Stothert and City Council at odds again – METRO
The municipal elections join the quarrel “who is responsible”.
Sunday, July 31, 2022, 10:41 p.m. CDT
It has been widely reported that the mayor of Omaha is unhappy with the city council‘s decision not to allow her to remain in office while she is out of town.
At the same time, there is another disagreement between the council and the mayor.
As NCN first reported, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert was seeking to amend the city’s charter, or constitution, to move the city’s odd-numbered year spring elections. .
Mayor Stothert (October 2021): “I think it would be more effective if we had it a year without a presidential election and we had a primary in May and then a general election in November. This last election because of all the mail-in ballots we cost…nearly a million dollars to run the municipal council and mayoral elections.
The city’s charter group every decade debated the change and, although it also needed a change in state law to move the election, liked the idea.
But the city council will not watch the movement.
According to the mayor’s office, the charter group voted 17 to 3, with five members absent, but the council required at least 20 votes to consider a charter change.
Stothert still defends it, arguing that it “would allow us to be ready in the event of any action at the state level to synchronize election calendars.”
But, barring any unexpected changes, the next municipal election is still scheduled for 2025.
As for the fight who’s in charge, right now, when the mayor is out of town, whether it’s in Washington, Lincoln, or just across the city limits in Ralston, the chairman of the council municipal is in charge – becomes acting mayor.
Stothert finds the rule obsolete and the charter committee agreed to forward it to the council, but the council will not review it either.
Stothert calls the decision “partisan and personal.”
She didn’t name names, but the Republican mayor was no doubt pointing the finger at Democratic City Council Speaker Pete Festersen.
Festersen, who said, “Anything can happen at any time in a city,” opposed the change.
A public hearing on the proposed changes to the Charter is scheduled for August 16 from councile Meet.