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Omaha City Council, District 3

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    Chris Jerram Attorney, Chris Jerram Law

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Biographical Information

What are the top three issues you feel must be addressed in the next four years and how will you do so?

What steps should the City of Omaha take to expand economic growth?

Are there services or operations that you think the City and County should consider merging and why?

What are Omaha’s most pressing transportation needs? If elected, how would you address those needs? (Online only)

What, if any, changes would you like to see to the current waste collection system? (Online only)

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Address 4740 Hickory St. (Morton Meadows) chris@chrisjerram.com
Current Public Office, dates held Omaha City Councilmember- District 3 2009 to present.
Past Public Office, dates held Omaha City Councilmember, 2009-present Omaha City Council Vice President, 2015 to present.
Education Juris Doctor, Creighton Univ School of Law 1991, BA Ohio Wesleyan Univ 1987
Volunteer experience Douglas County Board of Health, Durham Museum Board of Directors, Governor's Council to Keep Nebraska Beautiful, Morton Meadows Neighborhood Assoc., Holy Cross Church, School & Booster Club, Omaha Zoning Board of Appeals. Mercy High School
1. We must keep our neighborhoods safe and strong by continuing to support our police and fire departments and neighborhood and community groups. We now have 860 police, 100 more than when I was elected. As our city's population grows, we must continue our commitments in these areas. 2. We must continue our efforts to keep Omaha an affordable place to live by responsibly managing our budget. We have reduced the city property tax mill levy rate in 2 of the last 4 years. We must make sure we develop and maintain affordable housing options. 3. We must continue our city's economic development and job growth with opportunity for all Omahans. We must now expand on our new pilot programs helping the poor and unemployed find good paying jobs.
Our district is a leader in our city's growth. I regularly meet with people to promote Downtown & Midtown. Aksarben Village had 3 buildings under construction in 2009. We are now nearing build out there and HDR's HQ is on underway. We have many, many parking lots in Downtown and Midtown. These are valuable properties and represent opportunities for redevelopment which can add large property tax base. We should also continue to invest in sensible public-private partnerships like with UNMC, which is creating nearly 2,000 high paying jobs and millions in development. Vision 2050 is another great opportunity for major growth in Downtown and Midtown, from Saddle Creek (Former Omaha Steel Castings site) to Creighton and North of Downtown.
Several years ago, I joined with then State Senator Brad Ashford in calling for the merger of the city and county crime labs. I continue to believe that reasonable people can reach solutions that makes financial and operational sense. Another area I have suggested for discussion is the possibility of merging county sheriff patrol officers into city police patrol officer positions. We will soon have a 5th police precinct covering the far west areas of our city and it makes sense to explore. We also should be discussing merging city and county planning departments and preparing a longer term dialogue to study merging the county engineering office with the city public works department. As our city grows, we must continuously consider this.
Our streets need more robust maintenance and resurfacing investment. While we have increased funds for this area, many main streets and neighborhood streets are in poor shape. Some have had no maintenance for years. Some neighborhoods have been had their streets ground up, creating other problems. This isn't right. Cities need good streets. Taxpayers expect maintained streets. It's also how people and commerce move. It's the image of our city that the companies and conventions we are recruiting see. We also need modern transit systems. We pay about $12 Million per year of our gas tax funds to OPPD for street lights instead of to these transportation needs. This is an area to save millions and reinvest in our streets and transit.
Our city's waste collection contract expires soon. I want the public input to have opportunities to share their views and priorities. Recycling and composting through yard waste collection have been programs widely supported in District 3. As we move forward in modernization of our waste management program, we must make sure we are meeting the needs and priorities of our community in these areas and that these priorities are reflected in the bid documents. We must have best practices for solid waste collection, recycling, composting and renewable energy sources. I would like to see an expanded recycling program and composting our yard waste renewed.

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