The Battle of Westwood Heights


Do West “O” golfers have enough golfing opportunities?
Non-country club opportunities?
Cheap, open to the public, opportunities?

That’s part of the question for Mayor Suttles’s determination on whether to close Westwood Heights 9 hole golf course at 129th & Center.

But isn’t another part how successful the course is in comparison to other courses in town — if indeed the city is going to be in the golf course business?

According to the OWH this morning, though Westwood loses money every year, it is still the most successful of the 9 hole public courses:

Westwood tends to lose less money than the other nine-hole courses while serving more golfers.

The city’s other 18 hole courses keep the 9 hold courses going.

Of course, you should ask as well, how many people learn to play on that Westwood course? How many then go on to play at the 18 hole courses?

And not to pile on City Parks administrator Steve Scarpello, but…

Public courses were created to provide an affordable alternative to country clubs, he said, and the need for affordable courses remains.

“You can’t say there are a lot of (golfing) options in that part of the city,” he said.

Uh, well yeah Steve. You can golf at Highland. Or Happy Hollow. Or Oak Hill. Or Shadow Ridge. Or even Sunset.
If you’re a member.

(“He’s not a member Grampa, he’s a CADDY…”)

Public? Well, there’s Pacific Springs and Johnny Goodman, I suppose. But again, those are 18 hole courses, hardly for the beginner.

So instead we get back to the question of what does it all cost. Someone proposed increasing fees by two bucks.

Well, that’s a fine idea so the Mayor’s going to spend NINETEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to see if that’s a good idea.

Here’s an idear: Give Westwood the nineteen grand, and just keep it open, and increase the fees by one or two bucks and see what happens. Or have your new highly paid Finance Director figure it out.

In any case, way to continue to piss people off, Your Honor.

***

Back to the “Figuring it out on your own” category, former Council Jim Vokal will be announcing, via his group OMAPAC, that they’ve raised enough cash to keep Elmwood Pool open for another week.

I don’t know Jim, I think that money would have been better spent on a consultant to see if you COULD keep the pool open another week…

Also, note that unelected community leaders, Virgil Patlan and Hal Daub among them, are working to do the same thing for Hitchcock Pool.

Though apparently the Big Cheese at City Hall thinks it’s a better idea to close those pools and have the youth of the city with no where to go, while out of school, during the hottest month of the year.

(Though apparently there are tee-times available at Fontenelle Golf Course…)

***

The race for the 2nd District Congressional seat is already getting attention — basically because President Obama won the district’s electoral vote, even though Congressman Lee Terry was re-elected .

So now we already see Dems getting into a lather about Tom White contesting, and the national GOP willing to give Terry some attention and the fundraising already going on.

Others (ahem) have suggested that Terry is behind on fundraising, particularly in comparison to Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith. Which is knotheaded of course, considering that Fort and Smith had nominal challenges in 2008.

Also consider that Terry had to spend all his money in the 2008 race to beat back all the Obama cash, and wasn’t able to transfer any into his 2010 coffers, as he has in the past. We’re told that Terry’s 1Q and 2Q campaign fundrasiing receipts are on target, and look forward to sustained funding for 2010.

Anyone who thinks Tom White will have the same sort of support Esch garned via Obama in 2008, for White’s 2010 campaign is sorely mistaken.

Anything you see otherwise is political spin at the highest level. You’ve been notified.

139 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    If Suttle spends $19,000 on a study that his $70,000 over paid Finance Director should pay for from within her budget to discover nothing more than ALL City owned courses should be sold to a private company and managed by said company, then we are all in for a shi**y 4 years!

    It is not rocket science, raise the rates nominally at all courses or continue to subsidize all courses.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don't raise my taxes. I don't care if you call it a usage fee, a greens fee, or an entertainment tax, DON'T RAISE MY TAXES UNTIL YOU CUT ALL THE FAT.

    Close any all parts of governemnt that don't pay for themselves starting from the golf courses to the mayor's office.

    While were at it lets privatize police, firefighting, and garbage collection. We could be an example for the world.

  3. GeosUser says:

    If you look through Suttle's donor list, there has to be at least one from a developer that would love to get their hands on Westwood for a song compared to its actual market value.
    Privatizing garbage collection and even the fire department isn't a bad idea. It's been done successfully in other cities…some larger than Omaha.
    I hope someone has calculated when the recall petition drive should start so that it can be included on the May 2010 ballot. Just think of the immediate savings available when Suttle and all his over compensated assistants hit the pavement.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lee Terry has more to be concerned about besides Tom White. He's going to have a hard time surviving Matt Saklosky's likely successful primary challenge. Tom "no age limit child safe haven" White has lots to be concerned about in any case.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A real conservative ought to reject the notion of a public (i.e., socialist) swimming pool and golf course. Why should I have to pay for your golfing and swimming habits?

  6. NE Voter says:

    Westwood is the only one in a true development corridor. It makes sense that it be targeted for closure; sale and development.

    Suttle has presented an honest budget. It contains substantial cuts and new revenue streams. Is there more that could be cut? I'd say the answer is probably "Yes," so we'll see what the Council comes up with.

    Methinks it will be difficult for the Council to find cuts in areas like Parks/Recreation/Libraries that directly impact their individual districts. Methinks the Council will look to layoffs. However, you can't close and $11,000,000 gap unless you lay off about 400 people. Not gonna happen.

    I'm glad Jim Vokal and his minions were able to raise private funds to keep Elmwood pool open an extra week. Kinda shows that citizens are willing to pay for things they want. For an extra $36 year (on the property tax piece), none of these kids would lose their pools and libraries.

