Omaha Mayor says he became aware of financial situation within days of election

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle says he became aware of the city's financial situation within days after the May election.

Mayor Suttle's comments came at the Omaha Press Club's monthly noon forum. The city has a $9 million budget deficit this fiscal year, which ends December 31. Mayor Suttle says a plan is in place to get the city through the rest of the fiscal year. That plan includes police and fire negotiations, wage freezes, and drawing on the city's cash reserve.

Next year's budget has a projected $11 million deficit. Last month, the City Council approved a property tax increase. Part of the revenue will go in the general fund. Suttle says a tax increase was necessary to keep basic city services operating.

Mayor Suttle hopes the city's future includes an arts district and implementation of the downtown master plan. One of the Mayor's long-term goals is to bring a light rail system to the city.

You can hear Mayor Jim Suttle's speech to the Omaha Press Club next Monday, October 26, at noon on Omaha Public Radio.