We’ll pay if MUD is sued

If the Metropolitan Utilities District is successfully sued for its response to the M’s Pub fire (“Confused MUD response delayed gas stop,” Jan. 23 World-Herald), let me take a wild guess as to who will shoulder the settlement payouts. You and me.

We already have water infrastructure replacement charges, gas infrastructure replacement charges, water service charges, City of Omaha sewer taxes and sales taxes. Let’s just call this one the “We’re incompetent because we failed to keep gas line schematics current and up to date” tax.

Or, to simplify it even more, just go with “incompetence tax.”

MUD has lots of well-paid folks who are supposed to keep this data current. They couldn’t even find the correct shutoff valve. How can this happen?

Louise Douglas, Omaha

Put Nebraska farmers first

There is a bill in the Nebraska Legislature to allow meatpackers to own, raise, feed and have total control over hog production in Nebraska. It is being pushed hard and lobbied for by Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world.

For those of you who don’t know, Smithfield Foods was purchased by the Chinese. Yes, 100 percent owned by the Chinese.

So let me ask this — are our senators and governor in Lincoln going to sell out our family farmers to China?

Steve Jones, Omaha

Doing what’s best for Omaha

I totally disagree with Debi Herman’s Feb. 1 Public Pulse letter, “Pulling back the curtain on City Hall.” I think Mayor Jean Stothert is doing an awesome job for the citizens of Omaha.

A developer friend told me two months after Stothert took office that there was a night-and-day difference in the Planning Department. It was much easier and a lot quicker to get things approved. I am an electrical contractor who has frequent interaction with the Permits and Inspections Department, and inspectors have said the mayor is getting things done to improve their department.

Stothert followed two mayors who bowed to unions and gave them whatever they wanted. She is fighting the unions and doing what she thinks is best for the city.

Yes, criticizing the police officer for shutting down 90th Street and West Dodge Road during a snowstorm last month wasn’t her best decision, but think about how much was on her plate and how many people were calling the mayor’s hotline complaining that day.

I think Jean Stothert has been great for the City of Omaha.

Steve Andersen, Omaha

Out of the streets, onto the sidewalks

It is a good thing the city did such a good job plowing the streets because in our neighborhood you have to walk in them.

The plows came down the streets at such a speed that they covered all the sidewalks that everybody had already shoveled.

Now the sidewalks are covered in hard clumps that even the snowblowers can’t get through. I can’t shovel so I had to pay somebody to clean my sidewalks again.

It’s too bad we can’t clear the streets without covering up the work done by homeowners.

Lee Yager, Omaha

Council should think city first

After all the ranting and raving about the need for small business contracts for north Omaha, the City Council, in all its wisdom, awards the demolition contract for the old Civic Auditorium to an out-of-city, out-of-county and out-of-state contractor (“Contract for Civic demolition OK’d,” Feb. 3 World-Herald).

There should be no noise in the future about helping local businesses when the council had a perfect opportunity to do just that and failed.

Karl Langill, Papillion

An unseemly process

At the risk of being called a cynic, after listening to all the politicians jockeying for position in the presidential caucuses in Iowa, I could not help but think that it all sounded like a bunch of drunks arguing about the bar bill on the Titanic.

Reid Kenedy, Omaha

Trump, Sanders not fit for duty

I was watching Sarah Palin on Fox News recently as she was telling Americans how wonderful and qualified Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was to be our next commander in chief.

When I cast my vote for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, I asked myself then — as I still do now — what on earth possessed him to select Palin as his running mate. The answer was, of course, Hillary Clinton. One of my Vietnam veteran friends said, with Palin just a heartbeat away from the presidency, he couldn’t vote for McCain.

I shut off Fox News because listening to Palin praise Trump made me angry. Why? Because Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton have one thing in common — they’re all draft dodgers.

As a retired 20-year Navy reservist and a registered Republican since 1980, I say neither Sanders nor Trump is qualified to serve as our next commander in chief.

Paul Anderson, Omaha

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