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AFP-NE Response to Omaha Fire Union Lawsuit

July 29, 2013

As you may have heard, the Omaha local fire union has filed a lawsuit against the City of Omaha, Mayor Stothert, and Fire Chief McDonnell.  The union believes the mayor’s proposed budget violates the contract between the city and union.  Here is more info on the lawsuit and here is the filed suit.

The Omaha World Herald published our response in today’s Public Pulse.

Firefighters union ignores fiscal realities

The lawsuit brought by the firefighters union against the City of Omaha, the mayor and fire chief is fiscally reckless and unfair to local residents.

Omaha families are already struggling, with an uncertain economy and unsustainable government spending weighing them down. Nebraska’s largest city owes more than $1 billion in municipal debt, burdening local residents with high property and sales taxes. Does the fire union really want to unload more spending on the backs of Omaha’s hardworking taxpayers?

Mayor Jean Stothert made the responsible move to find cost savings in the Fire Department — a department that has run over budget by millions of dollars in the past. Apparently, the fire union would rather continue down that path than help solve Omaha’s financial problems.

We Nebraskans love our firefighters for their heroic efforts when the unthinkable happens. We also understand that public safety should be a budgetary priority during these trying times. That said, the Omaha fire union should not get a free pass from the fiscal realities that thousands of the city’s residents face every day.

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