Mayor Stothert stumps in north Omaha, gets an earful in return - Omaha.com
Published Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:10 am
Mayor Stothert stumps in north Omaha, gets an earful in return

Mayor Jean Stothert took her campaign's message of streamlined spending and efficient government to north Omaha on Monday afternoon.

In her first appearance in the area since taking office, Stothert repeated her goals of lowering taxes and improving city services. She again identified crime, education and job creation as her three primary concerns for the economically stressed district.

The mayor also got a taste of blunt talk that's customary at north Omaha community gatherings with elected officials.

“Talk about what you're going to do to change the reality that we are one of the poorest black communities in the United States,” resident Vickey Parks told Stothert.

Just because businesses locate in Omaha doesn't mean they'll build in north Omaha or employ its residents, Parks said.

Perhaps, Parks said, “you're going to have race riots because you didn't pay attention to us about the conditions we are living in, not the conditions you live in, in Millard.”

Stothert replied: “It's not just about where I live in Millard. Like I told you, I grew up in inner-city St. Louis. So don't think for a minute that I don't understand what poverty and living in an inner city is like.”

Earlier in the meeting, Stothert had talked about her youth in Wood River, Ill., a “little blue-collar refinery town” well on St. Louis' northeastern fringe.

“It had one bathroom, one living room, two bedrooms. That's how I grew up,” Stothert said.

To create jobs in the city and in north Omaha, Stothert said, she would be directly involved in efforts to recruit and retain businesses.

“When companies need to hear from me, they will hear from me,” she said, adding there was a “99 percent chance” that a widely known company will soon announce plans to locate its corporate headquarters downtown.

Stothert also cited the city's ongoing efforts to seize a vacant stretch of north Omaha property to eventually develop into parcels for industrial companies.

Stothert, who opposed obtaining the site through eminent domain when she was a City Council member, said no developers were currently interested in the land, near 16th and Locust Streets.

“But once we get this project going, I believe that you will see those industries being more and more interested in Omaha,” she said.

Stothert said her administration also will begin to assemble a citizen-based police review board this summer rather than reviving a dormant auditor position that she opposed during her campaign.

She said she hoped to “free up police officers of doing busy, desk-type work that they don't need to do” to get more cops on city streets, and she repeated plans to hire enough police officers next year to bring the department to its current budgeted level.

She also plans to lease new police cruisers and find a way to purchase updated radio equipment.

Stothert, a former suburban school board member, said she planned to partner with local school districts to work on job training or anti-truancy efforts.

“Trust is something you earn, and I'm telling you I will work very hard to earn your trust in the next four years,” Stothert said.

State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »