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The Public Pulse: Omaha roads; Race for mayor; City Council contests

The Public Pulse: Omaha roads; Race for mayor; City Council contests

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Road remedy

I came to the conclusion that Omaha could have some of the best maintained roads if only we held election for mayor each and every year.

Robert Perrault, Omaha

New leadership

Gentrification is supposedly the process in which the character of a poorer urban area is changed for the better by attracting wealthier people and new businesses via improved housing and infrastructure, typically displacing current inhabitants in the process. In reality, gentrification is a ruse by which ruthless, short-sighted city leaders declare wonderfully unique and affordable neighborhoods as “blighted.” They then partner with greedy developers to arbitrarily destroy or renovate historic buildings and homes, replace them with cheap, wildly overpriced apartments and condos, and force out the good folks who have lived and worked in these neighborhoods for decades. For years now, I have personally watched this happen to the Blackstone District. Affordable housing is virtually non-existent. Property taxes have skyrocketed. Many of our friends and neighbors have been forced to move to other locations. Few original restaurants and businesses remain. The character of the neighborhood we loved is largely gone. There are so many good reasons for term limits. Our city today more than ever needs new direction and leadership. Isn’t eight years of Jean Stothert enough?

Jon Nelson, Omaha

Support Stothert

I feel compelled to respond to Andrew Adams, who attributes Mayor Jean Stothert’s stunning win in the April 6 primary to a sympathy vote (letter, April 23). I believe this badly misreads the voters.

The reason why Stothert won 56% in a five-candidate field is really very simple: She has amassed an extremely credible record of accomplishment over the last eight years that has dramatically improved Omaha. The voters are very satisfied with her work and that was reflected in the landslide.

Mr. Adams’ candidate, RJ Neary, trailed Stothert by 41 percentage points. Since then, I think matters have only gotten worse for him. There appears to be little in the way of an actual campaign, probably due to the fact that his contributors have abandoned a sinking ship. The fundamental problem for Mr. Neary, however, is that he has been unable to articulate a compelling reason to oust Stothert. In the words of Gertrude Stein, “There is no there there.”

Stephanie Cruz, Omaha

Yes to Stothert

I have lived in Omaha for 47 years and have seen quite a bit over that time. In my opinion, Omaha has never been in such good shape. Much of the credit for this should go to Mayor Jean Stothert for her solid leadership over the past eight years. I believe she will continue to guide the city in the right direction and that is why I will vote to elect her to another term on May 11.

Brenda Baker, Omaha

Support Melton

As a resident of Omaha for over 30 years, I believe common sense should direct our future elections for City Council.

On May 11, the city of Omaha has a critical decision to make in the District 7 City Council elections. The decision in your vote should be based on two areas: principles and record. Councilwoman Aimee Melton holds strong in both of those areas.

Melton’s opponent, Sara Kohen, is a radical Democrat. She has hidden her positions from the citizens of District 7, but her husband has made it clear where he stands. He continually advocates for defunding the police and promotes liberal agendas to our kids at school. You are the company you keep, and I urge citizens of District 7 to recognize that.

I support Aimee Melton for Omaha City Council District 7 because she is honest, transparent and true to her word. She has defended our city for the past eight years with heart and passion, and that has been reflected in our city growth. She was instrumental in adding a new west police precinct, signing off on the new $200 million, 20-year road project, and opening and upkeeping our parks. I urge you to vote for Aimee Melton on May 11.

Kelly Saalfeld, Elkhorn

Support Kohen

I am pleased to have the opportunity to vote for Sara Kohen for City Council in District 7. Sara is a proven advocate for children and is responsive to the needs of citizens of the district. She respects science and public health authorities, and does not misrepresent the positions of other candidates. Sara will bring a breath of fresh air and a positive approach to the needs of District 7.

Ken Keith, Omaha

Support Barrientos-Patlan

I will be proudly voting for Becky Barrientos-Patlan for the City Council seat in South Omaha’s District 4. She is an experienced and dedicated community activist. Her opponent, Vinny Palermo, is currently serving probation for evading his taxes three years in a row. He refused to give up his vice presidency of the council as a sign of contrition for his serious crimes. I wish Palermo well in life, but the clearly better choice, for the sake of South Omaha and the reputation of our city, is Becky Barrientos-Patlan.

James Enright, Omaha

Police, diversity

I was thrilled to learn the new recruit class of officers for the Omaha Police Department will “shatter” the record for diversity (news story, April 30). Forty percent of the new recruits are people of color while 20% are women. What is also impressive is 28% have some form of prior law enforcement experience.

These new recruits will ultimately be out in the community protecting us and I wish each one every success. Kudos to Mayor Jean Stothert and Chief Todd Schmaderer for delivering on the issue of a police force that looks like our community.

Helena Wolfe, Omaha

Border solution

A quick solution to our Southern border crisis.

Send half of those illegally crossing the border to Wilmington, Delaware, and half to Washington, D.C.

Joe Dowd, Omaha

Election letter deadline

Election-related letters for the Pulse must be received by noon on Thursday of this week.

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