Regional government – Devolved http://devolved.net/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 18:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://devolved.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Regional government – Devolved http://devolved.net/ 32 32 Tyler Lindstrom, brother of Nebraska state senator, dead at 39 | Regional government https://devolved.net/tyler-lindstrom-brother-of-nebraska-state-senator-dead-at-39-regional-government/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 18:30:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/tyler-lindstrom-brother-of-nebraska-state-senator-dead-at-39-regional-government/ Tyler Lindstrom, the 39-year-old brother of State Senator Brett Lindstrom, was found dead inside his home in Austin, Texas on Tuesday. His cause of death remains unknown, according to the Omaha senator. An autopsy is underway before his body is sent back to Nebraska for burial in Oakland next week. Tyler lived in multiple states […]]]>

Tyler Lindstrom, the 39-year-old brother of State Senator Brett Lindstrom, was found dead inside his home in Austin, Texas on Tuesday.

His cause of death remains unknown, according to the Omaha senator. An autopsy is underway before his body is sent back to Nebraska for burial in Oakland next week.

Tyler lived in multiple states and was between jobs at the time of his death, Brett said. He had recently moved to Austin, as Brett said he “felt at home” in Texas after graduating from Baylor University in Waco.

Brett said Tyler usually stays in close contact with their parents, but they recently went on vacation and hadn’t heard from him for several days. Ultimately, he said Tyler’s neighbors called the police to do a welfare check, where they found him in the kitchen.

Marian Andersen, volunteer and widow of World-Herald publisher, dies at 93

17-year-old Nebraska-born sailor who died in Pearl Harbor will be buried in Hawaii on Friday

Although Tyler grew up in Omaha, Brett said he felt a connection to Oakland, the Nebraska town where their great-grandparents settled after emigrating from Sweden. Oakland is about 50 miles northwest of Omaha.

People also read…

As the middle child between Brett, the eldest, and their younger sister Morgan, Tyler was “larger than life” and “the life of the party,” Brett said. In school, Tyler was athletic and competitive – the type of person people wanted to be around. Brett said he hopes this is how his brother will be remembered.

“We want to remember the good times,” he said.

As a member of an athletic family — Brett, their father and two uncles all played football for the Huskers — Tyler was determined to play NCAA Division IA football, the World-Herald reported in 2004. He acted as his own search party, sending recruiting tapes to several schools.

The effort eventually landed Tyler, a graduate of Millard West, at Baylor, where he worked his way from a walk-on to a fellowship in his senior year. He played safety and linebacker, according to a Baylor University Player Biography.

Dan McLaughlin, who coached Tyler at Millard West, told the World-Herald in 2004 that he wasn’t too surprised his former player ended up playing for a school in Texas, despite his family’s deep Huskers roots. .

“Tyler is kind of like that,” McLaughlin said at the time. “They broke the mold when they did. Tyler is his own man and he will always go his own way. ”

Dennis Byars, longtime Gage County official and former state senator, dies

Longtime school board member Garver, CSC member, dies

]]>
Governor Ricketts tests positive for COVID-19 | Regional government https://devolved.net/governor-ricketts-tests-positive-for-covid-19-regional-government/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/governor-ricketts-tests-positive-for-covid-19-regional-government/ Governor Pete Ricketts and First Lady Susanne Shore have both tested positive for COVID-19. “We are both experiencing very minor symptoms,” the governor said in a press release. “We will follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate.” Both Ricketts and Shore tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning, according to Ricketts spokeswoman Alex Reuss. Ricketts was […]]]>

Governor Pete Ricketts and First Lady Susanne Shore have both tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are both experiencing very minor symptoms,” the governor said in a press release. “We will follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate.”

Both Ricketts and Shore tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning, according to Ricketts spokeswoman Alex Reuss. Ricketts was vaccinated and received a booster shot.

Ricketts was scheduled to make out-of-state trips over the coming week, which are now canceled, Reuss said.

