Stothert still standing tall
Class, integrity, character, leadership, truth, transparency, accountability and putting the taxpayers’ dollars and interests first are what separate Jean Stothert from Jim Suttle in this Omaha mayoral race.
Stothert has withstood the humiliation, degradation and half-truths that the Suttle campaign and his union supporters have leveled against her.
I know Stothert would bring a strong love of God, family, community and city — and a renewed sense of trust — to City Hall.
Charlie Aliano, Omaha
Keep equal employment law
Over the past several months, I have been shocked by mayoral candidate Jean Stothert’s unwillingness to address LGBT issues in Omaha.
As a Nebraskan, I understand that many educated and otherwise kind and generous people disagree, for various reasons, with protecting the rights of LGBT individuals. They have spoken passionately against any legislation that would broaden civil liberties for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
But as an Omahan who has seen many friends finally gain job security under the city’s equal employment ordinance, I am troubled by Stothert’s vow to repeal it, should she become our next mayor.
Despite a survey that indicated the majority of Omahans (60 percent of those polled) support the ordinance, Stothert appears determined to reverse it. Call me an idealist, but I do believe that the goal of any elected official should be to represent the views of the majority of his or her constituents.
Stothert’s determination to act upon her personal agenda and undo some of the most significant legislation Omaha has passed in recent years does not equate with the mind-set of a responsible public official.
Natalie Kammerer, Omaha
Stothert talk vs. Suttle action
Jean Stothert is playing the old bait-and-switch routine to lure Omaha voters.
Her plan to cut the restaurant and wheel taxes, reduce city spending, increase police protection and improve city services just doesn’t add up. Where is she going to find replacement revenue from all those tax cuts? When asked specifically which expenses she would cut to reduce spending, she is strangely silent.
Stothert appears to be living in a world of financial fantasy where money grows on trees and city services are provided with the wave of a magic wand. It certainly leads one to question what she has learned about the workings of city government during her four years on the Omaha City Council.
Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Suttle is moving our city forward. He restored our AAA bond rating, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in future interest payments. He initiated operations that prevented millions in damages from Missouri River flooding, and he supports lifesaving cancer research through UNMC.
Suttle’s policies reflect the diversity and potential of our city. Omaha would continue to move forward under Suttle. He’ll get my vote, and I urge your support as well.
Michael Gordon, Omaha
Wayne a lifesaver, literally
Eighteen years ago, a teenager jumped in the water at a pool where I was swimming, performed CPR on me and saved my life. Last summer, while at a fireworks stand, my children picked out a little more than I could afford at that time. A young man saw the look on my kids’ faces and helped me out.
I later found out this young man was the same person who saved my life 18 years ago — his name is Justin Wayne.
I just want people to understand that you do not come across people like Wayne every day. Since last summer, he and I have talked off and on, and he is always trying to push me to be better and do better.
Wayne did not know me 18 years ago, nor at the fireworks stand. He is a man of character who cares about people. I hope people vote for Wayne for Omaha school board.
Trenton Titsworth, Omaha
Wayne focuses on student needs
As a recent Omaha Public Schools graduate and Omaha voter, I spent my first year retaking classes I should have learned in high school. This is costing me money and time. Justin Wayne is the only school board candidate truly addressing this issue.
It is not just about graduating; it is about producing educated students, as Wayne says. I thank him for understanding the real issues all students face in OPS and for being the voice we all need on the board.
Trevon Johnson, Omaha
Clock is ticking in Sarpy County
Concerning the May 5 World-Herald article on the Sarpy County 911 call center, I was struck by the vast difference in its system compared to Douglas County’s.
It is shocking to read that Sarpy’s call center is not only very understaffed in such a fast-growing county but also that operators must routinely juggle two major types of calls at once.
Sarpy emergency management director Larry Lavelle and his perpetual skeleton crew of operators need much better support — in staffing and equipment — from Sarpy officials.
Let’s see the response time of those officials. They are now on the clock.
Reed Kays, Ralston
Don’t forget your first love
To all the people out there who have folks in nursing homes, don’t forget that today is Mother’s Day.
Phyllis L. Costanzo, Omaha
Do not call, unless you’re a bird
A word or two about the turkey vulture piece in the May 2 World-Herald.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not saying the creatures aren’t ugly, but I know of something far worse. And with the vultures there are at least options.
The trees could be topped to make them less interesting to birds, or you could bang pots and pans. Or get a gaggle of neighborhood tots to bang your pots and pans to endear yourself to neighborhood mothers with an afternoon of free child care.
So what’s worse, you ask? Telemarketers, particularly those from credit-card services, who call five days out of seven and sometimes twice a day. What in blue blazes does one do about them? I am on the federal “do not call” list, and I call the Federal Trade Commission every single time I’m called. I have a list, multiple pages long, of every call. I have pushed whatever numbers I’m told will get these callers off my back.
They either have no such list or don’t read it. I have begged and pleaded with their representatives. I am to the desperate point of promising my vote for life to any politician who can make them stop calling.
Give me turkey vultures any day.
Gayle Dobbs, Murdock, Neb.
Use law against booze blues
Professor David Corbin’s April 29 Public Pulse letter was important. Problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption in Omaha are significant.
Corbin mentioned increases in violence, vehicle crashes and sexual assaults. I’d echo that and add that easy booze availability, and alcohol establishments that don’t operate responsibly, inevitably lead to increases in other nuisances that decrease neighbors’ quality of life and community health.
One solution that shouldn’t be overlooked is the “Good Neighbor” ordinance the Omaha City Council passed last year. It uses city zoning powers to set conditions around establishments to better reflect community standards, an approach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs as a key strategy to reduce binge drinking.
As part of a concerned citizens group from neighborhoods impacted by problem alcohol outlets, I worked for many years with city officials to create this policy tool in an effort to provide a safe and healthy place to live, work and raise our families. The ordinance enhances communities, is friendly to merchants and establishes a shared responsibility among business people, neighborhood residents and the city.
I’d like to think everyone wants the best for Omaha and its neighborhoods, and I’d encourage city leadership to use this valuable tool. It’s a significant first step in solving Omaha’s alcohol-related problems.
Chris Foster, Omaha
Clamp down on metal thieves
A large central air conditioning unit was recently cut away and stolen from outside one of my properties. It was probably sold for scrap metal.
The unit is valued at $4,000, and the thief probably got a couple hundred dollars to buy meth. That only worsens our city’s drug problems and related crimes.
Omaha could do a couple things to help prevent this from becoming an epidemic. Recycling businesses should be required to make a list of recognizable items, such as manhole covers and new air conditioners, and contact police. Social Security numbers, picture IDs and 1099 forms should be required before scrap purchases in order to report this business income and track down suspicious scrappers.
Only licensed HVAC contractors should be allowed to sell A/C units to recyclers for scrap. Recycling businesses should be monitored more closely and reminded that purchasing stolen property and possessing it is a crime. Police should stop overloaded pickups and trailers that are carrying metals and ask to see a license to collect garbage. Or maybe just check out the load to look for obviously stolen items.
Darrell Schwalbach, Omaha
Neighborhoods need heroes, too
Omaha is blessed with many strong neighborhoods. Neighborhood heroes are at the core of strong neighborhoods.
Neighborhood heroes are public-spirited, generous citizens who go out of their way to help others. They know their neighbors. They check on the welfare of the elderly. When it snows, they are usually the first to clear streets and sidewalks in the neighborhood. They enrich life in our city.
In my own neighborhood, Marvin Pearson and his daughter Ellen Pearson are true neighborhood heroes. It is an honor to publicly salute and thank them.
Ralph Grippin, Omaha