    Citizenship. Hmmm, now there's a thought.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anon 12:17 is too funny. Lee terry spent 1 election cycle taking a no-name for granted-Esch Round One. If you recall, he said at the beginning of the last Esch Race that it would never happen again.

    Lee Terry will raise enough money to lay out a no-name, named sack and then take down White in November. Unless this sack man wants to end up in the same unemployment line that Esch is back in, he would rethink the damage he is attempting to inflict by way of a 1 issue race.

    BTW, the wife is going to have to donate more than the $1000 bucks she already has to his $6400 total raised (more than $2500 from the candidate, himself).

    As for White, he will implode all by himself, I bet Lee Terry smiles when he pushes him over the implosion cliff 🙂

  8. BRM says:

    There are comments about developing Westwood. These talks are goofy considering the wetlands prohibitions that are on that property. In case one forgets, the golf course straddles Hell Creek. This watershed is protected and would cost a bloody fortune to develop in a way that doesn't aggravate the run off issues of this tributary of the papio system. It is best to leave it as green space and if we can make a few bucks off of golfers, then so be it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think we all can agree on one thing. Suttle shouldn't lease the golf course to anyone. We all know how good he reads a lease agreement.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't state law prohibit the city from selling off park land, including the golf course?

    With that being pointed out, someone explain to me again why Westwood should be closed when it serves the most golfers and loses the least amount of money?

  11. Matt says:

    I would like to clarify for the record that my intention has nothing to do with inflicting damage. Quite the opposite. As a matter a fact, I discussed this briefly with Congressman Terry a few weeks ago in person. I clearly stated to him that we are up for a discussion within the ‘family’ and it will be done with integrity and character and we have the same expectations from his camp. We will discuss this again soon when our schedules permit. The party needs an open and honest debate on the issues then we will both close ranks and support the ticket against Tom White. Tom White would be detrimental for the 2nd district.

    Our campaign has already spoken to thousands of voters. We have had an overwhelmingly positive reception. In the end, the voters’ voices will be heard and we feel we are in a very strong position. Either way, we will work to protect the common sense values of the 2nd District and work to strengthen the party with a positive message.

    The wonderful thing about our great country is the ability to stand up and be accounted for. The issues we face together are bigger than the 2nd district. Now is not a time for ‘listening tours’. We need to fight for the very essence of our American values. We need to stand against Obamacare, Government Motors, the Czars, and the Cap and Trade bill. We need strong traditional leaders that can inspire the next generation of voters while standing strong now.

    Matt Sakalosky

  12. Anonymous says:

    Values is a term that went the way of the plow. Why don't you try defining what those "values" are other than a tired, worn and overused sound bite du jour. Seemingly clever labels end true discussion.

    Before you focus on Tom White, who isn't factually declared, define what it is the good people are saying to you instead of what you are telling the electorate you think is the mess. I am so sick of political types yapping about their
    views when they haven't done time in the trenches and cocoon themselves with like thinking. Or,
    go to DC only to pontificate to the local media types. Knowledge comes from "listening" of which there is far too little as it stands. Arrogance is bred from failures to communicate.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Oh Sak, as a Republican in Omaha who would like nothing MORE than for you to beat Lee Terry — PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't focus on the "values" word too much in your campaign. That's not how you're going to win.

  14. Anonymous says:

    STOTHERT, GRAY, AND THOMPSON voted to repeal the minimum manning ordinance…Where is good old Chuck Sigerson…hmmmmm

  15. Matt says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    Thank-you for your response. The views I have personally and politically are on display in the public domain, they are quite easy to find and have been available for some time.

    I consider every hard-working citizen that goes to work everyday making an honest living, paying their taxes, and doing their best to raise their family as having 'done their time in the trenches'. To think otherwise is to buy into what Reagan once said about 'those who think only a few intellectual elite in a far distant capital can make better decisions for you than you can make for yourself.'

    Common Sense values and traditions are not relics and it does not take a listening tour to understand. This is why our party has been in such trouble recently. It pains me to see this happening to both party and country. But we will make a comeback!

    History is filled with examples from Washington, to Lincoln, to Reagan…examples of what happens when we elect strong leaders with integrity. The problems we face are bigger than one party and we must all pull together.

    I will be doing a town hall meeting this week listening and communicating as we are doing everyday. I invite you to email me and be a part of the process.

    While my schedule does not always allow me to blog, my afternoon was freed up and it has been great catching up with you today in this forum. It has been great fun!

    Matt Sakalosky

  16. Anonymous says:

    Stothert voted to repeal???
    WOW! And so many here and on other blogs said she was in the pocket of the fire union.

    Who dat now?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Matt,
    Your political views and value system are what they are and there for all to see, bravo. That’s the easy part. The hard part for you is 1. Lee is a solid conservative and 2. While you go on talking about what’s happened to our party over the last several years, don’t be surprised when the primary voters begin asking you, where were you when this was happening. I hope you at least vote in every election.

  18. Dayton Headlee says:

    Ditto anon 9:26,

    Matt,

    Thanks for the invite, I think… As a longtime member of the Douglas County Republican Party Central Committee and a volunteer for numerous campaigns over the last ten years, I invite you to become part of the process.

    Dayton Headlee

  19. Anonymous says:

    Matt Sakalowsky had his float parked on S Street outside St. Stephen the Martyr Church on Sunday. There it was, in full glittering red, white and blue glory — just sitting there. No life, no message, just this big stupid trailer full of glitter behind a parked pickup truck waiting for somewhere to go. Seems rather symbolic now, when I think about it. . .

