Editor's note: The time and place for Mayor Stothert's last town hall meeting this Thursday has changed. It will start at 6:30 p.m. at Hillside Elementary School, 7500 Western Ave.

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Mayor Jean Stothert outlined her goals for the city and fielded questions about streets and economic development at a public meeting Thursday.

About 30 residents and numerous city officials attended the mayor’s town hall at the Police Department’s southeast precinct in South Omaha.

She noted that her 2018 budget didn’t reduce property taxes — which she’s successfully done twice before. Nor did she attempt to reduce the restaurant tax, despite campaigning four years ago in part on her opposition to the tax.

She’s focusing on services instead of tax cuts. “I really wanted to address those issues that people talk about the most,” Stothert said.

Those issues include streets, she said. The 2018 budget added $1 million for street resurfacing, bringing that total to about $12 million.

But the streets problem is much bigger than that, she said. The city has about $800 million in needed street improvements. That’s about the size of the city’s entire budget.

Stothert said she wants to ask the Legislature to change the state gas tax formula so that Omaha would get more revenue.

“Right now, I’m trying to get more roads done without raising taxes,” she said.

In terms of public safety, Omaha, she said, will be the first city in the U.S. where police officers are equipped with body cameras with “automatic triggers.” Such triggers mean that the camera will turn on when a firearm or stun gun is deployed.

On development, Stothert said that there are “serious discussions” about Crossroads Mall and that she hopes to make an announcement soon.

“Not all hope is gone,” she said.

Thursday’s meeting was the mayor’s third town hall this year. Four remain. The first will be held at 6 p.m. on the following dates. The last will be held at 6:30 p.m.:

» Monday, Crestridge Magnet Center, 818 Crestridge Road

» Nov. 6, Kellom Elementary School, 1311 N. 24th St.

» Nov. 13, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Weitz Community Engagement Center

» Nov. 16, Hillside Elementary School, 7500 Western Ave.

emily.nohr@owh.com, 402-444-130

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