Jean Stothert 2013-Present (copy)

Mayor Jean Stothert

Mayor’s Hotline responsive

Recently, Gene Bamesberger expressed frustration about the Mayor’s Hotline when he called with a neighborhood speeding concern and did not receive a call back.

Our records show within 20 minutes of receiving his voice mail, we asked the Omaha Police Department’s Northwest Precinct to put special attention on the area, which has been completed. Officers wrote numerous tickets during that enforcement. Bamesberger has received a followup call with that information. However, he did not get a call back after his initial message.

We strive to respond promptly and with accurate information.

The City Charter requires the City to operate a “complaint line.” Our staff responds to questions, complaints and comments by phone, email and the new hotline website, one of several improvements made to make communication with citizens even easier.

Each month, we provide a public hotline report. In September, we assisted with more than 4,000 questions, comments and concerns.

Your call, email or online report is important to you and to us. Hotline hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you call after hours or receive a message that all lines are busy during business hours, please leave a call-back number with your message so we can respond and let you know what actions will be taken to address your concern.

Taxpayers are our customers, and excellent customer service is our priority.

Carrie Murphy, Omaha

deputy chief of staff/communications, Omaha Mayor’s Office

Look to the ballot box

I’ve been having heated arguments with friends about President Donald Trump’s fitness to lead our nation. They contend that despite his failings and invitations to foreign countries to interfere in our elections, they support him because the economy is strong and unemployment is low. I believe that he’s violating his oath of office, thus endangering our democracy, and should be impeached.

Fortunately, our Founding Fathers provided us with a mechanism for removing an unfit president that starts with the House of Representatives investigating accusations, which it is. Following is a vote for articles of impeachment which, if passed, would go to the Senate for a trial.

Because of the Republican majority in the Senate, it’s unlikely Democrats will muster the needed two-thirds majority to convict him. Consequently, to keep Trump from a second term, he’ll have to be beaten at the ballot box. He will need 270 electoral votes to win. Even though our 2nd Congressional District has only one electoral vote, in a close race it could become important. Therefore, opponents need to have a big turnout.

George Mills, Omaha

Political motivations?

The United States-Canada-Mexico trade agreement (USMCA) is a free-trade policy which would benefit all three nations. It has already been ratified by Canada and Mexico but is being held up in the House of Representatives by Nancy Pelosi.

The Democrats are always claiming to be totally in favor of free trade and say that tariffs are destroying American business. Why then does Pelosi refuse to allow this bill to go to the floor for a vote? Could it be because she knows this is good policy and may, even in a Democratic-controlled House, pass and be sent to the president for his signature?

Could it be that, even though USMCA may benefit the U.S. and improve our relationship with our neighbors, it was negotiated by Donald Trump and may help his ratings?

We all know that, no matter how much legislation may help our country, if it may also help Trump in the voting public’s eyes, it simply cannot be allowed to move forward. Now tell me that is not completely partisan without an inch of give for any idea from the other side.

Jeff Miller, Omaha

Scary times

The names and events change, but fear remains the same.

Today the young fear the end of the world because of climate change.

In my day we were told to “duck and cover” because the Russians were going to blow us up with “the bomb.” We watched films of Hiroshima and atomic bomb tests. We all knew we wouldn’t survive the blast by hiding under our desks, but “duck and cover” we did. Some were building bomb shelters.

But each day, we got up, went to school, played till dark and went home. On Friday nights, we watched monster movies about Dracula, the wolfman and the mummy. It seems we always find ways to scare ourselves.

Michael McLaughlin, Omaha

Expensive day

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents, at its Oct. 25 meeting, voted to spend $480 million on construction and other building plans “with little discussion.”

To pay off this debt, NU will use “donor money, state money, trust funds and revenue bonds.” I am not a financial wizard, but this complicated math probably means using a lot of tax dollars. A court ruling from when Jim Exon was governor means that office cannot tell the regents how to spend money. Well, somebody should tell them to not spend money like a drunken sailor.

Now watch to see if the university officials go to the Nebraska Legislature and tell senators they need more funding for operational expenses for the nearly half-billion-dollar new facilities. Oct. 25 was an expensive day for Nebraska.

Ricky Fulton, Omaha

Guys vs. kids

Kids, kids, kids. Why do Scott Frost and his fellow coaches insist on calling their players “kids” to the press?

If I were a Division 1 football player doing battle, week after week, or even for that matter a young soldier fighting for our country, I would be slightly peeved to be called a kid. To use a recent postgame phrase, coach, that doesn’t rise to the level of “just OK.”

Yes, no doubt, they are young men, but in my mind that word “men” is key. Perhaps if their athletes are referred to either as “guys” or “players,” they’ll rise to a more advanced level versus what we’ve seen of late that denotes mistake-laden immaturity. Couldn’t hurt to try.

Win or lose, that small gesture would show leadership and respect on the coaches’ part.

Kurt Vickerman, Papillion

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