The Stothert Administration

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Linkin5
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The Stothert Administration

Postby Linkin5 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:06 am

Ha.

http://journalstar.com/news/local/govt- ... 8fcbb.html


Omaha’s new mayor Jean Stothert was boasting last week about paying her chief of staff 10 percent less than Jim Suttle's current chief of staff. Boasting.

Marty Bilek will receive an annual salary of $112,500. But he’ll also be getting about $70,343 in his retirement income from the sheriff’s department.

Lincoln’s Mayor Chris Beutler also hired retirees to head the police and fire departments. But he is paying the two men the difference between their retirement income and the salary of a chief.

Police Chief Jim Peschong’s city salary is around $65,700.

Fire Chief John Huff is making around $79,400.

Both had intended to retire when Beutler asked them to continue working as chiefs.

With their retirement pay, their total annual incomes are in the $130,000 range.

No double dipping here, by design.

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Postby Uffda » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:21 pm

So I see now the council wants to give negotiating power back to the Mayor after they were the ones who took it away last year.... “The City Council did a good job representing the taxpayers, but negotiations should be the responsibility of the executive branch.”

I wonder if anything else will be reversed.

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Postby nebport5 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:52 pm

Uffda wrote:So I see now the council wants to give negotiating power back to the Mayor after they were the ones who took it away last year.... “The City Council did a good job representing the taxpayers, but negotiations should be the responsibility of the executive branch.”

I wonder if anything else will be reversed.


It's straight out of The Phantom Menace... Palpatine manipulates the Galactic Senate to strip the Supreme Chancellor of power and assumes his position.

Just replace "Galactic Senate" with City Council and "Supreme Chancellor" with Mayor.



...Oh and swap "Palpatine" with Darth Stothert.
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Postby jessep28 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:08 pm

Well, judging by the reactions of the Fire union following Stothert reminding Fire Chief McDonnell (and others) that he's a city employee and can't just go running his mouth, I would guess that under Suttle there was concern that he would have let the Fire Department set the City up for bankruptcy under a new contract agreement.
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Postby nebport5 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:31 pm

jessep28 wrote:Well, judging by the reactions of the Fire union following Stothert reminding Fire Chief McDonnell (and others) that he's a city employee and can't just go running his mouth, I would guess that under Suttle there was concern that he would have let the Fire Department set the City up for bankruptcy under a new contract agreement.



Funny, I could've sworn Stothert triumphantly negotiated the most expensive fire contract in history over Suttle's smaller tentative agreement.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:02 am

OWH wrote:What happened to transparency?

Days into the job, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is ordering city department heads and other employees not to talk to the press — and therefore, the public — without clearing it with her office first.

The mayor, who campaigned on the promise of running an open administration, needs to retract this gag order immediately.



http://www.omaha.com/article/20130614/N ... nnecessary

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Postby jessep28 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:36 am

Lamest, controversy, ever.
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Postby Brad » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:48 am

I heard it wasn't a gag order, it was just a "let me know what you are going to say so I can respond to it" order.

I could care less.  Every Job I have had in my life has had a paragraph about not talking to media without permission.
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Postby jessep28 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:55 am

Brad wrote:I heard it wasn't a gag order, it was just a "let me know what you are going to say so I can respond to it" order.

I could care less.  Every Job I have had in my life has had a paragraph about not talking to media without permission.


The vitriolic disdain towards Stothert amongst Democrats in a way mirrors that of Republicans towards President Obama. It's funny.
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Postby nativeomahan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:51 am

Speaking as a Democrat, this is a non issue.  Any smart office holder would do the same thing, at least until he or she got comfortable with all of the department heads.  I'm sure the "gag order" will be relaxed in short order.  The important thing for any office holder is to make sure their administration speaks with one consistent voice.

Stothert won the election, fair and square.  Let her govern.  In time she will make mistakes, and everyone can criticize.  I believe in giving every office holder at least a 90 day honeymoon from sniping and criticism, unless they do something truly boneheaded right up front (like Jim Suttle managed to do right out of the starting gate).

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Postby RNcyanide » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:02 am

jessep28 wrote:
Brad wrote:I heard it wasn't a gag order, it was just a "let me know what you are going to say so I can respond to it" order.

I could care less.  Every Job I have had in my life has had a paragraph about not talking to media without permission.


The vitriolic disdain towards Stothert amongst Democrats in a way mirrors that of Republicans towards President Obama. It's funny.


Humored, I am not when it comes to hyperactive partisanship.
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Postby nebport5 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:41 pm

How is this a partisan issue??  The amount of vocal opposition by many of those who supported her in the election says otherwise.  


Of course, the left isn't going to be thrilled with it, however, there's a sizable amount of criticism coming from the right.  The World Herald editorial is pushing for a retraction.  The majority of Omaha.com comments are unsupportive, including my favorite...

