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Stothert, Melo face off in Mayoral forum

Third candidate crashes the show
Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 23:16:30-04

The Omaha Downtown Improvement District held a Mayoral Forum Tuesday night and invited Mayor Jean Stothert and Heath Mello, but candidate Ean Mikale made his presence known.

Mikale, who was not invited, jumped up on stage and began giving his 10 minute speech, but board members of the OIDID had left the room to have their board meeting.

Mello and Stothert were each asked the same questions by the board.

The first questions asked about prioritizing projects in downtown, like the civic auditorium, the Riverfront development, and the Gene Leahy Mall development.

“I am concerned there is a lot of conversation being had, but it is not being had with the public, we are not actually searching what the public wants to see downtown Omaha look like in the future,” said Mello.

“What we envision is something that will bring people down there all the time, all days of the year,” said Stothert.

They were also asked about a street car project and how they will get people on board with the idea.

“It is our job to educate the public and that is the statement I made in the Herald the other day and we will have numerous forums this summer,” said Stothert.

“ That will take time, that is a 30 year vision for me, that will outlast any public time in office, I am convinced that is the opportunity we have moving forward is to focus on that vision,” answered Mello.

Mikale did get time on stage in front a few people and he talked about green energy, drone programs, and education.

“I am the person and only candidate that has experience inside a classroom, and working and curriculum as well,” said Mikale.