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That’s the word from the Omaha Public Library’s board of trustees, which says the mayor’s plans come with a $393,000 cut for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. A reduction of that size, the board said in a letter, “will require reductions in both services and resources.”
Cost-saving considerations including closing the W. Clark Swanson branch and the Florence branch completely, and closing the W. Dale Clark Library and Millard branch locations one day each week.
The library proposal is the latest bit of city finance news to trickle out in the first weeks of the Stothert administration.
The mayor and her staff spent much of the day getting settled into their third-floor offices at City Hall. But Stothert also held a news conference where she told reporters she was busy making good on campaign promises — including reducing staff in the Mayor’s Office — and met with city officials.
Two of our pals in Lincoln — Joe Duggan and Paul Hammel — report that similar efforts, aimed at all Nebraska cities, failed twice earlier this legislative session. But a late 30-5 vote on Tuesday gives Chambers a victory on his third attempt to repeal his city’s taxing authority.
“This is a righteous and just vote that was taken today, and it removes a cloud from above the heads of poor and limited-income people,” Chambers said afterward.
The City of Omaha’s official position was to retain the taxing authority, which the Legislature passed last year over the governor’s veto. Omaha elected officials have not yet sought to increase the sales tax, which would require a vote of the people. The amendment was attached to a bill providing incentives for wind energy, which must now pass final reading and obtain Gov. Dave Heineman’s signature before it becomes law.
No word yet on if they’ll have a role in her administration, but attorney and former Nebraska Republican Party chairman David Kramer and Stothert campaign team member Rod Edwards will help Stothert as she moves into the Mayor’s Office.
Brinker Harding, a commercial real estate broker who served as campaign manager and chief of staff to former Mayor Hal Daub, also attended Monday’s meeting
Stothert must work to assemble a Cabinet as her June 10 inauguration approaches. She must decide how bold to be with the city’s 2014 budget. She must reach out to the rest of city government and local interest groups.
We spoke with a group of local experts — including former mayors Hal Daub and Mike Boyle — about what Omaha’s first female mayor must now do. We also might post some other snippets from our interviews with the two ex-mayors later this week.
A federal grant program used by the city of Omaha for a variety of housing and neighborhood-building efforts is getting hit by the sequester.
Planning officials say they expect to see about $367,000 less in their allocation from the Community Development Block Grant program. Last year, the city got about $4.6 million, plus another $2.1 million in related federal grants. James Thele, the city’s assistant planning director for housing and community development, says all of it will probably be cut by about 8 percent.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which administers the grants, requires that less than 20 percent of the money be used on administrative costs. That means most of Omaha’s cuts will be felt in programs, not staffing.
Said interim parks director Brook Bench: “This one is really driven by the use of the park. It’s so used on the weekends — this is a big enough park where we can do these improvements, but don’t have the facilities to do them.”
After months of work to iron out problems with the new equipment, department officials now hope to begin training roughly 450 officers and command staff on the systems by the first week in November. The goal is to activate the first cruiser cameras in the city’s northeast precinct by December.
Omaha runs out of the offices at 1819 Farnam St. The work there impacts your safety, your parks, your pocketbook. You'll find the best City Hall coverage on this site. It also is a place for you to weigh in. Welcome to Omaha's eye on local government: The Hall.
P. J. Seminara:
Will the shelters be available to the public for personal use?
Fireman who put is in debt and calls himself "Fire Jean." Your bloated cont
311 works great here in NYC.
If I see something that needs fixing, I mak
Or... the Chamber of Commerce could raise the $35 Million from its members,
Double taxation? So any project using state and local funds is double taxa
How long has Omaha had a AAA bond rating?
How many large municipalities
Way to go Jean Stothert! Your shortsighted decision to commandeer the fire
I think it's a logical idea. Putting tax on tobacco which causes cancer is
Will gov't ever have enough of our money? When does it stop?
Ed, Good to shake your hand at Dundee Days. Just a brief note that we need