Jean Stothert 2013-Present (copy) (copy)

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is underpaid relative to her job responsibilities and in comparison with peer-city mayors, a Public Pulse writer says. 

Omaha mayor is underpaid

When I read in Sunday’s World- Herald that the University of Nebraska spent almost $250,000 in its search for the new President Ted Carter, who will receive a base salary of $960,000, I was reminded that our Mayor Jean Stothert receives a salary of just over $100,000. He is going to run a university; she runs the entire City of Omaha. Even our superintendent of schools makes considerably more than she does.

It doesn’t seem fair that Stothert does not have a salary that is even at the 50th percentile for mayors of similar-sized cities. Don’t we expect the best of her?

In my book, she’s doing a great job and I would vote for her a salary that is competitive with those of mayors in similar-sized cities.

Stephen Bloodworth, Omaha

Police promotion process

A recent Public Pulse letter regarding Police Department promotions was based on the belief that promotions were solely determined by assessment center employee testing. I believe this process is intended to assist, not “solely determine,” who gets promoted. The final selection should be the responsibility of the senior manager involved.

In the case of the Omaha Police Department, Chief Todd Schmaderer is entitled, and has earned, the right to select his subordinates. That does not excuse any discrimination, which should be firmly dealt with. There are many human characteristics and strengths that cannot be shown from assessment center testing.

James E. Burns, Omaha

Include school bus drivers

I just read State Sen. Mike Groene’s article in Sunday’s World-Herald and was pleased and support his efforts on behalf of school teachers and staff. I hope that the empowerment he hopes to get for them will extend to the school bus drivers who are charged with safely transporting these students to and from their schools.

I hope this bill and its amendment pass and apply to bus drivers who deal with the buses, road conditions, parents, school administrators and, most importantly, the students we transport.

Bill Dahl, Omaha

Nebraskans, watch out

The measure of our standard of behavior should not be what we can justify to ourselves, but how one would judge that behavior in another. State Treasurer John Murante has awarded an advertising contract worth $600,000 to a former employer that is not a Nebraska-based company. State Treasurer Murante has opened an outreach office, at $60,000 a year, that no one knew existed and is not accessible by public transportation, impacting access of this state office to many Omahans. Meanwhile, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Health and Human Services have crafted a Medicaid expansion proposal that spends more money on a process that makes it impossible for Nebraskans to avail themselves of the promised health care access.

The new Nebraska theme continues to represent Nebraska attitude toward its citizens — Nebraska: “Not-at-all what you thought.” In a state that desperately needs workers, you would think that our elected officials would be creating an atmosphere of investing in its citizens rather than investing in themselves.

Marcia Anderson, Omaha

‘Free’ ideas mean heavy taxes

We hear many political campaign proposals these days, such as: Medicare for All, free college tuition, free day care, free this, free that. How to pay for it all? You may have heard the saying, Don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax those billionaires behind the tree.

That’s how they plan to pay for it. The problem is, those billionaires are too few and far between. Despite their billions, there just aren’t enough bucks to pay for everything. And so, as the folks over in Europe have discovered, it is people like you and me who would end up getting taxed, big time, because that’s where the money is.

She may have her plan, and he may have his plan, but the bottom line of those plans are taxes, taxes and more taxes, and we’re the ones who would pay them.

Keep in mind that other saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And in this case, it is.

Don’t be fooled.

Robert Ranney, Omaha

Risks of war

The president’s action against Qassem Soleimani was way outside the laws of civilized war. It does not defend us but exposes us to danger which may reach well within our country, our towns and cities.

In the past we could say we were defending liberty against a defined menace which would not stop threatening us until it was defeated in the field. But in these cases, what precisely are we fighting for? How will we know if we have won? Or are we heading for the permanent war envisaged in George Orwell’s “1984,” in which we can switch from one enemy to the other in the blink of an eye, and pretend nothing has changed, but the fighting never stops?

Greg Weldon, Papillion

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