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Exclusive: Next Mayor-Next May? June? July?

By   /   September 23, 2010  /   News  /   12 Comments

As the possible recall of Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle picks up steam, Nebraska Watchdog has learned that if Suttle is voted out of office, voters apparently won’t pick his successor before late April or early May. And that’s nearly two months later than the recallers projected.

On Wednesday the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee released its likely timetable (see information below) for a recall campaign. It’s scheduled to officially kick-off tomorrow (Friday) when the recallers walk into the Douglas County Election Commissioner’s office, file a petition affidavit, and wait no more than five days for the Election Commissioner to formally notify the Mayor.

Then it’s a late October petition drive which if successful (nearly 27,000 registered City of Omaha voters) would find a recall election set for mid to late January. Assuming Suttle loses a recall vote, at which time the City Council would name a temporary mayor, the recallers said a special election for a new mayor would be held in early March.

But according to an investigation by Nebraska Watchdog that special election in early March is already off the table. Try late April or even June.

Election Commissioner Dave Phipps confirms that according to state statute, the special election must be held 90-150 days after the results of the recall election are certified.

Phipps expects a mid January, 2011 recall election would be official by the end of January. From that point it’s another three to five months before the special election can be held; that’s sometime between late April and late June, 2011.

By the way, there’s more.

If no candidate in the special election receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there is a run-off election between the top two vote getters. Recall spokesman Jeremy Aspen finds it unlikely a run-off will happen. But Phipps says if it does that run-off is to be held “as soon as possible.” Omaha City Clerk Buster Brown tells Nebraska Watchdog that according to the City Charter the run-off will be held 21-45 days after the special election; that’s late May at the earliest, the latest would be sometime in July, 2011.

The next regular election for the City of Omaha is May, 2013.

Reported by Joe Jordan, joe@nebraskawatchdog.org

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here


Mayor Suttle Recall Committee: Projected Timetable for Recall Campaign

 Friday, Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.

 • File Petition Affidavit with Douglas County Election Commission

 • Begins 25-day process for Mayor Suttle’s written Response (5 days for Election Commissioner and 20 days for Mayor Suttle)

 Late October

 • Check out Petitions and begin 30-day Signature Collection process

 Late November

 • Turn in Recall Petitions

 Early December

 • Recall Signatures verified by Douglas County Election Commissioner


 • Omaha City Council sets Recall Election Day (within 30-45-days be Law)


• Recall Election

 Early March

 • Special Election of New Mayor (editor’s note: see story above for updated information)


Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Dave

    You know, if the idiot in the Mayor’s office would of listened to the citizens, this would not be happening now. He has been in office over a year, had 4 years on the Council and acts as if “fuzzy math” is and has been the problem not his administrative decisons. He courted the unions and catered to their every whim. Even used the OFD union hall at 60th & Grover as his campaign headquarters. Now, $500,000,000 is short in their pension fund and he acts like, “Oh well, tomorrow is another day!”

  • Cliff

    It really is a shame the city charter allows the recall of an elected official because people dont like the person or their policies. Recalls should be reserved for criminals like Richard Nixon. Mayor Suttle won an election fairly and was placed in office by a vote of the people. If he is to be removed it should be through a normal election, not the knee jerk reaction of some political hot heads who think they have all the answers. He has committed no crime.

    There was talk of recalling Mayor Daub, Mayor Fahey, and now Mayor Suttle. The decisions this Mayor has faced are unprecedented in the modern era.

    Think back to the city losing its AAA bond rating. That was not his fault. One of the stated reasons the city lost that rating was because the local political leadership lacked courage to do the things necessary to fix Omaha’s financial crisis. One of those things was to raise revenue.

    The crisis Omaha finds itself in is not even unusual in political subdivisions across the country. Sales tax income has fallen like a rock due to no fault of Mayor Suttle. Perhaps those who have been around city hall for the last ten years should all be recalled too.

