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Jean Stothert, RJ Neary square off in Omaha mayoral debate

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 23:13:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Monday, with just over two weeks before Omaha’s city elections, the two candidates running for Omaha’s mayoral position took part in their first televised debate to share their plans for the city’s future.

Republican incumbent Jean Stothert and Democrat RJ Neary discussed several topics, including how the city would be addressing police oversight as tensions across the country remain high.

Neary believes the city needs to reinstate the police auditor. Stothert says she wants to leave that responsibility in the hands of the Citizen Complaint Review Board.

“I think that is the best way to oversee police and their conduct, but I will say they don’t receive many complaints," Stothert said.

The candidates also discussed their plans for transportation. Stothert pointed to the work she’s done over the past eight years, specifically the $200 million bond to improve roads that was passed last year.

Neary says more needs to be done for public transportation.

“When I’m mayor, we’ll have a transportation system where everybody can get to the doctor, to the grocery store, and to work," Neary said.

On the topic of recycling, Neary says he feels citizens are not happy with the service they are receiving now.

Stothert says recycling efforts have greatly increased since selecting the new service.

“Our recycling, since we have started the new program, has increased 55%," Stothert said. "We were bringing in over 4,000 tons of recyclables. Now we’re now at 7,000 tons of recyclables.”

And when it comes to spreading those services further through annexing, Stothert says she believes growing the city is a good idea. Neary felt differently.

“Cities all across America are getting in the habit of annexing and trying to grow for growth’s sake," Neary said.

Voters will be able to make their final design for who they feel has the best plans on May 11.

Watch the debate sponsored by AARP Nebraska below or on our Facebook page.

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