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Omaha City Council fills vacancy in District 4 after Vinny Palermo's departure

Posted at 2:36 PM, Sep 12, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha City Council voted on the replacement for the vacant District Four seat on Tuesday afternoon. The council decided on Ron Hug after three rounds of votes.

This seat has been open ever since former councilman Vinny Palermo was stripped of his position on the council. Palermo pleaded guilty in August and has been ordered to stay in jail before his sentencing in November.

On August 1, when the seat officially became vacant, the council started the process to fill it and on Tuesday a new member was selected.

"I feel we had a productive group process and we'll begin a new chapter on City Council District 4 and I know we all look forward to having council at full strength," said Pete Festersen, president of Omaha City Council.

Council Vice President Aimee Melton acknowledged all the applicants.

"I think that the city of Omaha is very fortunate to have so many good quality people who are willing to step up and serve their community," Melton said.

Ron Hug said he was not expected to be selected, but said his priorities right now are building and restoring confidence in the district.

"That is where I was raised, South Omaha is a part of me. As much a part of me as my soul is, it's who I am. I mean it is deep in the fabric of who I am," Hug said.

Hug has served for 28 years on the Board of Governors for Metropolitan Community College. He is also a small business owner in the community. His most recent role was as two-term President of the Village Green Townhouse Association. Hug is also active on the Santa Lucia Festival Committee and with Sons of Italy.

Hug will take an oath of office at the end of September, officially becoming the new District 4 representative.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Council approved the city's 2024 budget with amendments approved Tuesday afternoon.

One includes an amendment by Festersen. It removes the increase to the cash reserve proposed and returns it to taxpayers in the form of a levy reduction and tax relief.

The council voted to approve the budget, 5 to 1, with Councilmember Juanita Johnson voting against it. The Capital Improvement Program for 2024 through 2029 also passed 5 to 1 with Johson voting against it.

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