Suttle has made bad decisions
It’s only days until we will choose Omaha’s mayor. I agree with Jim Palmer’s May 3 letter, “Suttle’s record uninspiring.”
Expenses, expenses and more expenses, including exorbitant pay raises for Mayor Jim Suttle’s employees and the foolish hiring of people like an individual from out of state to figure out bicycle routes. There’s no one in Omaha who could do that?
With constant spending there have been tax increases, especially the wheel tax and property tax, and then a new tax on restaurant sales. What has been done the past four years to curb gangs, crime, murders, drugs and graffiti?
I am not convinced that much is being done, and it shouldn’t have to take additional hiring to make an impact in those areas.
Sister Mary Hlas, Omaha
Restaurant tax working well
Omaha mayoral candidate Jean Stothert has indicated a “hope” of eliminating the restaurant tax. If this tax is bringing in $24 million a year, why eliminate it?
Apparently, people haven’t quit eating out, the possibility of which was an issue at the beginning. It seems to be a universal tax that everyone who eats out pays, as opposed to property owners and smokers being singled out.
I dine out frequently with friends, and Omaha has some very excellent places to dine. The restaurant tax is a lot easier for me to swallow than a property tax increase.
Janelle Bechtol, Omaha
Stothert short on substance
I am thinking of running for mayor of Omaha. I will criticize my opponent on everything he has done.
Also, I will promise to lower all taxes while not knowing how to pay for current and future costs to the city. I will not offer any plan for cuts to offset less tax revenue.
I will take credit for all and future negotiations the city makes. Oh, and here is the kicker, I will drive my own car and pick up the gas tab.
Sounds crazy, right?
Clark Stacy, Omaha
Wheel tax hike not paying off
As I hit all the potholes that continue to exist all over Omaha and, no, not just after this past winter, I cannot believe how tone-deaf Mayor Suttle is. He has been talking about how many “street miles” have been resurfaced since the wheel tax rose 43 percent and a constitutionally questionable late fee was tacked on.
With more than $60 million of revenue collected since the increase, including over $1 million a year in late fees, why are we not seeing each and every licensed, bonded and insured subcontractor out there getting all those holes filled? Suttle basically said in 2010 that this increase would go toward getting that problem properly addressed.
I agree with The World-Herald’s May 5 endorsement of Jean Stothert. Taxes aren’t fun, but by golly, if you’re going to seek a 43 percent increase, then follow through with your pledge to the people.
Scott Yahnke, Omaha
Students know, support Wayne
Recent OPS graduates, especially those deemed “at-risk,” surely know the name “Justin Wayne.” The reason for that is Wayne meets with these students on a regular basis, listens to them and uses this information to make much-needed improvements in the Omaha Public Schools.
He is the only adult I talk to who understands. My friends want a better life, a great job and a stable family. Wayne invests his time in this community and makes sure to support us. He is needed on the Omaha school board to bring our voice and concerns to the board.
Dayton McGraw, Omaha
Fey a proven leader for OPS
The World-Herald’s failure to endorse Marian Fey for the Omaha school board is surprising and disappointing. Fey was elected to the board at the beginning of a tumultuous time. She rapidly assumed leadership amid controversy and kept a cool head as heated voices rose.
Her experiences as an educator, community leader, entrepreneur, tireless volunteer and devoted parent give her the pragmatic, yet committed, vision required by the board.
Her background in local education shows a deep-rooted commitment to Omaha. She founded, led and expanded an arts nonprofit into more than 20 local schools. She has led and been involved with parent-educator groups in OPS elementary, middle and senior high schools for more than 20 years. She has taught or otherwise worked in several locally owned businesses and nonprofits, and her four children have been educated in OPS.
Throughout her tenure and campaign, Fey has stressed the need for transparency and openness among the Omaha school board, parents, teachers, students and all citizens.
If voters are looking for the candidate with the most genuine dedication to the education of OPS students, they needn’t look to a new face. Choose the familiar one, Marian Fey, because, in leadership, experience is a good thing.
Mary Talen, Omaha
Forsee best choice for OPS
I believe The World-Herald made a mistake by not endorsing OPS Subdistrict 8 candidate William Forsee. He has 35-plus years of experience teaching in the classroom, as well as a sharp, no-nonsense approach to what OPS students need to succeed.
He has been on the front lines of educating, as opposed to working in the business world and looking only at dollars and cents in a breakdown of cost per student versus performance.
Responsible use of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is important. Forsee will work hard to make sure every dollar is spent in a way that will provide the most impact in educating rather than in administrating.
Voters south of Harrison Street could also rest assured that when their children attend Bryan High, an actual Bellevue resident will be representing their concerns.
Jeff Vavruska, Bellevue
Ready for end to campaigns
I see that Wednesday was the last day for submitting election-related letters to The World-Herald. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were also the last day we had to listen to idiotic political ads and retrieve moronic political mailings from our mailboxes?
John A. Daum, Omaha