Reuss said state officials are notifying people who have been near Ricketts over the past day. The only public event he attended was a press conference in Omaha where the governor celebrated the opening of a new operations center for the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

Ricketts has been quarantined in the past after being exposed to COVID-19, but this is the first known case where he has confirmed contracting the disease.

People also read…

Ricketts opposes gas tax exemption, calls it a ‘band-aid’

Nebraska governor cancels Connecticut appearance amid protests

Nebraska’s new highway center should give drivers more immediate hazard information

]]>
Ricketts opposes gas tax exemption, calls it ‘band-aid’ | Regional government https://devolved.net/ricketts-opposes-gas-tax-exemption-calls-it-band-aid-regional-government/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/ricketts-opposes-gas-tax-exemption-calls-it-band-aid-regional-government/ Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday slammed the idea of ​​using a gasoline tax holiday to relieve Nebraska drivers of rising fuel prices. He said such a solution would only be temporary and, whether taken by the federal government or the state, would leave the state strapped for money to maintain and expand its roads and […]]]>

Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday slammed the idea of ​​using a gasoline tax holiday to relieve Nebraska drivers of rising fuel prices.

He said such a solution would only be temporary and, whether taken by the federal government or the state, would leave the state strapped for money to maintain and expand its roads and bridges.

“I’m actually against bandage-type solutions,” he said. “At the end of the day, that money will still have to be recovered.”

Ricketts commented on his monthly radio call-in show. He responded to a man identified as “James in Blue Springs,” who asked if the governor could implement such a holiday to help with inflation at the pumps.

Eight states have temporarily suspended their gas tax or a gas tax increase this year, while the idea has been proposed in several others, according to Kiplinger magazine.

Maryland launched the first such furlough, but the 30-day break already ended on April 16. Among other things, Colorado delayed a tax increase of 2 cents per gallon from July 1 of this year to April 1, 2023.

People also read…

  • Barn finds: In Sumner’s campaign, a million-dollar muscle car collection is auctioned off
  • Tyler Lindstrom, brother of Nebraska state senator, dies at 39
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln police arrest ‘dangerous subject’ on campus
  • Stored For Decades Near Sumner, Rare Mustang Sells For $442,000
  • Time might be short for Lincoln Airport’s long runway
  • Lincoln tattoo artist threw used needles at former boss after shooting, police say
  • Most areas of Lincoln cleared of tornado warning as forecasters track dangerous storms
  • The Lincoln Le Parthénon Greek restaurant is moving; Hickman’s restaurant moves in
  • A wave of fraud: City workers recently stole money from 17 Nebraska towns
  • Nebraska Game and Parks rejects turkey hunting changes, approves lion and river otter seasons
  • Town hall meeting attracts avid drag racers, residents annoyed by motorists racing down O Street
  • Watch now: Lincoln student opens shop in Waverly inspired by late grandmother
  • Lincoln, Omaha’s Longtime Bike Shops Get New Ownership
  • Lawsuit accuses Costco of violating Nebraska animal welfare laws
  • Two Gretna teens die in crash on Interstate 29 near Percival, Iowa

Legislation to reduce the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents to zero for the rest of the year has been introduced in Congress, but has so far failed to gain traction. The proposed vacation would make only a small dent in fuel prices, which averaged $5.01 a gallon nationwide on Monday.

Drivers might see a little more savings by suspending the state gas tax. Nebraska’s gasoline tax rate is 24.8 cents per gallon for the first six months of the year. Under state law, it will be adjusted on July 1 based on fuel prices and statutory appropriations.

While opposing a gas tax exemption, Ricketts said current levels of inflation pose problems for Nebraska residents. The annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.6% in May, the highest in more than four decades, with energy prices leading the way.

“There is nothing more corrosive to our family’s wallets than inflation,” he said.

Ricketts blamed the price hike on the Biden administration, including the president’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline was to carry Canadian tar sands oil through Nebraska and connect to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

The governor encouraged consumers to use ethanol-based fuels in their vehicles to save money. He noted that the Environmental Protection Agency had approved the use of 15% ethanol fuel during the summer, as part of a move by President Joe Biden to reduce fuel costs.

