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.
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.
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August 1946: The site of the future Crossroads Mall, looking east on Dodge Street from Papio Creek.
The West Lanes Bowlatorium at 151 N. 72nd St. in Omaha in 1955. Crossroads Mall had not been built across the street at that time.
An artist's concept drawing of Crossroads Mall in 1959.
Mr. and Mrs. Pat Davis with Susan, 4 months, and Kelly, 17 months, shopping at the new Crossroads Mall in June 1961.
June 1961: Donald Peterson doing a push button check at the control board for power in the boiler room at the Crossroads Mall.
Landscaping at Crossroads Mall in June 1961.
The Sears store at Crossroads Mall in 1961.
June 1961: Shoppers at the Crossroads arcade, where 24 stores lined the air-conditioned mall anchored by Brandeis and Sears, Roebuck and Company. The mall, on 72nd and Dodge Streets, opened in 1960 by Brandeis Department Store.
A smiling Superman, a skeleton and even a masked fairy princess are among the goblins from Hillside School visiting Crossroads Mall in 1962.
Shoppers at Crossroads Mall in January 1965.
Shoppers at Crossroads Mall in January 1965.
July 1965: Concrete breaking for new Brandeis Tire Center at Crossroads Mall. Bill Mager, Omaha area manager for Abel Corp.; S.J. Marchese, manager of Brandeis Crossroads; and John Diesing, VP of Brandeis.
Officer Hap Bolan dusting for fingerprints after a robbery at Crossroads Mall November 1966.
Shoppers at Crossroads Mall in July 1966.
Gale Sayers signs autographs at Crossroads Mall in Omaha on April 22, 1967.
Debbie, 7; Sherrie, 6; Trip, 4; and Kristie, 2, await Santa in the Crossroads parking lot. Their mother, Mrs. Tom Blair, was nearby. The photo was published Nov. 17, 1968.
The "Circus Joys and Christmas Toys" parade at Crossroads Mall in November 1971.
Curt Collins, 4, talks with Santa at Brandeis' Crossroads store. The photo was published Dec. 20, 1972.
November 1972: Balloons, ranging in length from 60 to 125 feet, are to be sent aloft as part of Crossroad Shopping Center's balloon parade. James Moore of Indianapolis worked at inflating the balloons, a task that took approximately an hour per balloon. The parade went north on 78th to Cass Street and east on Cass to the Crossroads entrance at 74th Street, then moved to the south side of the center, where the balloons were on display for the weekend.
Tornado cleanup volunteers sign up at the Crossroads and are formed into crews, then transported by bus to the work areas on May 14, 1975.
A Brandeis art feature at Crossroads Mall in September 1978.
Shoppers crowd into the downtown Brandeis store in September 1980 for the start of the final closing sale. J.L. Braindeis and Sons had announced earlier that it would close stores in downtown Omaha and Lincoln and smaller stores in north Omaha and Columbus, Nebraska, by the end of 1980. The company planned to refurbish stores in Crossroads and Westroads Malls.
A woman walks through the Crossroads parking lot for some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve of 1981.
Brandy Klabunde, 8, shops for toys at Youngtown in Crossroads. The photo was published Dec. 20, 1981.
Nov. 18, 1984: Stephanie Goodrich of Omaha getting in the Christmas spirit at the Brandeis Crossroads store, browsing through the display of holiday decorations.
Husker Fans watch Nebraska's 7-3 win at Oklahoma on the big screen at Crossroads Mall on Nov. 19, 1988.
Ashley Vlven, 2, reluctantly meets Santa at Crossroads in November 1988. Ashley was at the mall with her mother, Dee Vlven.
WOW Radio held a Great American Kiss-Off event at Omaha's Crossroads Mall in 1992. Six couples locked lips at 6 a.m. for a kissing marathon that lasted until early that afternoon. Linda Lawless of Council Bluffs needed a little help reaching partner Larry Shephard of Nebraska City. The other couple in the photo are Larry and Lisa Whiting of Council Bluffs, left, and Heather Schwarz and James Hamm of Omaha, right.
The exterior of Crossroads Mall is seen in 2004.
Crossroads Mall at 72nd and Dodge Streets is seen in March 2014.
Crossroads Mall at 72nd and Dodge Streets is seen from above in March 2014.
The final setup for the Opera Omaha gala on Jan. 16, 2015, at Crossroads Mall in Omaha.
A dancer performs under a stream of water during Opera Omaha's preview of John Adams' "A Flowering Tree" at Crossroads Mall on Jan. 16, 2015.
Bob Lohman of San Diego performs in front of a small crowd at the Douglas County Fair inside Crossroads Mall on July 21, 2016.