Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has just one veto for the 2014 budget approved last week by the City Council: a 311 phone line aimed at connecting residents to city services.
In a letter to the council, the mayor said she's been opposed to the 311 idea since she was serving on the council. Stothert said she did not agree with spending $250,000 to help develop the system and instead favors using the Mayor's Hotline to handle calls.
“My goal is to continue to improve the customer service and problem resolution which we are now providing through the Mayor's Hotline,” she wrote. “We average approximately 1,000 calls a month and the feedback we have received from callers is very positive.”
Councilman Garry Gernandt, who has been working on the 311 system for several years, has said it would provide a more efficient central resource for a wider range of non-emergency city services. He said Thursday he's disappointed with the veto.
“I will — and she is well aware that I am going to — continue to pursue this effort,” he said.
The council can override a mayoral veto with five votes. The spending on 311 was approved with a 4-3 vote.