With a month to go before Omaha's mayoral election, it's no surprise the city's contract with the fire union is a political issue.
Fire Chief Mike McDonnell, who used to be the union president, has sent a letter to City Council members saying he's going to come up almost $9 million short this year running his department. He blames the new fire contract and wants it reopened.
Councilwoman Jean Stothert, one of the seven council members who approved the contract and current candidate for mayor, says the contract will not be reopened. She says McDonnell needs to do a better job of managing the budget he's been given.
"The City Council took the authority to negotiate labor agreements away from the mayor promising the citizens of Omaha that they would deliver a better deal," says Mayor Jim Suttle. "Instead, they have delivered an $8.6 million cost to the taxpayers without any significant long-term improvement on the pension side."
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