A hotly contested mayor's race. Seven Omaha City Council seats. An appropriately sized, newly reconstituted school board for Omaha Public Schools. A bond issue for one of the fastest-growing school districts in the Omaha area.
Omaha voters will be determining the outcomes of all these issues Tuesday at the polls.
In editorials last week, we offered our recommendations to voters. Here is a recap:
>> Jean Stothert: An energetic City Council member who has demonstrated a command of the issues facing city government, an assurance in public settings, an ability to get things done on the City Council and an interest in pursuing a more efficient city government.
Omaha City Council
>> Pete Festersen, District 1: A talented incumbent who sees where the city needs to do better, from streamlining the planning process to improving the pace and quality of street work.
>> Ben Gray, District 2: Active in anti-crime, anti-gang and anti-poverty efforts that aim to pay dividends, this councilman clearly sees the intersection of educational opportunities and future employability.
>> Chris Jerram, District 3: An incumbent who works hard as a bridge between partisans on the council, an important facet of collaboration and compromise.
>> Garry Gernandt, District 4: At a time when crime-fighting efforts top the concerns of many citizens, this councilman, seeking his fourth term, works closely with residents of a diverse district.
>> Jeff Moore, District 5: He would be a newcomer to elected office, but he has demonstrated great energy in studying the issues that matter to the city.
>> Franklin Thompson, District 6: A thoughtful, big-picture leader and three-term councilman who uses a skill too often missing in politics — judgment.
>> Aimee Melton, District 7: Melton, making her first council bid, is a focused, disciplined thinker. She is independent-minded and realistic in what government can and should do in working with nonprofits to help address crime and youth unemployment.
Omaha school board
>> Yolanda Williams, Subdistrict 1: A program coordinator for a nonprofit group that works with children, she describes the benefits of greater parental involvement and stands out for her skill in working with parents.
>> Marque Snow, Subdistrict 2: An after-school teen and youth director at the South YMCA, he shows insight into the needs of young people. He has taken the initiative to visit schools in Subdistrict 2 to deepen his knowledge of the school system.
>> Woody Bradford, Subdistrict 3: Bradford can boast of a demonstrated record of leadership in the community. His election would bring a pragmatic, common-sense perspective to the school board.
>> Justin Wayne, Subdistrict 4: The incumbent in this subdistrict deserves considerable credit for standing up time and again to press for reforms, often in the face of criticism from other board members. Wayne also advocated for a revamped board structure — at the risk of his own seat.
>> Lou Ann Goding, Subdistrict 5: Goding has a notable, wide-ranging record of civic involvement and shows strength in two important ways: budget skills and knowledge of OPS issues.
>> Matt Scanlan, Subdistrict 6: Scanlan stands out for his exceptional understanding of OPS issues and the clear, accessible language he uses to explain issues and solutions.
>> Katie Underwood, Subdistrict 7: She comes from a family of educators and speaks forcefully and knowledgeably about the district's need to close the achievement gap between white and minority youth.
>> Lacey Merica, Subdistrict 8: Merica addresses a wide range of OPS issues. She is well-informed in analyzing the board's past failures and offers positive ways forward on community outreach and boosting academic achievement.
>> Sarah Brumfield, Subdistrict 9: The incumbent in this subdistrict explains issues in a practical way, whether it's the proper role of the board's legal counsel or how to improve the user-friendliness of the district's website.
Millard school bond
YES on a $79.9 million bond issue that would focus on three key priorities: improving security, keeping up with enrollment growth and providing adequate upkeep of the Millard school district's 38 buildings.