Nebraska governor cancels Connecticut appearance amid protests

Judge issues injunction in medical marijuana lawsuit preventing state from enforcing ballot requirement

Nebraska loses bid to become early presidential primary in 2024

]]>
UNL Survey Shows ‘Overwhelming’ Support for Medical Marijuana Legalization | Regional government https://devolved.net/unl-survey-shows-overwhelming-support-for-medical-marijuana-legalization-regional-government/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 20:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/unl-survey-shows-overwhelming-support-for-medical-marijuana-legalization-regional-government/ As signatures continue to be collected on a pair of initiative petitions to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska, a survey by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln estimates that 83% of Nebraskans supported the idea in 2020 and 2021. Results from Nebraska’s annual Social Indicators Survey, published May 17 in the Journal of Drug Issues, align with […]]]>

As signatures continue to be collected on a pair of initiative petitions to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska, a survey by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln estimates that 83% of Nebraskans supported the idea in 2020 and 2021.

Results from Nebraska’s annual Social Indicators Survey, published May 17 in the Journal of Drug Issues, align with internal Nebraskas-led polls for medical marijuana that show 80% support for legalization. medical cannabis in the state.






Patrick Habecker, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln


JUSTIN WAN, Journal Star file photo


The survey results also show that support for the legalization of recreational marijuana increases from about 40% in 2020 to 46% in 2021, according to the research team.

Patrick Habecker, assistant research professor of sociology and co-author of the paper with psychology professor Rick Bevins, said the survey was created during the coronavirus pandemic, when researchers working together at the Center for Research on rural drug addiction had to shift gears.

“During COVID, we had to pause interviews with people who use drugs in Nebraska, so we saw this as a chance to continue the center’s mission,” Habecker said. “It’s a big problem in the state, even though Nebraska is one of the few states without medical or recreational marijuana.”

People also read…

Nebraska first banned cannabis in 1927 when Representative Thomas Axtell of North Platte introduced HR74, prohibiting the use or possession of what the media called “hashish” or “mariguana.”

Congress enacted its own ban in 1937, but in recent years states have gradually begun to lift their bans on the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, either through legislation or through citizen petitions.

Dueling court briefs in medical marijuana lawsuit disagree on powers of initiative history and intent

Organizers continue to push to put medical marijuana on ballots

A petition to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska gained the number of signatures needed to present it to voters in the 2020 general election, but was later struck out of the ballot by the Nebraska Supreme Court, which ruled it violated the single subject rule.

Two petitions, which would compel the Legislative Assembly to enact laws protecting doctors and patients, as well as private entities that supply and distribute cannabis, are now in circulation.

Habecker said the UNL research team sought to gauge Nebraskans’ opinions on legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, medical marijuana only, or keeping both illegal as part of the survey. annual mailed to a randomly selected group of Nebraskanians ages 19 and older in each of the past two years.

In total, the survey was sent to 8,000 addresses in Nebraska evenly distributed across the state’s six behavioral health regions, as well as Lincoln and Omaha.

More than a quarter of the surveys (27.7%) were returned. The average age of the respondents was 51 years old, with a quasi-separation between men and women. The majority (90%) of respondents were white — higher than the 2019 estimate that 78.2% of Nebraskans are white.

The results show widespread and uniform support for the legalization of medical marijuana only across all regions of the state, the two major political parties, ages and genders, according to the results.

In just two of the eight geographies — the South Central (22%) and Southwest (25.9%) regions — support for keeping marijuana illegal in all its forms reached 20%, Habecker said. .

“Recreational marijuana is where you start to see more differences appear by region, as well as by political party,” he said.

While 22.4% of Republicans said they supported keeping marijuana illegal, 45.2% said they would support legalizing medical marijuana, and 32.4% said they supported the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes.

The result comes despite the state’s top Republicans, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, leading the campaign against legalization.

