Omaha Mayor, City Council At Odds Over Who's In Charge When Mayor Is Gone

Photo: City of Omaha

(Omaha, NE) -- Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert wants to shut down any rumors about why she wants to run the city while out of town. She's currently visiting family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to the city charter, the mayor transfers power to the city council president when leaving the city. A city clerk says the rule is practiced when the mayor leaves the state, although that's another reason Mayor Stothert wants the outdated charter addressed.

Stothert said to let the voters decide, and not three city council members on a law committee.

Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen said in a statement: "It's important to have continuity and clear decision-making authority in case of an emergency or in case someone is unreachable in a time of crisis. Anything can happen in a city at any time."

Stothert recently married her longtime friend Dr. Kevin O'Rourke. She says she wants to shut down any rumors that she wants the charter changed so she can spend more time with him where he currently lives in St. Louis. O'Rourke is planning to move to Omaha.

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