|Transparency grading process|
Omaha is a city in U.S. state of Nebraska. It is one of 22 cities in the state. With a population of 427,872 in 2010, it is the nation’s 42nd largest city. It is the county seat for Douglas County.
- Main article: Evaluation of Nebraska city websites
Last rated on July 23, 2012.
- Budgets are posted.
- Elected Officials
- Council members and their phone numbers are listed. You can e-mail them through a form on the website.
- Administrative Officials
- Department staff is listed with contact info.
- Building Permits and Zoning
- Planning and zoning information is online.
- Audits are posted online.
- Bids are posted online.
- Information on how to register as a lobbyist is available.
- Local Taxes
- Information provided on taxes other than property taxes.
- Elected Officials
- Email addresses are not provided.
- Current contracts not posted.
- Membership to government sector lobbying associations is not disclosed, nor is lobbying expenditures.
- Public Records
- No information regarding public records requests.
- Local Taxes
- Property tax information is not posted.
The adopted 2012 budget totals in $735,178,894 expenditures.
|Parks, Rec and Public Property||$28,771,550||$31,158,807||$29,302,378|
|Convention and Tourism||$2,970,513||$3,113,445||$3,189,925|
|Other Budgetary Accounts||$110,814,195||$67,238,627||$67,578,411|
The city has a current deficit of $34 million, and the proposed budget of $70 million already included a $5.5 million cut. Omaha mayor's new mayor, Jim Suttle,, defends raising taxes he said he would cut. He has proposed the following tax increases:
- Wheel Tax Up 65%, on average $35 to $58 per car. The tax would raise $8.5 million.
- Restaurant Tax 4%, on food and drink. Raises $23.5 million.
- Property Tax Up 9.3%, on average $60 a year. Raises $12 million
300 people attended a town hall meeting to protest the proposed $44 million in new taxes, but Suttle maintained it is the only solution for the city. Currently, four fire stations are considered being cut, terminating 54 firefighter positions. City Council member Jean Stothert, has criticized Fire Chief McDonnell’s budget cutting plan is not acceptable. According to Stothert, “If Chief McDonnell’s best effort is a plan ‘that people will die’ I question his ability to manage his department and do what is best for the citizens of Omaha.” Shortly after, Suttle announced that the deficit for the city shrunk to $7.6 million, but maintained that that the new taxes should be implemented.
Support of the budget
- Omaha Together One Community (OTOC)
- Aida Amoura of Forward Omaha
Oppose the budget
- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
- Alliance for the Private Sector
The city of Omaha operates under a Mayor-Council government. The City Council is the legislative branch of government and is made up of seven members representing individual districts for four year terms.
The executive branch is the Mayor. The current Mayor is Jim Suttle.
Main article Nebraska public employee salaries
According to DataOmaha, Omaha paid $178,569,645 in salaries to employees in 2010 with an average of $43,692 and median salary of $45,965.
|Robert||Stubbe||Public Works Director||$148,624.90|
|Richard||O\'Gara||Human Resources Director||$142,211.43|
|Martin||Conboy III||Deputy City Attorney||$127,088.78|
|Thomas||Mumgaard||Deputy City Attorney||$127,088.76|
|Steven||Oltmans||Chief of Staff Operations||$124,999.93|
Main article Nebraska public pensions
Information regarding City of Omaha pensions can be found here.
Police contract 2010
Omaha's City Council voted unanimously on May 18, 2010 to force over 1,000 retired police officers, firefighters, and civilian workers to pay for part of their health insurance. An attorney representing the unions of the workers who would be forced to pay for the health insurance is filing suit in U.S. District Court in Omaha. The lawyer, Mike Dowd, is asking for a temporary injunction to stop the ordinance from taking effect. Dowd says the contract with the Omaha Firefighters Union says, “The premiums shall be paid by the city.” Before the vote, City Council members, Republican Jean Stothert and Democrats Chris Jerram and Ben Gray, said the city would be close to bankruptcy without the measure.
The City is currently negotiating a new contract with the Omaha Police Union. The proposed contract could not be discussed with the public due to a gag order, and has been hotly contested by the city council who call the police contract the "biggest bill taxpayers get." There has also been concerns about City Council President Garry Gernandt voting on the contract because he is a retired police officer, though lawyers have ruled there would be no conflict of interest.
If the contract is approved, the City would owe the police pension fund $12.5 million in 2010 into the police pension fund, bringing the budget deficit up to $22.5 million. Or the money could be owed in 2010, plus accrued interest.
Terry Moore, President of the Omaha Federation of Labor, announced that 14 “key leaders of the Omaha business and labor communities” are supporting the contract. 28 unions are part of the Omaha Federation of Labor, including the Omaha Firefighter's Union. The Federation was also found to have given significant campaign contributions during the past election, totally to $225,500.
|Stothert||$17,000 (independent expenditures)|
A 2010 examination of the fire department found payroll records and time sheet to be "unreliable."
Main article Nebraska government sector lobbying
The City of Omaha last paid for lobbying services in 2009 and in 2001. The city paid $40,000 in 2009 and $10,000 in 2001.
Transparency & public records
The city of Omaha website does not have any information regarding public records requests or policies.
Information on billing and tax procedures can be found on the revenue section of the Department of Finance.
- ↑ City Home
- ↑ Budgets
- ↑ Meeting Agendas
- ↑ Meeting journals and videos
- ↑ Council Members
- ↑ Planning and zoning
- ↑ Audits
- ↑ Purchasing
- ↑ Lobbyist Registration
- ↑ Revenue
- ↑ 2012 Budget
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Nebraska Watchdog, Exclusive: Fire Stations on Omaha Budget Hit List, Aug. 4, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Suttle’s Tax Hikes Get Mixed Review From Council, July 21, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Suttle on Budget Fall-Out: “I’m ready to suffer any consequences", July 29, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Exclusive: Omaha Fire Chief’s Competence Questioned, Aug. 4, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, City Hall Good News-Bad News: Budget Better-More Taxes Still Needed, Aug. 17, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Lawmaker Looking to Derail Omaha’s New Taxes, Sept. 28, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Mayor Suttle’s Budget and Police Deal Hit Hard, Aug. 10, 2010
- ↑ City Council
- ↑ Mayor
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Suttle Recallers Make it Official, Omaha Joins National List, Sept. 24, 2010
- ↑ DataOmaha, City of Omaha employee salaries database
- ↑ "City Retirees Lose Council Vote, Lawsuit Next," Nebraska Watchdog, May 18, 2010
- ↑ "Council Comments on City’s “Bankruptcy”" Nebraska Watchdog, May 19, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Omaha Police Deal Irks Council: Includes “Gag Order”, July 12, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, City Lawyers: No Conflict for Council President, State Ruling Next, July 23, 2010
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Nebraska Watchdog, Exclusive: Omaha Police Deal, Pay Now or Pay Later, Aug. 3, 2010
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Nebraska Watchdog, Exclusive: Push for Omaha Police Deal Has Ties to Campaign Cash, Aug. 16, 2010
- ↑ Nebraska Watchdog, Foley: Omaha’s Fire Payroll Records “Inadequate and Unreliable”, Oct. 28, 2010
- ↑ Open Secrets, City of Omaha, NE