Recall petition gets underway
October 21st, 2010
Omaha, NE – A petition to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle is officially underway. Surrounded by a swarm of news cameras, Jeremy Aspen, the spokesman for the Mayor Suttle Recall campaign, picked up boxes of petitions Thursday morning.
About 25 people stood outside the Douglas County Election Commission office, smiling and waving bright red placards, urging passersby to recall Mayor Suttle.
â€œWeâ€™re going to start getting petitions out right away,â€ Aspen said. â€œRight now, actually.â€
Aspen said the group has close to 300 volunteers, who will be circulating petitions at sites around the city, including restaurants, where the group says about 25 owners have signed on, upset about the mayorâ€™s newly imposed restaurant tax. Thatâ€™s one of three taxes the mayor passed in the latest city budget that has recallers upset. â€œItâ€™s a tough effort going afterâ€¦ recalling the mayor,â€ Aspen said. â€œLots of energies have been expelled in doing this. So weâ€™re finally excited that every time we get a signature itâ€™s going to count toward making this city more conducive to better leadership.â€
â€œOmaha, weâ€™re in a deficit right now, and we have to pay for city services somehow,â€ said Noelle Obermeyer, co-treasurer of Forward Omaha, a group of, as she describes it, â€œbusiness leaders and city activistsâ€ that supports the Mayor. The group has set up a website listing Suttleâ€™s achievements while in office, and quoting supporters in the community – notably, heavy-hitter philanthropist Dick Holland, who last week formed his own group opposing the recall. Obermeyer said the taxes Suttle introduced were necessary to sustain services Omahans need, and the recall is simply an attempt to undo last yearâ€™s election between Suttle and his opponent, Hal Daub.
â€œWe really havenâ€™t given Mayor Suttle an opportunity to correct all the problems,â€ Obermeyer said. â€œThis is mainly coming from a group of people who are both upset about the election and upset about Hal Daubâ€™s loss.â€
Daub has denied any involvement in the recall. Neither group has disclosed who is contributing to the efforts, and how much money has been raised. The recall group has 30 days to gather almost 27,000 signatures. If successful, the mayor can either resign or face voters at the polls, again.
Comments are closed.