  20. macdaddy says:

    Eagle Run has 2 public 9-hole courses, one of which is a par-3. And of course, Miracle Hills is a great public course, if you're the Dalai Llama. Long hitter, the Llama. While it's an 18 hole course, they will let you play 9. I think the OWH had a great smack-down of the reasons for closing Westwood rather than raising the fees by $2. It would make way more sense to close Fontanelle since it's losing a whole Finance Director's salary line.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I was golfing many moons ago at Fontenelle and I noticed a gentleman in June wearing a trenchcoat and it appeared to be wrestling with himself. After closer observation he was attempting to take a duck from the pond for dinner. I love that course!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Since Matt seems to be using phrases from Congressman Terry's t-shirts, I guess his statement on this blog should be taken as an endorsement of lee Terry.

    thanks Matt

  23. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify, this "TownHall" meeting is by invitation only?

    Why thank you very much for showing your true colors so early on mr obama-I mean, Mr sackman.

    I wish elitist politicians who think they are better than everyone else because their mammas told them they were would just go away.

    BTW, I also want to know what naughtiness was trying to permeate this here blog. SS, do tell.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Somebody on one of these posts asked about Suttle's Frolf course and his daughter on SuttleWatch. I found it in the comments on Wednesday, July 22, 2009.

  25. Matt says:

    Thank-you Dayton for the sentiment and I was very sincere about the invite. I would also be happy to sit down one-on-one to discuss any ideas, concerns, or thoughts you may have at any time. And I appreciate all the work you have done over the years for the party.

    I am also willing to sit down and discuss the issues and current states of affairs with anyone who wants to sincerely do so, let us build a strong future for our country together.

    (BTW, I will be a guest at the event and will be participating in the discussion…so no, it's nothing like the Obama townhalls, it's not my meeting:)
    Have a great night.
    Matt

  26. bob says:

    SS wisely asks, if a city should "be in the golf course business?" and then notes that "Westwood (golf course) loses money every year", and says all city courses lose money.

    These are taxpayer dollars we are talking about. That's a hint toward the answer.

    A golf course isn't a public park that every child or adult can use. A golf course is friggin huge. Dozens of sports fields and public multi-use areas can fit into the expensive manicured area set aside for a sport that most don't play often. Unlike a walking/jogging path, a swimming pool, or a playground, a golf course is the equivalent of a gigantic outdoor billiards table. A waste of public space and taxpaper dollars.

    Hell no, the City of Omaha should not be in the golf course business. The City of Omaha shouldn't run pool halls or race tracks or hang gliding cliffs or golf courses. People who want to walk around on a giant outdoor pool table should pay for it from thier own wallets.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What about Chuck Siegerson? He's pro-taxes and pro-union? Remember when Republicans used to be conservative? Jean Stothert is impressing me more and more every day. Chuck is impressing me less.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What is up with Chuck? Chuck you need to communicate with the party faithful!!! Your a good guy. What's behind these votes?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Someone is having a TownHall meeting for Congressional Candidates? Who is having this meeting that you have been invited to and are in charge of RSVP's for? Will Tom White be in attendance as "guest participating in the meeting"?

    Also, how would anyone that has never participated in Party Politics until he decided to run for office have any idea how hard Dayton has been working for candidates and the Party, both locally and nationally?

    Dayton is a busy college student that by that very title is probably cash strapped at most times (I guess this by the fact that his last name is not Esch) and yet he finds time and resources to go to both the DNC Convention to assist in the GOP ground war AND the RNC Convention to again assist in the ground war.

    What did you do last summer other than go boating with your friends?

  30. Anonymous says:

    SS, who the heck is Wang? And if he continues to bother us, should we find someone to put a horsehead in his bed? 🙂

  31. Anonymous says:

    SS, I can barely use the internet to get to your site. How am I suppose to figure out what movie that quote is from?

    BTW, you are revealing too much with this game, only men lock obscure quotes from movies away in their brains and then torture people with the knowledge later. You better be careful or I will report you to Shepard Smith over at Fox. You know what he says about America and torture!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Bob, but only if ALL the courses and swimming pools are treated the same. You can't just pick and choose the parts of Omaha that are most deserving.

    BTW, who wants to bet how long it will take Suttle to either find a "private" donor to keep Gallagher(sp) open, or will just appropiate funds to do so. I predict he will not leave that part of the City without a pool.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dayton:

    Before you spout out your republican creditials, why don't you remind the readers of this blog that you have completly abandonded your elected position as Young Republican's National Committeeman.

    Matt I would not trust Dayton as far as you can throw him. He's all talk and no substance.

    The only thing that Dayton cares about is Dayton and what elected official he can get his picture taken with.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wow. The Terry folks are in full-fledged attack mode against Matt Sak already, huh? Has Boomer moved back to town from Connecticut already?

  35. Anonymous says:

    For all you whiners out there who never golfed, did you ever throw a baseball on a city park diamond? Or swing on a swingset in a city park? It is OK, actually, for the city to create and maintain recreational activities for it's citizens. And yes, at taxpayer expense!!! Get people outside, get them to play, etc. Not everything has to make a profit otherwise one would have to charge for police protection. Why can't we recognize that these things (parks, golf courses, lakes) are simply necessary expenses for the good of the entire community?

  36. Libertarians of the World Unite says:

    For all you whiners, that is all this site is for, whiners. If it weren't for us, no one would read this blog.