For Democrats, just 9.9% favored keeping marijuana banned, while 40.9% supported only medical marijuana and 49.2% said they supported full legalization, according to the results. .

Respondents who identified as politically independent were more evenly split, with 45.9% indicating they supported the legalization of medical marijuana only and 42.4% saying they supported the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana.

Attitudes toward legalization change with age, with younger Nebraskans more likely to support full legalization than older residents. Less than a third of respondents aged 69 and over said they supported recreational use.

State asks judge to keep county requirements for petitions in place

Watch now: Lawsuit seeks to strike down signature collection requirements for petition campaigns

Nebraskans who said they lived on a farm or in the countryside were also less likely to support recreational marijuana than those who lived in a city or town. Men were also more likely than women to support full legalization.

Habecker said the survey also tries to capture how the stigma of marijuana affects respondents’ opinions, an issue he says is “grossly under-researched in political opinions.”

“How people perceive those who use a drug is an important consideration, especially when people have no direct experience with a substance,” Habecker and Bevins wrote in the article.

As participants report higher levels of stigma toward marijuana users, they are less likely to support either option, according to the study, while the reverse was true for those with higher levels. high levels of stigma towards people who use cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids or heroin.

“Few studies of political support for legalization consider stigma in general, but we demonstrate that these measures are important to include and work differently by substance,” the paper concludes.

Habecker said one of the weaknesses of the UNL survey was the lack of questions about whether or not respondents were likely to vote, or were regular voters, to gauge support for legalization in the urns.

Legislative efforts to lift the ban on medical marijuana failed in 2019 and 2021, and a potential investigative measure over the 2020 initiative’s election results failed when it was withdrawn from the ballot, wrote the researchers.

“That sets the stage for a ballot initiative in 2022,” Habecker and Bevins wrote. “Despite our estimate of overwhelming public support for medical marijuana, the 2022 election will test how well public opinion translates into voting behavior in Nebraska.”

After losing big donors, medical cannabis initiative moves forward with grassroots effort

Contact the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS

]]>
Nebraska Legislative Lobbying Pay Exceeds $20 Million | Regional government https://devolved.net/nebraska-legislative-lobbying-pay-exceeds-20-million-regional-government/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 07:30:31 +0000 https://devolved.net/nebraska-legislative-lobbying-pay-exceeds-20-million-regional-government/ Compensation for lobbyists in the Nebraska Legislature in 2021 approached $21 million, Common Cause Nebraska reported Thursday in its annual survey of lobbying activities on Capitol Hill. The 2021 figure of $20,789,181 in lobbying expenditures to influence state government exceeded the 2020 figure by more than $2 million. Common Cause titled its report “The Pay […]]]>

Compensation for lobbyists in the Nebraska Legislature in 2021 approached $21 million, Common Cause Nebraska reported Thursday in its annual survey of lobbying activities on Capitol Hill.

The 2021 figure of $20,789,181 in lobbying expenditures to influence state government exceeded the 2020 figure by more than $2 million.

Common Cause titled its report “The Pay to Play Express: Nebraska’s Runaway Lobbying Train”.

Paid lobbyists with legislative clients totaled 366 in 2021, down slightly to 336 this year, according to the report.

Once again, Mueller Robak led the way among lobbying firms with total compensation of $1,645,683 in 2021.

Rounding out the top four: Radcliffe and Associates, $1,340,799; O’Hara Lindsay, $903,276; Peetz and Co., $827,100.

Among the biggest spenders were Altria Client Services, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, the League of Nebraska Municipalities, the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the Nebraska Bankers Association and the Nebraska County Officials Association.

People also read…

The university tops the list of 2021 lobbying expenses at $180,065.

Omaha topped the list of public school lobbying expenses at $97,700 with Lincoln at $21,600.

Common Cause said 16 former senators are listed as legislative lobbyists.

“When it comes to political campaign contributions, Nebraska is truly the Wild West,” the report said.

