Two groups seek to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle

Omaha, NE – Two community groups are taking the first steps toward a possible recall of Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.

The Mayor Suttle Recall Committee announced Thursday morning they're raising funds toward a possible recall. Committee Spokesman Jeremy Aspen says their effort focuses on the Mayor's handling of fiscal matters. "Citizens that we've spoken to have a real concern for where the city's heading, a grave concern considering the fiscal management of the city government, the tax burden that we're putting on families, and the long-term contractual agreements that are going to affect us now and long in to the future," Aspen says.

The Committee expects to make an announcement next month as to whether or not they'll pursue a recall.

Meanwhile, another group called the Omaha Citizens Coalition took out petitions Thursday. Their petitions target not just Suttle, but also Councilmen Pete Festersen and Jean Stothert. Coalition spokesman Lowen Kruse says his group is concerned about how the three have handled the budget.

Omaha's municipal code says a Mayor can be recalled for six reasons, including failure to meet the qualifications of office or conviction of a crime. Once a public official has responded to a recall request, the committees have 30 days to collect nearly 27,000 signatures.

In a statement, Mayor Suttle says "While I respect the rights of our citizens to disagree with my policy decisions, I will not be distracted from completing our work on the 2011 budget and continuing to move our city forward."