    No my whine. . . Let private enterprise run our parks, golf courses, and other municipal entities. If they can't survive in the market of free enterprise, they should not exist.

    Government's only job is to protect us from our enemies. It is our job to protect us from ourselves.

  37. macdaddy says:

    Nice posters you have here, SS. Real sweet posters. Now I know why tigers eat their young!

    BTW, I think Suttle was actually in Caddyshack. He was the guy who was getting a massage and had to jump up and move his car before the judge had it towed.

  38. BRM says:

    Golf courses are not like parks or jogging trails. Parks serve a wide swath of people with a range of divergent interests and needs. Jogging trails are expensive to maintain, generate no revenue, and really only serve joggers in the vicinity of a jogging trail. Like jogging trails, golf courses are often built on land that would otherwise be unsuitable for any other purpose (like Elmwood or Westwood Heights, or Benson, all three being in flood plains.) At least with a golf course we get some revenue (just not enough).

    The question of public vs private ownership of the courses is fair.

    Should the city be in the business? The utopian answer from the libertarians is "no". That said, how many of you would be willing to put your money into Fontenelle Golf Course as a profit making business? How about Miller Park? Want to pay property taxes on them and pay for insurance and the mandated security from the gang bangers? These areas are then without these services in a purely private business model. The west Omaha courses would be highly valuable, which would cause fees to go up negating the value of the courses for families.

    Without a system that works for the whole city, you create a zone of endless public spending and a zone that is basically the tax factory that pays for it. Which is what we are getting now with the west Omaha services being slashed.

    The democrats gain their power from doing this. A bunch of east Omaha minority groups, guilt-driven white liberals, and downtown elitists who want to stick it to west Omaha for a variety of perceived faults. They will vote democratic out of hatred against west Omaha and fear that the republicans would simply do to them as they have done to the Westies.

    The republicans don't seem to be able to pull off enough power in west Omaha to counter this.

    The outcome should be a pendulum that swings east and west, but instead is stuck going east. The people in West Omaha get boned year after year and the people in East Omaha get services that they don't have to pay for, this becoming evermore dependent on the largess of the democrats.

    Westies handle their needs privately. They join private clubs that they probably can't really afford, go to bookstores instead of libraries, or just do with out.

    Over time, the Westies will see less and less value from the city and see less and less reason to be part of it. The tax revolt will be ugly.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Stothert knew there were already four votes to keep the ordinance, giving her cover to vote for repeal. That's not courage – that's knowing the count.

    Had she been the swing vote, her head would have exploded.

  40. what now? says:

    Oh the irony of the conservatives lamenting about poor people in Nebraska. Where will poor people play golf? Why are we closing pools used by poor people? Why is life so hard for poor people?

    Oh, I see, its a way to criticize (an admittedly ridculously stupid) Democrat. If Hal Daub was mayor and making the same arguments you'd all be talking about how poor people should take personal responsibility for learning to play golf and cooling off in summer. Why should our taxpayer dollars go toward "giving our kids somewhere to go"?

    The hypocrisy is astounding.

  41. macdaddy says:

    If I remember correctly, Hal Daub used to be mayor of Omaha. Did he close pools and golf courses in the poor areas of town? Maybe there was pressure to do so. I do not know. Suttle becomes mayor, there is no pressure to close pools and golf courses, and yet he is going to do it. So which hypocrite would you rather have? Which one actually cares about poor people? The one who talks about limiting their recreational opportunities but then doesn't and talks about lowering taxes and does, or the guy who says he's for poor people and will lower taxes but ends up raising their taxes and cutting their opportunities?

    BTW, for all the bashing of West O for being rich, you know if all the West O people wanted to live downtown and in midtown, the liberals would be crying about gentrification and how the poor people have been forced to live in Council Bluffs and take the footbridge to work.

  42. Anonymous says:

    A contraire Matt longing to be elected–

    What you view as values and traditions aren't necessarily what others view as their own which is why "listening" is crucial to be in any leadership position. One only has to look at Omaha's mayor to see someone tone deaf, yet believing he knows better, if not best. His listening tour obviously was either cancelled or went down a strange path to a different place.

    Granted, you can tell your story and post it publicly, but it is in truly listening to individuals that you long to serve where you become wise. Apathy and lethargy are rampant with voters and it's easy to see why.

    Likewise, integrity shows in how we treat each other in our daily rounds with promises made and promises kept. Small acts by commission or omission make big statements. Dare I say that goes for fellow Republicans who may justifiably wonder if you are worth your salt, when by contrast your opponent is what they already
    know.

  43. Anonymous says:

    If Terry was going to lose his seat, it would have been last year. With the downward slide of the liberals running the WH and Congress, it is delusional to think that Terry would be in trouble in any of the two upcoming election cycles.

    As for the golf course, I have one simple question: Why should the city to continue to run courses that lose money? If Westwood is in a good part of town, why not let somebody run it for a profit for a change?

    If Suttle cannot figure out a simple lease contract (hello Dodge), then why not let MECA handle this?

  44. Anonymous says:

    Golf courses in Omaha = golf courses in the Metropolitan area.
    Golf = entertainment.
    Golfing can be part of conventions.
    Running a golf course takes a decent level of authority.
    MECA should take over the courses!!! What a great idea Anon. 2:56!!

  45. Lee Atwater says:

    Anon 1:05, I speak from a position of knowledge when I tell you you are not correct.

    Stothert had made up her mind last week, well before anyone knew where the vote would fall. The true "swing" vote was Gernandt.