“In 2012, when Nebraska’s Campaign Finance Limitation Act was declared unconstitutional, we lost all control,” said Jack Gould, chair of issues for Common Cause Nebraska.

“Nebraska has no contribution limit for PACs, corporations, principals, lobbyists or even individuals.

“When Governor (Pete) Ricketts wants to support a candidate or oppose a vote, he can contribute $10,000 or $25,000 or more without batting an eyelid.”

In the 2018 election cycle, Gould said, “48 candidates spent $6,489,464 for 24 unicameral seats that pay $12,000 a year.”

“You have to wonder how important that $20 contribution from the average citizen really is to our public servants,” Gould said.

Contact the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

]]>
Nebraska auditor finds issues with Nomi Health TestNebraska contract | Regional government https://devolved.net/nebraska-auditor-finds-issues-with-nomi-health-testnebraska-contract-regional-government/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 14:15:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/nebraska-auditor-finds-issues-with-nomi-health-testnebraska-contract-regional-government/ Nebraska’s state auditor found reason to question whether the state had received nearly 400,000 COVID-19 tests promised in a contract with the Utah-based company that operated TestNebraska. The testing issue was just one issue Nebraska’s public auditor found with the state’s TestNebraska contract with Nomi Health in its financial statement audit, according to a management […]]]>

Nebraska’s state auditor found reason to question whether the state had received nearly 400,000 COVID-19 tests promised in a contract with the Utah-based company that operated TestNebraska.

The testing issue was just one issue Nebraska’s public auditor found with the state’s TestNebraska contract with Nomi Health in its financial statement audit, according to a management letter released Wednesday.

By November, state agencies had signed at least five untendered contracts with Nomi Health, worth a total of more than $69 million. The auditor’s findings related to the first of those contracts, for the effort to provide free COVID-19 testing statewide, known as TestNebraska.

The auditor noted issues with providing supporting documentation and maintaining clear and unambiguous contract language — two issues that can increase the risk of loss or misappropriation of funds, according to the letter.

The contract, signed on April 21, 2020, stipulated that Nebraska would receive 1.2 million test kits, according to the letter. But the Department of Administrative Services, which handles state contracts, had no documentation proving the state had received more than 803,000.

People also read…

He had a list showing that 1.23 million kits had been received, but it was not possible to trace supporting documents, such as receipts, according to the letter. This led the auditor to wonder if the state had indeed obtained nearly 397,000 kits, worth between $9.9 and $12.9 million.

And, the letter says, the auditor was unable to verify that all tests were received by the dates specified in the contract.

In its response, DAS said it provided documentation showing that the test kits required by the contract had been shipped.

“DAS’s own records indicate that there was a lack of packing slip documentation kept during the pandemic, particularly in the early months of June, July and August 2020, however, such test kits have been received,” it read. “Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) records show testing was administered at TestNebraska sites during those months.”

TestNebraska supplier says it has performed more than a million COVID-19 tests

Nebraska awarded $69 million in no-tender contracts to Utah firm amid COVID

He provided the number of tests performed according to lab records and a warehouse inventory count, saying these show the state received at least 995,900 kits. DAS said Nomi provided documentation that supports over 1.2 million.

The department informed the teams receiving the kits of the documentation procedures and expectations, including filling out a form. However, DAS acknowledged that some did not meet these expectations.

“DAS will ensure that such a performance issue does not happen again in the next pandemic,” he said.

Another issue: An October 2020 contract amendment required Nebraska to pay Nomi Health for “services it was asked to provide in association with collection sites.” Those payments, the letter says, were “largely retroactive,” for services already rendered. They totaled over $2.9 million.

And, it was unclear from the wording of that October amendment that there would be additional service and management fees, according to the letter, but those fees appeared on every fifth bill received by the state. months analyzed by the auditor.

“As a result, during this five-month period, the state paid Nomi $3,489,063 in direct costs and an additional $548,231 in management and service fees,” the letter said.

