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State can freeze employees’ salaries, but city can’t?

I’m reading about the governor’s proposed budget today, and I’m trying to figure out how he can get by with proposing a salary freeze the first year of the budget, and 2 percent the second year — while Lincoln’s city officials say they had no choice but to give firefighters up to 10 percent raises this year or face losing at a state arbitration board.
Gov. Dave Heineman seems to get by with the slimmest of raises for state employees — and they’re governed by the same laws that govern city employees and all public employees. Sometimes the state employee unions put up a fight, but they don’t seem to get much traction.
Meanwhile, the city of Lincoln is handing out double-digit-raises (to firefighters alone) and claiming they have to — because the Commission of Industrial Relations will force them to if firefighters appeal. Can somebody explain this to me? Maybe I’m missing something.


Suttle apologizes for busing homeless to polls; investigation launched

Oh, man it just keeps getting worse and worse for Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, who faces a recall election Jan. 25.

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle

Now he is apologizing for his supporters’ decision to drive three busloads full of apparently mostly homeless people to the election office Wednesday to vote early (presumably against his recall) and pay them $5 for a half-hour “training program” on how to canvass neighborhoods and hand out campaign literature. (As if sending homeless people door-to-door to urge people to get out and vote against the mayor’s recall is sound political strategy.)
Now the Omaha World-Herald is reporting that a voter who was standing in line with some of the homeless people heard a woman repeatedly urging the bused-in voters to vote “no.”
My Lord, who is advising this mayor?
He quickly wised up and apologized for the whole mess, but not before the county attorney asked the State Highway Patrol to investigate the busing incident.

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