Well the candidates for Mayor held the last forum before the primary at the Omaha Playhouse. Might have been more fun at the Iowa Playhouse except to add more fodder for the next fireman sponsored t-shirt. Ok that was a cheap shot, but I had to get it in now.

City planning was on the table with Diamond Jim touting his “well” used bike lanes. I still say if you are going to dedicate a lane of roadway to bikes they have to join in the wheel tax parade.

The subject of urban sprawl came up and exposed a land grab disguised as a land bank where the city under Jimbos direction would “acquire” (confiscate) vacant lots on the North side and then sell them to developers with “incentives” to develop them. Anyone smell subsided housing? If you are going to give someone incentive then give it to somebody like Habitat for Humanity whose good work involves sweat equity and community volunteerism. But first, mow the parks you say you don’t have money to take care of before you “acquire” more land because once you grab it you have to maintain it.

Jean Stothert defended the push West saying people have a right to desire bigger houses with bigger yards (and higher tax bills which result in more revenue).  The truth is, Omaha has contained itself rather well over the years. The neighborhoods have stacked out West quite nicely. A great point was made that as the city continues to put a higher tax burden on people with inadequate services to offer for the fee, people will continue to move outside the city limits and reach. Just ask all the firemen that live out in Papillion and points elsewhere.

April 2nd brings the field to two and then the mud starts to fly.

I wasn’t ready to endorse anyone yet except I’m tossing my support in District 2 City Council to Tariq Al-Amin over incumbant Ben Gray and the others. Why you ask? I know Tariq has been sand in the vaseline at times but that’s good. He makes people think. I know the man and he isn’t afraid to let you know where he stands. He believes in North Omaha and the people who reside there. And he believes in the untapped potential in his district. It’s time to shake things up effectively in the district and Tariq can shake things up. Plus he pays his taxes.  Best of luck my friend.

Since the video of Omaha Police rolling an Omaha man surfaced, calls for the reinstatement of the police auditor had renewed. Even some Council members are rethinking their position. As long as it isn’t Tristin Bond there may be some basis to this.

One officer has been put on paid leave which translates into, pack your shit and start looking for a job in the mall cop department.

Councilman Ben I want the spotlight Gray said the Police Chief needs to keep the public informed on the investigation. So Ben you are saying screw due process and trial by media, right? Give the Chief a chance to do his job. If he blows it then call him out on it. He has put his ass on the stump by saying he will get to the bottom of it. My feeling is he has something to prove about being the right man for the job and you are going to get an honest response from him that the Police Union may not like. Not everything happens instantly and you don;t get immediate gratification. He has a duty to be thorough and accurate.  He has the rope, lets see what he does with it.

Ok that;s it for today. Please somebody do something stupid so we can lighten things up around here again.

Mongo Torrey




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