Agreements to make retroactive payments are “often problematic,” according to the letter, and could violate a provision of the state constitution that prohibits state and local governments from making additional payments for past service. In its response, the DAS insisted that it had not violated the state constitution.

“When the state accepted and used these essential services to respond to the pandemic, the state became legally responsible to compensate the contractor for these costs, whether under an oral contract, a contract implied or quasi-contract,” reads the DAS response.

It is best practice that agreements be in writing, DAS wrote, but there was no disagreement between Nomi and DAS.

“DAS has procedures in place to ensure that deliverables are accurately tracked and documented, contracts are clearly stated and agreements are put in writing before payment becomes due,” it read. “In these circumstances, there were gaps in performance following these procedures under the stress of a global emergency. DAS will endeavor to ensure that such shortcomings do not occur.

Nebraska’s original contract with Nomi was worth around $27 million, but it went up to around $62 million. This contract ended on July 31, 2021.

Nomi Health will provide free mental health care to frontline healthcare workers in Nebraska

Utah lawyer sues Nebraska state epidemiologist in fight over public records regarding COVID-19 testing

In a statement, CEO and Founder Mark Newman said “Nomi Health delivered all COVID-19 tests under its contract with the State of Nebraska ahead of schedule.” He also noted that the audit was critical of DAS’s record keeping and that Nomi himself was not the subject of the audit. He highlighted DAS’s response to the audit.

“In the state’s own words: ‘all test kits required under the contract have been shipped’, ‘the contract has been fulfilled’ and ‘there was no breach’. All that is beyond that is invalid,” Newman said. “We are honored to help fuel one of the nation’s leading COVID responses in Nebraska.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts and others praised TestNebraska for its role in helping the state double its testing early in the pandemic as other states struggled. But the practice of signing no-bid contracts with Nomi has drawn criticism in Nebraska and elsewhere. Four Nebraska state lawmakers have called on the state to void its original contract.

Newman has previously said that Nomi is not looking for no-bid deals but serves as a last stop in an emergency.

In other Nebraska contracts, Nomi has committed to providing staff for COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, providing COVID-19 vaccine planning services, providing nursing staff to Central Nebraska Veterans ‘Home and run a call center to help hospitals find beds for patients.

Prior to the call center contract, Nomi donated $20,000 to the Nebraska Republican Party. A Ricketts spokesperson said the donation did not influence the state’s work with Nomi.

In 2021, state financial disclosure records show the company also donated $5,000 each to GOP gubernatorial candidates Jim Pillen and state Senator Brett Lindstrom. He donated an additional $10,000 to Pillen, who then won the nomination on May 2.

Nomi Health repays medical debts for dozens of Nebraskans

]]>
Nebraska tax collections exceeded expectations in April | Regional government https://devolved.net/nebraska-tax-collections-exceeded-expectations-in-april-regional-government/ Fri, 13 May 2022 18:30:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/nebraska-tax-collections-exceeded-expectations-in-april-regional-government/ Nebraska collected more tax revenue than expected in April and is still well ahead of expectations for the current fiscal year, according to new numbers released Friday. The state Department of Revenue reported April net tax revenue of $939 million, 66.7% higher than the state’s official forecast of $563 million. The numbers are often higher […]]]>

Nebraska collected more tax revenue than expected in April and is still well ahead of expectations for the current fiscal year, according to new numbers released Friday.

The state Department of Revenue reported April net tax revenue of $939 million, 66.7% higher than the state’s official forecast of $563 million. The numbers are often higher in April when taxpayers file their returns.

Ricketts rejected millions in federal pandemic aid on the grounds that the emergency is over

Books, buses, bleachers and bathrooms: Nebraska schools have a long shopping list with federal ‘rescue’ aid

Net sales and use taxes were slightly lower than expected, while net personal and corporate income taxes and net miscellaneous taxes were all higher than expected.

Nebraska has raised $5.153 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That’s 11.1% above the forecast of $4.637 billion.

The projections were made by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board at its last meeting in February. Nebraska lawmakers and governors use the projections to determine how much tax they have.

