omaha city council

City/Police Union Move To Reach Agreement

Oct 22, 2020

The City of Omaha has reached a tentative contract agreement with the police union. Mayor Jean Stothert and Omaha Police Officers Association President Tony Conner made the announcement yesterday.  The new deal calls for salary increases, pension reform, and changes to health coverage. It now has to be approved by the union's rank-and-file, the city's personnel board, and City Council. The current contract expires in December.

Nebraska is approaching 400 COVID-19 deaths.  As of yesterday, 399 people statewide had died from the coronavirus during the pandemic.  The state has seen 34-thousand-547 COVID-19 cases. Omaha residents will have to wear face coverings in public for a few more weeks.  In response to the pandemic, the Omaha City Council voted yesterday to extend the public face mask ordinance to October 20th.  The ordinance went into effect on August 11th and was scheduled to expire on September 15th.

OPD Avoids Budget Cut

Aug 19, 2020

The Omaha Police Department will not have its budget cut.  City Council members voted yesterday to turn down Council President Chris Jerram's proposed two-million-dollar cut to the police budget.  Under the proposal, the two-million-dollars would have gone towards mental health treatment, rehabilitation and employment services.  Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert says she would have vetoed the budget cut.


Consumer Reports

There are now more than 29-thousand COVID-19 cases in Nebraska.  As of yesterday, there had been 29-thousand-30 cases and 351 coronavirus-related deaths reported statewide since the pandemic began.  More than 11-thousand-500 of those COVID-19 cases have been reported in Douglas County. A public facemask ordinance is now in effect in Omaha to combat the pandemic.  City Council members approved the measure during yesterday's meeting. The measure passed 7-0 after four hours of testimony from a divided public.

Omaha World Herald

Nebraska is continuing to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.  Officials confirmed 264 new cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 28-thousand-696.  There have been 348 coronavirus-related deaths in Nebraska during the pandemic.  Douglas County has seen 11-thousand-354 COVID-19 cases, the most in the state.

State health officials announced 332 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 27,821 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 340 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services reports 40 percent of hospital beds and 79 percent of ventilators are available. The Omaha City Council is expected to vote on a mask mandate on Tuesday. The council plans to propose an emergency ordinance to put the requirement in place, and needs six of the seven members to vote yes to immediately go into effect.

Omaha Daily Record

The city of Omaha is moving forward with a public facemask mandate.  City Councilman Pete Festersen tweeted yesterday that the council will consider an ordinance similar to one adopted in Lincoln.  The move comes after the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education requested this past weekend that the city consider a mask ordinance as the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour had been widely expected to issue a mandate Friday after the Douglas County Board of Health last Monday voted unanimously to support a mask mandate.

The Omaha City Council and Douglas County Board are calling for voters to decide if affirmative action should return to Nebraska.  Both the council and board approved measures yesterday asking the state legislature to have voters decide the fate of an affirmative action ban.  Nebraska voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 that prohibits practices such as affirmative action, which improves job and educational opportunities for minority groups.

The city of Omaha is adding an ordinance to crack down on hate intimidation.  The City Council approved the measure yesterday.  The hate intimidation ordinance would make it illegal to intimidate a group or an individual because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed, age, national origin or physical or mental disability.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert has been granted emergency powers.  City council members voted yesterday to give the mayor the ability to extend a state of emergency declaration including a curfew for up to a week.   The council approved the measure on a five-to-one vote with Councilman Chris Jerram voting "no." Council members also voted yesterday to pass a resolution condemning the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death.  The resolution noted that the city council grieves with Floyd's family for their loss and joins them in their call for justice and peace.

City Councilman Seeks Former Senate Seat

Feb 20, 2020

An Omaha city councilman is seeking his former seat in the Nebraska Senate.  City Councilman Rich Pahls filed yesterday to run for the District 31 seat.  Pahls previously held the seat from 2005 to 2013.  The 76-year-old Pahls is one of four people seeking to replace incumbent state Senator Rick Kolowski, who is term limited.

Douglas Co. Commissioner Kraft Retiring

Feb 12, 2020

Douglas County Commissioner Marc Kraft is retiring.  Kraft announced he won't be seeking another term in the 2020 election, saying he decided to retire after dealing with some extended health issues.  He's served three terms on the county board and two terms on the Omaha City Council.


Street Proposal Goes Before Council

Jan 29, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert's proposed 200-million-dollar bond is being considered by the City Council.  The bond proposal calls for 75-million-dollars per year to be spent on road repairs.  Stothert says if the bond is approved, the owner of a 100-thousand-dollar home would pay about 26-dollars in year in property taxes.  The City Council will hold a public hearing on the bond next Tuesday.

Mayor Stothert Proposes Street Improvement Bond

Jan 24, 2020

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert proposes a 200-million dollar bond for street improvements.  Stothert announced the plan Thursday morning, saying city streets have been under-funded for too long.  Stothert says the bond would cost property owners about 35 dollars per 100-thousand dollars of property value a year.  She wants Omaha residents to vote on the bond in May.


Omaha Official Seeks Alternative Housing

Jan 9, 2020

An Omaha City Council member is looking for new ways to bring affordable housing to the community.  Council Member Ben Gray says he is researching using steel shipping containers as affordable housing for people with limited incomes.  The Fair Deal Market Village in north Omaha already uses the containers to house businesses. 


An Omaha city councilman was sentenced Wednesday to four years of probation for not filing federal tax returns for 2012, 2013 or 2014. Vinny Palermo also was fined $35,000 and told to pay $21,209 in restitution for taxes owed. Palermo pleaded guilty in September. His lawyer says Palermo has paid what he owed. The Douglas County Republican Party has called on him to resign, but the Democrat has said he won't. The city charter allows the removal of a council member if the council were to decide he or she committed a crime that violated the oath of office. 

Council Discusses Worker Incentives

Dec 11, 2019

The Omaha City Council is discussing worker incentives.  City officials are proposing paying a shift differential to city employees who work odd hours to clear the roads during the winter.  Under the plan, workers would get an extra three-dollars-and-60-cents per hour for being on duty during late hours.  City Council members will vote on the plan next week.


Recycling Company Asks Omaha To Reconsider Bid

Dec 11, 2019

A recycling company is asking the city of Omaha to reconsider their bid.  The city rejected a four-million-dollar bid from Firstar Fiber last month saying that it was too expensive for taxpayers.  Firstar Fiber submitted a bid to process 20-thousand tons of recyclables, and company officials are calling their proposal a good deal.   Company officials believe that the city was out of touch when turning down their bid.


The Omaha City Council has decided to subject vaping products to the city’s tobacco tax.