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Omaha mayoral candidate RJ Neary wants vaccination czar, equitable city

Commercial real estate broker proposes investing existing tax into visitor’s bureau
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - RJ Neary wants to be Omaha’s next mayor.

“Confrontation is not my style,” he said. “I lead from the front and get people to come along.”

6 News met Neary at his company, Investors Realty, in southwest Omaha. This used to be home to Western Electric.

“We wanted something different for our office, other than a normal office,” he said.

While transforming the space with reminders of the Omaha he knows and loves, the broker kept some of the building’s history; He pulled down on a massive chain and pulley system still attached to the ceiling.

“I’m an Omaha guy. I love Omaha. I’m a problem-solver. I think my skills, knowledge, and experience lend itself to going to city hall and helping Omaha reach its potential.”

Neary entered the commercial real estate business in the late ’80s. It’s been his wheelhouse ever since, as he spent 10 years on the Omaha Planning Board.

“We can’t miss another College World Series or Warren Buffett shareholder’s meeting,” he said.

Neary recently was vaccinated, and part of his plan as mayor would be to hire a COVID-19 czar to better manage vaccinations.

“As happy as we were leaving the vaccine clinic, our restaurants haven’t recovered, our small businesses haven’t recovered. I’ve watched cars at the food bank three to four blocks long,” he said. “My plan isn’t to wait for things to come back. I want to take 5% of the restaurant tax and give it to the visitor’s bureau to get things going again.”

From streets to trash, RJ Neary vows to do basic city services better, but there’s one issue voters keep coming back to.

“I asked people what they would like changed in the City of Omaha, and it was ‘a less segregated and equitable city.’ Almost every door.”

RJ Neary says there’s one quality he’s stuck to over the years: being a straight-shooter.

“Part of leadership is knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t. I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Like when I was on the planning board, if you follow the master plan and try to do the right thing, you usually end up in a good spot.”

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