    Nice try though.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone ever hear why the Papillion mayor all of a sudden up and quit about a month ago? He never gave any explanation, just quit.

  47. 3rd floor watcher says:

    Lee Atwater is correct about Stothert. He mind was made up last week. Just ask the firefighters!!! Now what you should be asking is why Sigerson or Garnandt won't vote for it!!!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Still wondering where the Townhall is that the Congressional candidates were invited to. Has anyone found out if Tom White will be there?

  49. what now? says:

    The comparison wasn't between Daub and Suttle – it was between what Sweeper would say if Daub was the mayor.

    I indicated I think Suttle is a dipstick. Anyone could find a way to keep thse services open. Except him.
    I find irony in a right wing blogger lamenting the fate of the poor folk in Omaha.

    As for golf courses – hmmm…do soccer fields and softball fields and parks and gardens turn a profit? Part of living in an urban setting – if you can call omaha urban – is setting aside greeenspace for everyone to enjoy. Cities don't need to make a profit. But when you begin to make negiborhoods unattractive to homeowners and renters then you have a bigger problem coming. Omaha should eep the pools and golf courses open. Suttle should find a way to do it. If it takes more fees then so be it.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I am compelled to respond to some of the budget raving going on here. First, I repeat: Suttle has presented an honest budget — probably the first honest budget in 16 (Daub + Fahey) years.

    Before your heads explode, please note that I am not accusing Daub or Fahey of being dishonest. What I'm saying is that the economic conditions during their administrations were such that permitted those Mayors to push the problems down the road. And folks, when politicians can do that, that's what they do.

    Here's the deal: Suttle's budget preserves the current levels of service while attacking the shortfall head on. What does the budget ask of Omaha's citizens in return: (1) an additional $36 per year in property taxes on a home valued at 150,000 and (2) an additional $40 dollars per year if your entertainment budget is $2,000.

    An outrage you say? He should be tarred and feathered you say? The total increased tax load (in my example) is about $80 per year. That's less than $10 per month, and less than ten cents per day.

    You people need to get over yourselves and have an honest discussion about Omaha's financial crisis. I don't expect to persuade many folks on these Suttle-hating blogs — I come in peace with facts and (of course) my opinion.

    Peace be upon you.

    NEV

  51. Anonymous says:

    As all of us Dems know, a vote for Tom White would be a wasted vote.
    Lee Terry is already one of the Dems top ten favorite congressmen.

  52. Anonymous says:

    And, as we all learned in Kindergarten, playing well with others is very important when in a group setting. I am guessing that this is what a handful of Republicans don't like about Lee Terry, the simple fact that he is recognized by his peers as being able to play well with others.

    By the way, when was the last time you had to smile, plug your nose, and get along with someone at a gathering. It isn't hard, but it does take a certain kind of person to do it.

    BTW, this is probably the same reason the Dems don't like Lee Terry. He gets along too well with too many of their voters.

  53. Anonymous says:

    How is it that our mayor will close one golf course that loses money but not all of them? How much more does Fontenelle lose that Westwood? The real question is, Which of Suttle's friends wants to buy the land that Westwood occupies? If we want these courses to be profitable, turn them over to private groups.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify, I can't stand Suttle as our Mayor and I am quite certain he will drive our local economy to the brink. That said, everyone can drop the talk of one of his buds or anyone else developing any of the golf course land. State Law bars Cities of our municipal class from selling parkland-which includes golf courses. So, no development on any of them.

    Privatization is the only way to go and the company running them then makes a lease payment to the City-the way The Knolls does now.

    The only problem with this is that when the private company determines that a course needs to be closed, who takes the blame/responsibility then?

  55. NE Voter says:

    Wow, Sweeper:

    This blog used to provide some interesting discussion. Unfortunately, it has turned into Free Republican.

    Leavenworth Street R.I.P.

    Wake up, people!

  56. Nate E says:

    So now there are going to be 6 post office closings in Omaha, and five of them in East Omaha? Discrimination!!! All those damn West omaha types are just out to stick it to the ones in the east. Discrimination!!!

  57. Anonymous says:

    Hey Nate these were mostly kiosk stations that are within a few miles of a main station. The one at 17th in Farnam to be closed is less than a mile away at 13th & Pacific.

  58. BRM says:

    Nate E.

    One of them is in REAL MIDTOWN at 129th and Dodge. It will be a loss as it has longer service hours than the Boystown station at 144th and Dodge, but we will get used to it.

    Just like we do all the other services that are "Dear Leaders" keep taking away from us.

  59. Anonymous says:

    In regards to the entertainment tax only costing about $40 a year in taxes to a family that spends $2000 a year in entertainment…I look at my budget monthly…I typically spend about $300 a month in entertainment. The tax would only mean an extra $6 per month, but that doesn't mean I am going to spend an extra $6 per month. It means I am going to have 1-2 less drinks per visit to the bar/restaurant. For families it could mean less snacks at the movies or the zoo. Or for someone attending the symphony..one less drink in the lobby bar.

    The entertainment tax is going to hurt the businesses themselves the most. Since my entertainment budget is $300, then the business will get $6 less a month from me. Muliply that by the number of customers they serve and you will see whose wallet it will really hurt. The business owner…and when a business can't make the bottom line, layoffs and reduction in hours happen. If you take $6 per 100 customers, that's a $600 loss for the business…oh wait, they get to keep 2% of that which is $12…so their loss is $588.

