Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
OMAHA—Despite insisting his deal was better, Democrat Mayor Jim Suttle today signed the city council’s contract with the Omaha Fire Union.
According to Suttle not going along with the agreement would hit taxpayers hard in pension spiking and long-term pension costs.
At the same time though the mayor says the council’s deal has “some serious” holes in it and leaves him with a $6 million shortfall in next year’s budget; red ink he “may have to cut services in order to pay for.”
But in an interview with Nebraska Watchdog, City Councilman Chris Jerram—a Democrat and part of the 6-1 vote in favor of the deal—indicated the $6 million is nothing more than a budgetary misunderstanding.
Jerram: “The money is there it’s just not in the fire account it’s in the wage adjustment account.
Nebraska Watchdog: It almost sounds like you’re accusing the mayor of not understanding his own budget.
Jerram: No I’m just saying…
Nebraska Watchdog: Because you’re saying he doesn’t know the money is in this fund not in that fund.
Jerram: Well maybe he just wasn’t told where the money was.
But City Finance Director Pam Spaccarotella says this is not a “budgetary misunderstanding” and the city is out $6 million.
A year and a half ago, after rejecting a contract between Suttle and the fire union, the council pulled the mayor away from the bargaining table and took over the talks which resulted in the deal signed by the mayor on Wednesday.
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