The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce is backing developer Jay Noddle as a candidate for an open seat on the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority board.
Chamber spokeswoman Karla Ewert said Tuesday that two people approached her group asking for its support in the process of filling the seat that had been held by Jamie Gutierrez Mora. Chamber officials met to discuss those two candidates — Noddle and Kent Pavelka, who runs an advertising and media relations firm — and agreed to endorse Noddle.
Chamber President David Brown sent an email to City Council President Pete Festersen, urging council members to back Noddle.
"Jay has proven his ability to work with diverse groups and solve complex development problems," Brown wrote. "He has grown a successful company and has been involved in some of the highest profile and complicated projects in the state. He could bring that same expertise and commitment to the community to his work on the MECA board."
The council will appoint a replacement for Gutierrez Mora, who resigned last month after questions surfaced about her eligibility to serve on the board.
City Attorney Paul Kratz issued an opinion that said Gutierrez Mora, who was appointed in March, was not a "resident elector" of Douglas County. The Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office is currently investigating Gutierrez Mora’s voter registration.
Festersen said he and City Councilman Ben Gray plan to meet with Mayor Jean Stothert Wednesday to discuss the idea of revising qualifications for MECA board members. He said the council wants to "have a consensus on the basic qualifications and standards for consideration" before appointing a new board member.