    In the election of 2001, a mayor and all but one member of the city council were turned down for re-election. I remember the business community, the paper, and many political pundits called for us all to be ousted for not getting along. So be it. That was the right way to do things. This recall effort will once again tarnish the reputation of our city and hurt our overall political and economic future. Wake up Omaha.

  • NE Voter

    Nail, meet head. Cliff, you’ve nailed it. This recall is bogus, dishonest, and dishonorable. To paraphrase the World-Herald when it’s ox was being gored, in 1987′ “Will Omaha be the first city to recall itself to death?”

    Shame on you, Hal Daub, Jim Cleary, and Pat Red Robin McPherson.

    Omaha deserves a future it can be proud of.

    Shame! You make.the city I love a laughingstock, a banana republic!

    Wake up, people!!

  • GeosUser

    So the timetable may be a little different one way or another, who cares? No one except Joe Jordan trying to muddy the waters on Mayor Moron’s behalf. Suttle has already done significant damage to Omaha’s financial future. Leaving him in office only guarantees more of the same. Anyone who thinks that is not true is a moron, like Suttle and Cliff. BTW, I won’t sign the recall petition. Not because removing Suttle would be a bad thing. My concern is that Hal Daub could be his replacement. Hal is dying to get in there so he can build his legacy project…the downtown light rail system. Now that’s a sure way to bankrupt the city and something he and Suttle both share.

  • Brad

    Very well put Cliff and you made your point without calling names. Now GeoUser what damage has been done to the future of Omaha by Suttle? Now be specific and make sure it was somthing done during his term that has “done significant damage to Omaha’s future”. Now this may be difficult for you but try and do it without calling names or hurling insults.

  • GeosUser

    (1) over paid & under qualified Mayor’s office staff & department directors; (2) failure to reduce overall spending; (3) under handed dealings to circumvent city charter in hiring lobbyists and lawyers; (4) police union contract failure; (5) upcoming fire union contract failure; and (6) proposed downtown light rail system. In the end, Mayor Suttle has proven himself to be incompetent, he continues to present a serious danger to the long term financial future of the city, and anyone who thinks differently is by definition a moron.

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  • PBL

    GeosUser nailed it! Do you need more reasons Brad?

  • James

    OK…a few months of the City council will not be as bad as a few months without a Mayor spending our tax dollars like a siftl! So what? I say we get rid of Mayor “Pothole!” I am not saying that I am pleased with the City Council either…expecially Ben Gray. I am GLAD he changed his vote! At least he did on the Pharmacy issue. He did the RIGHT THING there. But he voted against first. Not a good thing, Ben. YOU are the next one voted out. As far as Suttle goes…he is arregant, doesn’t listen to voters, spends money on things we don’t want such as the rail system in Omaha, imposes unfair taxes on his citizens, doesn’t represent us, favors Unions over the taxpayers, lacks leadership and has become the Obama of Omaha! I am so sorry if I have offended anyone…but it is time that we did!

    Time to trade to something more “Suttle!!”

  • Rob

    I think many regular folks out there could care less what the political parties and their former hierarchy says. We are pi$$ed. I am an everyday democrat, and this guy has to go. When you vote for someone, you expect them to listen, or at least fake it pretty well. This guy does neither. You expect elected officials to be respectful of the hard earner dollars that both republicans and democrats and independents pay! Don’t hire people with really big pay raises for the same job and don’t buy anything with a 24% interest rate when savings accounts are practically at 0%. He operates with a line of thinking that most people don’t get and didn’t expect when they voted for him. I am a democrat and will sign. (And if Daub runs I won’t support him either)

  • Brad

    Sorry got behind so this probably wont be read. No failure in the new contracts as far as I can tell. Concessions were made. Fire contract has not been settled yet so your statement make no sense on that one. I will agree with the overpaid staff but disagree with underqualified. Cuts and spending have been made so again your statement makes no sense. Proposed does not mean in progress or attempted so again no sense. In fact I am going to break my rule and call you an idiot lead by his nose by the biased media. My guess you are one of the bright ones who thinks letting the city go bankrupt is a good idea.

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