Omaha City Council fails to override mayoral vetos on budget plans

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 23:15:41-04

After getting told “no” by Mayor Jean Stothert on four amendments to Omaha’s 2022 budget and the Capital Improvement Program, the city council gathered on Tuesday with the chance to override those vetoes.

Five votes would be needed to override the mayor’s vetoes, something each motion failed to get.

The rejected amendments include a proposal by council member Juanita Johnson to hire a website consultant to help council members get information to their districts.

“Again, I would go ahead and advocate that we vote up for this item, this amendment, for $15,000 to have a consultant provide a website for District 2 as a tool to create economic growth," Johnson said.

Council President Pete Festersen also had several amendments rejected, one that would give money to the North Saddle Creek Business District for development, and two others that would be answering the call for better biking and pedestrian infrastructure.

“For me, the time is now for the government to be a good partner and start funding these opportunities and these initiatives," Festersen said.

Council member Vinny Palermo expressed his frustration as previously approved ideas failed to pass the finish line.

“Anybody that sits up here and they talk about bettering the City of Omaha, retaining people in the City of Omaha, making things happen in the City of Omaha, ask yourself why you’re not supporting what we have in front of us," Palermo said.

Motion after motion, the nonpartisan city council failed to override the vetoes, splitting along party lines 4-3 on every vote.

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