"Ok.. I voted for her.. Is it already time to start the petitions for impeachment? Not a good way to start things off."

Tom Becka is against it, hardly a bastion of the left.



As to whether or not its a gag order.  I think the following is pretty clear.


"Effective immediately, all interaction with news media by any Department Directors or any staff member of any city department regarding matters of City government will first be previewed and approved by the Mayor's Chief of Staff or The Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications."
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Postby jessep28 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:52 pm

The city has a right to restrict the speech of its employees in certain instances. I don't see a problem with this. Fahey fired the police auditor after she released a report before he reviewed it.
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Postby bbinks » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:50 pm

jessep28 wrote:The city has a right to restrict the speech of its employees in certain instances. I don't see a problem with this. Fahey fired the police auditor after she released a report before he reviewed it.


In this case, I think its more because of what the report had in it.  If it glamorized OPD, she'd not have lost her job.

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Postby Garrett » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:42 pm

If anyone saw this coming... well that would be really weird foresight.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130622/NEWS/130629906/1685

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Postby RNcyanide » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:37 pm

Axel wrote:If anyone saw this coming... well that would be really weird foresight.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130622/NEWS/130629906/1685



Well, the lovely people at pride were very respectful. I hope this isn't just a one time thing. How wonderful would it be if we could have a mayor that isn't having partisan spears tossed at them daily or fighting recall efforts and such.
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Postby jessep28 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:42 pm

President Bush 43 went to a NAACP rally once a year and spoke.
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Postby Uffda » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:37 pm

jessep28 wrote:President Bush 43 went to a NAACP rally once a year and spoke.


I don't think that is true.  I can find that he first spoke to the NAACP IN 2006 after not going for the first 5 year of his administration. He might have given a speech  in 2007 & 2008 bu I can't find that.

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Postby jessep28 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:42 pm

Uffda wrote:
jessep28 wrote:President Bush 43 went to a NAACP rally once a year and spoke.


I don't think that is true.  I can find that he first spoke to the NAACP IN 2006 after not going for the first 5 year of his administration. He might have given a speech  in 2007 & 2008 bu I can't find that.


You could be right. It's been a long time and I just remember hearing on the news that he gave a speech at the NAACP that day.
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Postby nativeomahan » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:37 pm

Clearly, the mayor extended a symbolic olive branch to the LGBT community.  We will see if this marks a trend or an aberration.

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Postby Coyote » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:06 pm

[font=Georgia]Mayor orders fire chief to keep quiet on budget[/font]

In the context of making any commentary to the public or to the media, all questions relating to the budget and the impact of the budget on public safety shall be referred to the Mayor.  This directive is not intended to limit any commentary you make on your own time or as a private citizen.  However, absent specific permission, under no circumstances are you or any member of your staff permitted to comment on the budget or the impact of the budget on public safety during work hours, while in uniform, or in any way holding yourself out to represent the City of Omaha or the Fire Department.
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Postby Uffda » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:19 pm

So maybe she is trying to set him up

The fire chief, however, is among a small group of specially protected city directors who can be dismissed only for cause. City code refers to cause as anything that reflects discredit on the job “or is a direct hindrance to the effective performance of the city government functions.”

Such employees, according to city code, can be subject to discipline, including dismissal, for such reasons as criminal behavior, habitual use of alcohol, insubordination, incompetence or negligence.

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Postby bbinks » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:10 pm

Uffda wrote:insubordination, incompetence or negligence.


yes, yes, and probably not.

2 out of 3 should be enough to get rid of him.

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Postby jessep28 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:39 pm

Insubordination is likely easier to prove, especially since notice has been given with regards to how he can communicate as the Fire Chief.

On a second note, since this election thread has shifted to city politics in general, maybe this should be renamed or the Stothert Administration stuff moved to a new thread.
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Postby Coyote » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:28 pm

Who saw this coming?

[font=Georgia]Stothert: 'We need a new chief'[/font]

KETV wrote:“I don't think there's any secret that we need a new chief, and it would be better lead and better run with a new chief,” Stothert said. Stothert said of all the department heads, the fire chief has been the least cooperative.
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Postby jessep28 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:57 pm

It's not surprising.
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Postby Uffda » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Coyote wrote:Who saw this coming?

[font=Georgia]Stothert: 'We need a new chief'[/font]

KETV wrote:“I don't think there's any secret that we need a new chief, and it would be better lead and better run with a new chief,” Stothert said. Stothert said of all the department heads, the fire chief has been the least cooperative.


Why do I get the feeling there were a couple of unsaid words in the following statement?

I've made it very, very clear that I need a change. I want a chief that I can choose and that I trust, AND CONTROL” Stothert said.

