When I was elected to represent District 7 on the Omaha City Council in 2013, our city faced many tough challenges. Skyrocketing taxes, a deficit budget, and rising crime were my top priorities. Since then, Omaha’s budget deficits have turned to surplus, and we’ve cut property tax rates twice. We’ve made public safety our number one concern – by adding more police to our force, scheduling the replacement of our aging fleet of cruisers, and investing in new technology. We’ve made great progress in Omaha. Our city is growing again, and I believe that momentum can carry Omaha to an even brighter future. Let’s keep it going, together.
Public safety is, and always will be, my top priority. Exceptional police and fire services that protect property and save lives start with the right policies and resources. In the last four years, we have added new police officers, replaced our aging fleet of cruisers, and invested in new police technology, like body cameras. I have worked with Mayor Stothert to take the West Omaha Precinct from an idea to a concrete plan, and soon, a reality.
2016 saw Omaha’s lowest number of shootings in a decade, and the lowest number of homicides in thirteen years. Omaha police are surpassing national averages in clearing cases. The resources we have added are being put to good use, but there is more to be done.
Lower Taxes, Responsible Spending
In the last three years, we have cut property tax rates twice, and we have eliminated many city fees. But, city taxes are still too high, and other jurisdictions continue to raise rates and valuations on Omaha area taxpayers. I will continue to work to cut taxes and fees, and lower the burdens of government on working people.
While cutting property tax rates, we have controlled spending and turned the budget deficits we inherited in 2013 into four straight budget surpluses. We also increased cash reserves.
Omaha must continue to address its pension liabilities. In the last three years, we have enacted reforms that protect taxpayers and ensure that the city can meet its obligations to both current and future pensioners.
A Dynamic Economy
Over the last four years, Omaha has added nearly 8,000 net new jobs. Less crime, lower taxes, and expanded city services have contributed to a renewed confidence in Omaha. Business is growing, development is expanding, and Omaha’s creative culture is flourishing.
Another key to economic growth, of course, is infrastructure. A dynamic city needs a well-maintained road system. While controlling spending, we have made critical investments in road resurfacing and street improvement – boosting spending from 2013 levels.