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VOTE411 Voter Guide

City of Gretna, City Council, Ward 2

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    Kara Alexander
    (NP)

  • John A Ellis
    (NP)

  • Lauren L Liebentritt
    (NP)

Biographical Information

If elected, what are your priorities for economic development in your city/town/village?

If elected, what would be your top priorities in an extreme weather event?

If elected, what would you consider your top three priorities? Please detail.

What is the biggest challenge in your community and how would you address it?

Occupation Administrator for the Gretna Area Chamber of Commerce
Education Currently finishing a degree in Nonprofit Administration and Fundraising
Military experience I am a Gold Star widow.
Volunteer experience 13 year Board President of Matt's Music Memorial. 2 year Board Member for the Lincoln Continentals Chorus. Past Board Member of 17 other small nonprofits. Volunteer for many other organizations.
Address 211 Cherokee Drive Gretna, NE 68028
Marital Status Widowed
Age 35
Gretna is a fast growing town. We need to support businesses opening here and encourage growth while considering the long term plan for our community. I believe the city has made some good strides in this in the last few years, but there is still plenty of work to be done. I would focus on having a strong working relationship with Sarpy County, Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation (a subsidiary of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce), and the State. The best advice I received when I started working at the Gretna Area Chamber of Commerce was just to show up. We can't advocate for our community if we aren't in the room. I would be in the room.
In general, I don't think a lot of City wide changes are needed here. City crews work day and night during snow to make our city streets as safe as possible.

Community wide my top priority would be 1) Hwy 6/31 & Hwy 370 followed by 2) access in and out of neighborhoods, paying extra attention to intersections that connect to the highway (Angus and Hwy 6/31 is a good example of a challenging intersection.)

Many of the roads in our community are under County jurisdiction for plowing, or have an HOA or SID that hires independently. Communication with those organizations would also be a priority.
1) Community wide support. Because much of our community is not annexed or is caught up in the annexation currently in the courts, many of those families don't have direct representation. Yet, because they are a part of the cities ETJ, the city, city council, and mayor make many decisions that affect them. We should be communicating with, to, and on be half of them as well. They are a big part of Gretna's future.

2) Consideration of ideas. Several ideas have been proposed for our community in recent years and they are rarely considered by current leadership. I'd like to see proposed ideas have more research done and I'm willing to be the one who asks the tough questions.

3) Security at our city parks. I live next to a city park. I have a 1 year old who will play at our parks this summer. City parks should be safe places for our kids. Neither city staff nor parents should be picking up tobacco, drug, or liquor remnants from our parks. Let's set the rules and enforce them.
Communication. Like it or not, Gretna is no longer a small town. School district numbers show that we are currently a community of 25,000+, and Heartland 2050 believes we will be a community of 50k by 2050. The small town word of mouth no longer works effectively. I want to see people and processes put in place to help city staff communicate with the community. Sarpy County just took on this initiative and discovered quickly they needed more than one person to handle it. The city needs staff hours dedicated to communication, not secondary to other important positions. And they need effective systems in place to back that staff up.

We also need the whole community to have easier access to elected officials, more than just emails. And easier access for freedom of information requests. In today's world of technology, there is no reason to operate in a vacuum.
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