    This isn't just about the people paying the txes, it's about the businesses who will have to charge it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    The only post office at 129th is in a Hyvee and there is a Main Station at 144th! You can buy stamps at any First National Bank ATM. If you are mailing a package, you are probably driving or being driven so what's the big deal with closing these Kiosk style post offices?

    Besides the fact that this is not a City issue (though I am happy to dump more blame on Suttle for anything you want),can someone tell me how the US Postal Service thinks they can save money by just closing a couple of shops, but not eliminating any staff?

    I wonder the same thing about the golf courses in Omaha? Isn't it likely that all of the employees that work at the courses are union workers? Yeah, you probably have a few part-timers, but you have to find a job for the full-timers that cannot be fired without cause.

    Cutting services doesn't do much for the bottomline unless you cut the employees providing those services.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Isn't Miracle Hills close to Westwood? Then why do we need Westwood. Privatize the golf courses.

    If you can't afford to belong to a country club, get another job or get a hobby you can afford.

    I would love to race cars, but the city won't subsidize a race track.

    If the Post Office is loosing money, why don't we privatize it?

    UPS and FedEx turn a profit.

    Wake Up People.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Time for a new thread about the Pony Express? Oh, I mean Post Office?? Why has it taken too long for the leaders to realize none of us need junk mail on Saturday. STOP that day and give these letter carriers a full weekend.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I agree, privatize ALL of them. But, comparing Westwood to Miracle and why dont we all take our kids to Miracle instead of Westwood?

    1) The course is way too hard for a learner and demoralizing a kid just learning makes them hate the game, not love it.

    2) The course is too long for kids and some seniors that just want to go enjoy themselves. Sure they have carts, but isn't golf suppose to be about getting exercise, not getting off the course as fast as you can with a cart.

    3) The men, and some of the women, at Miracle are bitchy too the kids and other slow players. This makes it less than fun to be out there. Westwood is a course where people are pleasant and just learning the game. You can play through, or if you don't know about that little courtesy, no one is going to scream at you and make you feel stupid for learning how to play.

  64. Anonymous says:

    On the postal closings:

    One of the offices–the postal impressions at 136 & Q plays an important part of the political process. As the latest closing in Omaha at 8 p.m. it was the prime location to send the absentee chase mail after the lists came out at 5 each night from the various elections commission offices. This closing will hurt all campagins efforts to get this mail to voters timely.

    I urge all of us in the political process to attend the hearing on August 10th at the Millard Library to make our voices heard.

  65. Anonymous says:

    One more time: Does anyone know where and when the townhall meeting is with congressional candidates in attendance? Is this fiction?

  66. macdaddy says:

    I said it before: Eagle Run has a great 9 hole 3 par for the kids. Full disclosure: I have no financial interest in the course and I am magnanimously extending an invitation to play at my home course – if that gives you any indication of my golf skills. As for Miracle Hills, Anon 10:39 is exactly right. I am neither a child or a senior (I'm right there in the meaty part of the curve) and I don't like playing there. I am still curious how Suttle thinks closing Westwood (I've never played there) is going to save money. It still has expenses such as a $19,000 feasability study and upkeep that will now go on without any revenue to offset it. So unless Suttle is considering letting it fall back to prairie land, selling it is the only way Suttle can keep it from losing the city money and from other posters here, the city isn't allowed to do that.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Why should we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep not just a post office for three extra hours, but an entire post office open, so some politician can send a letter to people too dumb to remember to vote.

    That is the ultimate in government waste.

    I agree, attend the meeting and voice your support to close the office.

  68. Anonymous says:

    A listing of what will fall under the new enterainment tax:
    > Batting cages
    > Most theater performances
    > Amusement parks
    > Miniature golf
    > Meals and drinks at restaurants and bars
    > Memberships to health clubs, country clubs, private swimming pools and entertainment/arts organizations
    > Arcade games
    > Fortune tellers/palm readers
    > Bowling
    > Roller and ice skating
    > Tickets to concerts and sporting events
    > Cover charges at bars and other venues
    > Movies tickets
    > Skeet ranges

    It does list it, but an article in the OWH mentioned a clown who is rented for birthday parties also will be taxed. So I wonder after reading this list, will the following be included:
    Movie rentals
    Inflatable bouncy things you see at parties for kids

    What is NOT included:
    >Community theater or performances in which fewer than 5 percent of the actors, directors and others are paid
    > Tips at bars, restaurants or gentlemen's clubs
    > Fees to play in a sporting event, such as Little League baseball or sand volleyball

  69. Anonymous says:

    A listing of what will fall under the new enterainment tax:
    > Batting cages
    > Most theater performances
    > Amusement parks
    > Miniature golf
    > Meals and drinks at restaurants and bars
    > Memberships to health clubs, country clubs, private swimming pools and entertainment/arts organizations
    > Arcade games
    > Fortune tellers/palm readers
    > Bowling
    > Roller and ice skating
    > Tickets to concerts and sporting events
    > Cover charges at bars and other venues
    > Movies tickets
    > Skeet ranges

    It does list it, but an article in the OWH mentioned a clown who is rented for birthday parties also will be taxed. So I wonder after reading this list, will the following be included:
    Movie rentals
    Inflatable bouncy things you see at parties for kids

    What is NOT included:
    >Community theater or performances in which fewer than 5 percent of the actors, directors and others are paid
    > Tips at bars, restaurants or gentlemen's clubs
    > Fees to play in a sporting event, such as Little League baseball or sand volleyball

  70. 3rd floor watcher says:

    You can tax Clowns!!! Great!!! Let's tax Jim Suttle, Scarpeello and all of the other imposters that Suttle hired as entertainment. I get a laugh every time they open up their mouth!!!

