Stothert Officially Takes Office

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email
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More than 200 people crammed into the Legislative Chambers Monday night to see history. Jean Stothert was sworn-in as the first woman to be Mayor of Omaha. The city council also elected its leaders.

"I -- Jean Stothert -- do solemnly swear..." A female federal judge did the honors for Omaha's 51st mayor.

As Mayor Stothert becomes the first woman to lead Omaha, she's facing a gender neutral issue -- solving a budget shortfall.

The 2014 budget is due at the printer July 1.

Mayor Stothert says it's $16-million in the red right now. That's not counting the $13.5-million that needs to be cut in this year's budget. She say the biggest problems this year come from the fire department and the tax incentive give-backs to the state.

"We have the finance department working with my team. We will balance the budget without jeopardizing public safety ."

Governor Dave Heineman, who supported Stothert in her campaign, told the city council that he came to the inauguration because he wants to improve what's been a sour relationship between Omaha and the State Capitol. "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the Omaha metro area to the state of Nebraska."

The city council has a role down I-80 too -- as its members took the oath of office.

Five incumbents (Pete Festersen, Ben Gray, Chris Jerram, Garry Gernandt, Franklin Thompson) and two newcomers, Aimee Melton and Rich Pahls were welcomed.

The council elected Festersen as president and Gray as vice-president. Both are democrats.


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