Also she sent out a memo saying dept heads could not talk to the press without her office knowing about it first. Now she has said all the depts have been told verbally that they can speak with the press.  I don't blame the fire chief for wanting the release in writing.

:shock:

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Postby jessep28 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:14 pm

I think this accurately describes the state of city government at the moment.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B0CyOAO8y0[/youtube]
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Postby Coyote » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:19 pm

[font=Georgia]Omaha's design standards have shaped numerous projects, but are they too tough?[/font]

Erin Golden: World-Herald staff writer wrote:Mayor Jean Stothert, who has goals of shaking up the Planning Department and removing hurdles for development, wants more flexibility for developers and is urging caution about the city's design rules. While she supports having design guidelines, she worries that the city may be asking too much — and driving companies to go elsewhere.

Stothert said the city's design standards were a key factor in a developer's decision last fall not to build a new Sam's Club near 147th Street and West Maple Road in northwest Omaha. She said she plans to reach out to the company with a clear message: My administration will not handle this the same way.

“I want to see if there is a possibility of getting them back, saying we have a new mayor now, new leadership in the Planning Department,” she said. “We want to approach things differently, and we do want to make things happen.”
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Postby Uffda » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Coyote wrote:[font=Georgia]Omaha's design standards have shaped numerous projects, but are they too tough?[/font]

Erin Golden: World-Herald staff writer wrote:Mayor Jean Stothert, who has goals of shaking up the Planning Department and removing hurdles for development, wants more flexibility for developers and is urging caution about the city's design rules. While she supports having design guidelines, she worries that the city may be asking too much — and driving companies to go elsewhere.

Stothert said the city's design standards were a key factor in a developer's decision last fall not to build a new Sam's Club near 147th Street and West Maple Road in northwest Omaha. She said she plans to reach out to the company with a clear message: My administration will not handle this the same way.

“I want to see if there is a possibility of getting them back, saying we have a new mayor now, new leadership in the Planning Department,” she said. “We want to approach things differently, and we do want to make things happen.”


Anyone know what the stumbling blocks were for the developer?  I did a google search of SAMs club building and it looks they a few different styles.

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Postby icejammer » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:21 am

OMG, is the Mayor actually grieving over losing a Sam's Club?  Seriously?  How many do we already have in the metro?  We certainly don't need one on every corner....
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Postby Coyote » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:31 am

The ironic fact about this statement is that the reason we have Omaha by Design is because of the 132nd and L St Wal-Mart.
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Postby Linkin5 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:40 am

Coyote wrote:The ironic fact about this statement is that the reason we have Omaha by Design is because of the 132nd and L St Wal-Mart.


You mean the elephant graveyard?  

This mayor is insane.

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Postby jessep28 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:27 pm

icejammer wrote:OMG, is the Mayor actually grieving over losing a Sam's Club?  Seriously?  How many do we already have in the metro?  We certainly don't need one on every corner....


One. Two if you count the Council Bluffs location.
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Postby S33 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:29 pm

icejammer wrote:OMG, is the Mayor actually grieving over losing a Sam's Club?  Seriously?  How many do we already have in the metro?  We certainly don't need one on every corner....
She's trying to keep the sales tax inside city limits, instead of Sams building at 180th and Maple (or wherever). It's a smart move.
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Postby GetUrban » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:51 pm

The mayor should not have any more say than you or me over the city's design standards. The standards should evolve periodically through a process of community consensus. Otherwise, we're going to have different standards every time a new mayor is elected. On the other hand, design standards can become too restrictive, much like neighborhood covenants in some cases.
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Postby S33 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:39 pm

You don't believe the mayor of a city should have an interest in whether or not current design standards are affecting the business climate of their city? By that logic, they should preside over nothing, as everything can change as mayors change.

I know you all love to hate Stothert and all, but, in this instance, she's correct.
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Postby Uffda » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:13 pm

S33 wrote:
icejammer wrote:OMG, is the Mayor actually grieving over losing a Sam's Club?  Seriously?  How many do we already have in the metro?  We certainly don't need one on every corner....
She's trying to keep the sales tax inside city limits, instead of Sams building at 180th and Maple (or wherever).



Omaha would just annex it there.  :D

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Postby S33 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:39 pm

Uffda wrote:
S33 wrote:
icejammer wrote:OMG, is the Mayor actually grieving over losing a Sam's Club?  Seriously?  How many do we already have in the metro?  We certainly don't need one on every corner....
She's trying to keep the sales tax inside city limits, instead of Sams building at 180th and Maple (or wherever).



Omaha would just annex it there.  :D
You're probably right
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Postby bigredmed » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:54 pm

Seem to recall a WSJ story about other cities getting tough building guidelines that made construction prohibitive and this pushing people out.  Sam's Club is one of the touchiest, but others followed.

Could be that she is trying to keep that train from pulling out of town.


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