  71. Anonymous says:

    To reiterate, speed golf is not conducive to learning the game. 2 of my kids, under 13 have been yelled at by older golfers trying to get a "quickie" in while their wife or boss isn't looking.

    This does not happen at Westwood.

    I do agree with privatizing all courses and let the business decide if it wants to run one. I am curious what happens if a business doesn't want one, though.

  72. Anonymous says:

    I bet Ian Russell/Matt Samp are behind the Sakolosky and Terry posts (that attack one another). But they should look over their shoulder–plenty of time for another D to enter the NE2 race.

  73. Anonymous says:

    No, the tips the dancers receive are exempt. And really they should be because that is personal income. Just like a waiter's tips.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I am a member of an exclusive, ritzy and thankfully private club house. Let the rift raft have their little 9-holer.

  75. Street Sweeper says:

    First of all, it's "Club", not "club house". And second, it's "riff-raff", not "rift-raft".

    Come on now. I'd expect this from a 3am comment, but you've apparently just gotten to school or possibly work.

    Step it up, already.

  76. Anonymous says:

    NE Voter –
    Why is there soo much waste in our government? I understand your points in the budget issues but I don't understand why we don't just cut out the waste. Lets not overpay public positions by tens of thousands of dollars…let's not spend $19,000 on a study to tell us that if we raise the price of golf the course will mek more money. Simply taxing people more each time a budget is prepared isn't always the best and answer. Usually just the easiest…but not always the best.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Below is a quote from OWH:

    “I think we learned a great deal,” Suttle said, adding that he and his staff will review what they heard. But, he also said, none of the public comments or suggestions have caused him to rethink any aspects of his budget proposal.

    Just curious. Didn't he say his reason for "not having a plan" during the election was that he wanted to do what "the people" wanted?

    The man is going to do whatever he wants, regardless of what "the people want". Don't you people realize that he is just that much smarter than all of us. He knows what we need far better than we do, so just goose-step right behind him while he does what he wants with HIS city…or else!!!!

  78. Anonymous says:

    Entry from 10:21AM July 31st is correct in his/her recollection. The OWH also uses Vokal as some sort of sage…wish he'd go back to work at Coldwell Banker to see what develops in his career and quit forgetting he gave up his council seat and then lost his mayoral bid. Nothing like premature positioning.

  79. Anonymous says:

    "Once the president weighs in on any issue, it takes on a life of its own," Johanns said when asked about the situation during his weekly conference call with reporters. "I think that the best approach for this incident was simply just to let that process happen within that police department."

    I guess it is okay for a Senator to comment, just not a President.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if mentioned but the price tag for the golf study is interesting. $19 K, or just under the $20 K that would have needed council approval.

    Of course, someone else probably could have bought the survey for $12 K. We all know the Suttle teams negotiating skills.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Response to 3:11PM
    Yes, it is different for a President to comment on the original incident and the Senator to comment on the apparent fall-out from the President’s comments. The President’s comments were based on speculation about the initial incident and the Senator’s remarks were basically repeating the obvious. If anything you should fault the Senator for such a politically safe answer. Of course, I’m basing my opinion about Johann’s comments off your quotes.

  82. Anonymous says:

    The fire union is hosting a fund raiser for Chris Jerram? How convenient!

    We all see how things work now. Jean Stothert goes from fire union favorite to their top target in one vote, and Jerram lays down and they are getting him even more cash already. This on top of the $10,000 the gave him this spring.

    Makes one wonder, does the fire department run the city right now? Maybe Ben Gray is right.

  83. Anonymous says:

    I hate saying this because I have friends in the fire dept, and they are good people, but the fire department is ruining this city. The good people in it, need to take over, or the citizens will. Enough is enough. The union people sound like they belong on the Sopranos, and they've bought and sold themselves some of the people running the city. Well, we are taking it back…starting in Dec with a recall.

  84. Anonymous says:

    I would like to add my 2-10 cents to these comments. First, sell the city golf courses to farmers and let them make ethanol–and the City of Omaha gets 25% of the gross revenue. The farm and ethanol subsidies can be used to cut the city budget deficit. Second, someone asked earlier what is a Post Office. I too would like to know what is a PO and why do we have them if no one knows what they are?

  85. Gladyls says:

    By the way, she's making $180k, which is $80,000 more than the last, you know the ALSO, over paid, Fathey's Finance Director. Doesn't that make 2 over-paid finance director's?

    BUT, what's even more crazy is; CRAZY Jim FUTTLE is paying even more, in this economy, and as he put it, our nearly, bankrupt city. WHY? He's obviously, buying people off !!!

    Nobody, most likely wants to work under HIM !!! Even the Police Chief didn't want to work under him, TRUTH BE KNOWN !!!!

    Jim Suttle, is incompetent, and, most diffinitely, CRAZY !!! RECALL HIM AS QUICK AS WE POSSIBLY CAN OR HE'S GOING TO KILL OMAHA!!!

  86. Anonymous says:

    As far as Tom White is concerned just watch the floor work in the upcoming Legislative session. He was very "conservative" and guarded this last session. He spoke out of both sides of his mouth, and even more interesting he voted all ways.

    So just watch him, he will lose it a few times. Of course whats even better is he will try so hard to look like a concerned and conservative democrate while trying to keep his Trial Attorney friends like Lathrop ,and oh whats her face who chases snow plows, happy.

    Wonder what the rest of the pack will do to "set" him up?

