Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s 2019 Christmas card embraces the year’s most controversial local transportation option — electric scooters.
The card’s second panel turns a Tom Kerr-drawn Stothert upside-down while riding a scooter. She lands in a snowbank, boots to the sky, as her family watches.
The kicker, which Stothert, the card’s artist and a city staffer say the mayor helped write, says: “Grandma got run over by a scooter.”
“I haven’t ridden one,” Stothert said, laughing at a question about whether she’d ridden one in real life. “And I’m not going to, either.”
The mayor works on her Christmas card each year with Kerr, a former World-Herald artist. He said he offers her ideas, asks for hers, then sends a sketch.
They’ve made fun of snowplowing and potholes. One year, they did texting. This year, Kerr recommended recycling. She said it had to be scooters.
His first sketch looked a lot like the real thing. It had Stothert riding a scooter straight into a snowbank. He didn’t think she’d go for it. She did.
The lone change Stothert wanted was footwear. She didn’t like the “old-lady shoes” in the first drawing and suggested UGG boots.
“It was great,” Kerr said.
About 3,000 of the cards were printed and mailed, at the mayor’s cost, not the city’s, she says. Many arrived in local mailboxes of friends and connections in recent days.
Inside, the card says “Merry Christmas” from the Stotherts. She knew the drama awaiting Republican officeholders who use “Happy Holidays.”
The mayor, who has not yet taken sides on the scooters, says she has no new info about the half-year scooter pilot program that ended this fall.
The city says it is still organizing data from the pilot to share with the mayor and City Council this winter. They will decide the future of the rental devices.
People took more than 200,000 scooter rides this year in Omaha, spurring positive reactions from many riders and anger from many drivers.
“For every call I got that somebody hated it,” Stothert said, “I got another that they liked it.”