annual pension of more than $100,000.
Tots in need of toys
At a press conference Thursday, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and three Marines — Capt. Rodney Malone, Staff Sgt. Juan Robledo and Staff Sgt. Terry Cissel – asked for more toys.
Specifically, they were after toys designed for small children and teenagers.
The toys will be given to children through the Toys for Tots campaign, a program operated by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Suttle said the program, which will give two gifts to more than 20,000 young people in the area, is in need of toys for teenagers and children under two.
“Let’s make this Toys for Tots campaign for 2011 the best,” Suttle said.
Those interested in making a donation will have to act fast. Donations can be made through 1 p.m. on Dec. 19 directly to the Marine Reserve building at 5808 N. 30th St. or at any drop site. More information available at (402) 453-8807, extensions 255 and 256.