]]>
Wasaga Beach Rejects TBM Regional Government Idea https://devolved.net/wasaga-beach-rejects-tbm-regional-government-idea/ Fri, 06 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/wasaga-beach-rejects-tbm-regional-government-idea/ The Town of Wasaga Beach is not interested in pursuing a new model of regional government recently proposed by the Town of The Blue Mountains. In a letter dated April 14, Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi advised the Blue Mountains council that her council was not interested in considering a new regional model. TBM Council […]]]>

The Town of Wasaga Beach is not interested in pursuing a new model of regional government recently proposed by the Town of The Blue Mountains.

In a letter dated April 14, Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi advised the Blue Mountains council that her council was not interested in considering a new regional model. TBM Council will consider the mayor’s letter at its regular meeting on May 10.

“In summary, the Town of Wasaga Beach is not interested in being part of a Southern Georgian Bay Regional Government comprised of Meaford, Gray Highlands, Collingwood and Clearview,” Bifolchi states in the letter. “The Town of Wasaga Beach has the advantage of being part of Simcoe County and does not wish to be part of this review.”

In March, Blue Mountains Council asked its staff to prepare a report on the city‘s financial contributions to Gray County. Blue Mountains leaders have long expressed dissatisfaction with the amount the city pays Gray County versus the level of service it receives in return. At the time, the council also suggested that a new regional authority with neighboring municipalities be considered.

In her letter, Mayor Bifolchi said the Wasaga Beach Coordinating Committee passed a resolution rejecting the Blue Mountains regional suggestion. The resolution noted that Wasaga Beach had not been consulted about the idea in advance.

The resolution states:

“And Whereas there was no contact with the Town of Wasaga Beach prior to the motion being presented; And Whereas there was no consideration or consideration for the ratepayers of Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, or Clearview on the implications for those ratepayers of being part of a regional government with the City of The Blue Mountains, such ratepayers likely being invited to fund any funding shortfall of this new governance model; Be it resolved that the Council of the Town of Wasaga Beach advise the Town of The Blue Mountains that Wasaga Beach likes to be part of the Simcoe County governance structure and has no desire to be part of the review; And be it further resolved that Council for the Town of Wasaga Beach indicate to the Town of The Blue Mountains that it will strongly oppose any regionalization effort.

TBM Mayor Alar Soever and Councilor Rob Sampson, who presented the resolution passed by The Blue Mountains, expressed disappointment that neighboring municipalities were not interested in exploring other options.

“Councillor Sampson’s motion simply asked staff to provide additional financial analysis on our relationship with the county in terms of finance and service delivery, and compare it to a possible alternative governance arrangement that may or may not better serve our residents and provide better value for their taxes,” said Soever, who emphasized that he was not commenting on behalf of the council, but was giving his personal thoughts on the matter. “South Georgian Bay was chosen because it is the most logical alternative. It is the responsibility of all councils to make every effort to ensure that their residents get the best value for their taxes. This is what we do.

Sampson echoed the mayor’s sentiments and said there was more to his resolution than the governance component.

“The purpose of the motion was to review service delivery to ensure that we are providing our taxpayers with the services they want and need, and in the most efficient and effective way. It’s something councils should do on a regular basis,” Sampson said. “It is indeed unfortunate that some politicians saw this motion solely as a review of the governance model. Governance model analysis is only appropriate once the service delivery is fully analyzed and the appropriate data assembly has taken place – the gist of the motion.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of conduct. The Star does not share these opinions.
]]>
Thousands of Democrats appear to change voter registration for primary | Regional government https://devolved.net/thousands-of-democrats-appear-to-change-voter-registration-for-primary-regional-government/ Wed, 04 May 2022 12:43:07 +0000 https://devolved.net/thousands-of-democrats-appear-to-change-voter-registration-for-primary-regional-government/ Voter registration figures compiled Tuesday show 6,440 more Nebraskans were registered as Republicans in May than in April, with a corresponding drop of 3,838 registered Democrats. These new numbers provided an inaccurate indication that thousands of Democrats may have changed their registration to participate in the hotly contested Republican gubernatorial primary. Early voting The Lancaster […]]]>

Voter registration figures compiled Tuesday show 6,440 more Nebraskans were registered as Republicans in May than in April, with a corresponding drop of 3,838 registered Democrats.