    Wonder what his attendence and voting record will be?

  87. Anonymous says:

    Quit your crying everybody on LS Blog, you sound like a bunch of litle girls. "Oh, Jim Suttle is horrible, I can't take it, recall him". How freakin' pathetic.

    If Suttle is doing so terrible get involved and come up with detailed, practical ideas on how to cut the budget and move the city forward. Enough of the personal cheap shots, enough of the phony issues (his car, or the Finance or Planning director's qualifications,etc).

    Suttle inherited a huge mess that he did not make. Bush screwed up the national economy, Daub,Fahey & union screwed up the city's finances, Suttle is just doing the painful work to get the city back on solid financial ground.

    Instead of ripping the guy, you should be thanking Mayor Suttle and be working along side him.

    Let the constructive replies roll in…

  88. Anonymous says:

    To Anon 2:38 PM,
    Are you kidding? The man could have saved us a couple hundred thousand dollars on HIS cronies salaries, and LEAD BY EXAMPLE (rembember those words, when he fired his alleged pedophile top aide that he hired without inquiring about the allegations?). He could have found a different option than his over-priced toy/vehicle, once again leading by example. NOW, he wants EVERYONE ELSE to pay more taxes and take cuts, that he wont and thinks we'll goose step right behind him. He has been in office for roughly two months and he hasn't done a single thing right. In fact, he has been a complete disaster. You must be a friend, relative or one of his over-paid cronies looking to profit from his administration.

  89. Anonymous says:

    1st idea – 3 men on a fire truck.

    2nd idea – freeze all hiring for 1 year.

    3rd idea – cut executive salaries back to 2009 levels outlined in the 2009 budget.

    4th idea – tell the mayor to use his own car.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Ditto to the person the said to stop complaining. I agree, how about 1 single freaking democrat comes up with something other than "I didn't create this mess…"

    We've heard it at the national level every freaking day that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, Emmanuel, etc opens their mouth tho explain how they have spent trillions this year alone to save us money and clean up the mess from Bush and the republicans.

    Here's an idea-SHUT THE HELL UP and stop spending money! Lead by example.

    Here in Omaha, for example, Suttle could cut every new hirer salary to pre-inauguration rates plus 5% If they don't want their new job at the appropriate salary, they are welcome to tender their resignation. Close every golf course 3 days a week and reallocate staff. Exercise the option on the lease and dump it (sadly, it is too late to just take back the old one, but maybe a new Ford Fusion with front wheel drive would work) or drive your own and submit mileage.

    Halt all non-essential public works projects.

    AND, GET A FREAKING POLICE AND FIRE CONTRACT!!!

  91. 3rd floor watcher says:

    You freaking Idiot @ 6:04, You can say all you want about Hal Daub but he is the ONLY person who truly understands the city's finances. I'll admit he can be abrasive but when the city is facing insolvency there is no better person than Hal Daub to take the hits and move the city forward. Suttle has no clue what he is doing!!!

  92. Anonymous says:

    Is a Democrat finally acknowledging that the County Board is the retirement program for former Mayors?

    Maybe the previous commentor took his comment about Hal for County Board wrong-Maybe he truly thinks Hal would be a valuable asset on the Board just like his hero Moke Boyle.

  93. Matt says:

    Nice try Suttle Watcher. Just found out that he does not even live in the Omaha city limits. So Kennedy(oops I mean Suttle Watcher), why are you wasting your time and web space complaining about Suttle. Shouldn't you be more focused on the Millard School Board that you sit on.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Hey Matt,

    Millard has a $20,000,000 + cash reserve and has the lowest cost per pupil spending in Douglas and Sarpy County. Maybe we need Millard Board members to run the city. Jean Stothert for Mayor!!!

  95. Anonymous says:

    While you've all been bitching (and bitching, and bitching) about Omaha politics, New Nebraska Network has actually started becoming relevant again. They're discussing Nebraska politics over there, if anyone is still interested in such a thing.

  96. Anonymous says:

    before you comment on Tom White "losing it" you should get it together by learning to spell "democrat" there anonymous

  97. Anonymous says:

    WHO doesn't live in city limits? Are you talking about Suttle? And if he doesn't live inside the city limits – is he therefore, NOT even qualified to be mayor of Omaha?

  98. Anonymous says:

    To 2:38 PM:

    WOW, you must be Suttle !!! Because… Suttle has been blaming Hal Daub for this mess. As you just did !!!

    NOTE: Hal Daub hasn't been mayor of Omaha for 9 years now. So, how could he be at fault, for what Fahey has done in the last 9 years ???

    And, how about what Suttle is now doing these last 2 months?

    AGAIN, YOU MUST BE SUTTLE… POSTING THOSE IGNORANT STATEMENTS.
    That's his language alright !!!

  99. rasputin says:

    City golf is a Cash for Duffer's program that wastes a lot of taxpayer's dollars so that a few taxpayers can play a walking around game instead of getting real exercise. The City might as well subsidize hiring talent to service your spouse. And that's only because you spend all your time servicing this blog. Opps, I have something I need to do.

  100. Anonymous says:

    NNN may be posting "relevent" to them thoughts (like a call to arms to scare the peepee out of Bennie), but if you notice the comments, NO ONE EVER DOES!

    They are relevant in their own minds and occasionally try to entice people to be relevant with them, but it never works.

    And when it does, they censor you if they don't like your line of thought.

  101. Street Sweeper says:

    Geeez. Just relax (for about another 10 minutes)…

    … or perhaps you don't want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the Earth.

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