Mayoral Candidates Square Off
Mayoral forum at UNO Thursday night was civil and over an hour in length.
Mayoral Candidates Square Off Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE - The five mayoral candidates squared off Thursday on the UNO Campus. Only a few weeks to the April primary, candidates discussed everything from fire and police union contracts to creating business in northeast Omaha.
It was a civil discussion on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus. The five candidates touted their experience, and fought for why they should be the top vote getter next month. Current Mayor Jim Suttle, State Senator Brad Ashford, councilwoman Jean Stothert, former council president Dan Welch, and businessman Dave Nabity answered questions from a small panel for more than an hour.
They highlighted their crime plans, and each touted business growth.
When asked if Omaha was taxing it residents too much, all of the candidates but Suttle said yes.
"Every financial challenge that has happened in the past 3 and half years has been answered with a new tax or a new fee," Stothert said.
"Property tax, the wheel tax, the restaurant tax, it's just overboard. And what we have to do is get control of our budget," Welch said.
"We're in the black, we're going to stay there. And your services are being delivered because our complaints are going down, down, down on the mayor's hotline," Suttle said.
When it came to how to change it, the responses were varied.
"We have a plan to take to the voters for a merger of the city government and the county government," Ashford said.
"You have to streamline and modernize government, and the only way to do that is through performance audits," Nabity said.
There didn't seem to be a clear cut winner Thursday. Many of the challengers have said the April primary, is a race for second place to Suttle.
The top two vote getters will go onto the general election in May.
The next mayoral debate will be March 22nd at the Omaha Press Club.