Omaha Mayor returns to work, defends pay raises for three staff members

Aug 13, 2012

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle is back at work---and unhappy about what he sees as unfair attacks regarding raises given to three members of his staff.

Chief of Staff Steve Oltmans, Finance Director Pam Spaccarotella, and Public Works Director Bob Stubbe received thousands of dollars in pay raises this year. Those raises drew criticism from some city council members, who accused Suttle of not being transparent about finances.

At a news conference Monday, Suttle argued the three deserved their pay increases. “They did this because they share my goal of turning this economy around in spite of this horrible recession. They kept businesses open that preserved the livelihoods of thousands of Omaha families, and they provided vital city services during a flood that lasted six months.”

Suttle says Finance Director Spaccarotella in particular earned her raise because of her efforts to find efficiencies in city government. “She introduced performance-based budgeting to city departments. She significantly reduced fire department costs. She successfully managed an audit of the Omaha Fire Department. She provided leadership in e-governance initiatives.”

The Mayor singled out city councilwoman Jean Stothert as the leader of the criticism regarding pay raises. Stothert is running for Mayor next year, and Suttle is seeking re-election.

A public hearing on Omaha’s 2013 budget is Tuesday at 7pm at city hall.