Mayor Apologizes To Public, Blasts City Council Members
Under Attack For Salary Raises
Omaha, NE - Not even out of the hospital yet after a mini-stroke, Mayor Jim Suttle apologized to the public for unannounced salary increases to two top staffers. Then he blasted city council members who said he was deceiving taxpayers by giving the $25,000 pay hikes.
In a news release Suttle said: "I sincerely apologize for the manner in which the salary increases I gave members of my staff were announced. These individuals did extraordinary work on behalf of the citizens of Omaha and I rewarded them for their efforts."
He accused city council members critical of his pay hikes of seizing "a political opportunity to distract the public...They are hoping if they create a stir about $50,000 in salaries, the public won't notice the $4.2 million shortfall created by wage increases and an additional $15 million in potential pension shortfalls caused by their failure to negotiate a contract with firefighters."
Suttle was undergoing his last round of tests in Omaha Wednesday after being hospitalized in Ireland last week.
Council members complained that Suttle pledged to freeze wages for department heads during his term--and broke that promise.
Suttle said he would discuss the budget and his health at a news conference Monday.
Reported by Kathy Sarantos Niver, firstname.lastname@example.org