These new numbers provided an inaccurate indication that thousands of Democrats may have changed their registration to participate in the hotly contested Republican gubernatorial primary.

The figures were compiled by the Secretary of State’s office and marked the completion of voter registration to contest the May 10 primary election.

People also read…

“It’s difficult to give exact numbers on where voters go or change party affiliation,” Assistant Secretary of State Cindi Allen said in providing the new numbers.

“But you will be able to tell which party membership is growing before the primary election,” she said.

Motivation isn’t measured in the voter registration process, but it seems clear that thousands of Nebraska Democrats may have changed their voter registration to vote in the GOP gubernatorial race and there is plenty of evidence on Facebook, Twitter, and other online traffic to support this hypothesis.

Trump and his allies campaign for Herbster at the I-80 Speedway

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Agriculture, Climate and Medical Cannabis Issues

Democratic State Speaker Jane Kleeb of Hastings said she recognizes that.

“Unlike when Republicans left their party after the uprising (of the 2020 presidential vote) and never returned, some Democrats have temporarily left the party in hopes of keeping the worst of the radical Republicans from running. as governor,” Kleeb said.

“We’re confident they’ll be back as Democrats the day after the primary,” she said.

Voter registration figures show an overwhelming Republican majority in the state: 602,410 Republicans; 346,526 Democrats; 268,136 non-partisan.

With 18,267 Libertarians and 2,333 Legal Marijuana NOW party members included, the total number of voter registrations is 1,237,672.

Republicans hold a majority over Democrats in 90 of 93 counties, all but Dakota, Douglas and Thurston counties.

In Lancaster County, the number of registered Democrats in April compared to May fell by 548 voters while the number of Republicans increased by 1,201.

Voters in southeast Nebraska will consider a $43 million bond to build a consolidated school in Tecumseh

Candidates test skipping debates without upsetting voters

Representative Jeff Fortenberry will appear on the ballot even though he has resigned. Other Republicans: Mike Flood, Curtis Huffman, John Glen Weaver and…

Nine Republicans are in the running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination and two Democrats. One from each party, with a lone libertarian candid…

Republican incumbent Bob Evnen of Lincoln faces two challengers in the primary: Robert Borer of Lincoln and Rex Schroder of Palmyra.

Mike Foley and Larry Anderson are competing for the Republican ticket in the primary. We’ll move on to take on Legal Marijuana Now candidate L.…

State Treasurer John Murante is seeking a second four-year term. He faces Paul Anderson in the Republican primary. Both are from Omaha. E…

The primary will eliminate one of two Republican candidates — Mike Hilgers or Jennifer Hicks — who run. The Legal Marijuana Now candid…

Three legislative districts in southeast Nebraska have competitive primary ballots: Districts 2, 26 and 46.

Only the District 3 seat on the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners features a contested race in the primary. County Commissioner Deb Scho…

Joe Nigro and Kristi Egger are running in the primary to be the Democratic candidate. The winner will face Trevin Preble, the only Republican ca…

One of two Republican candidates for Lancaster County treasurer – Tracy Refior or Jasmine Gibson – will be eliminated in the primary. The w…

District 5’s seat on the CSC Board of Directors is the only race where a candidate will be eliminated in the primary. Joann Herrington, Megan Neiles-Br…

Two of the three candidates in the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Subdistrict 1 race will advance from the primary. The candidates are:…

Contact the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

]]>
Herbster Earns State Troopers Endorsement | Regional government https://devolved.net/herbster-earns-state-troopers-endorsement-regional-government/ Wed, 04 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/herbster-earns-state-troopers-endorsement-regional-government/ Pledging to make law enforcement a top priority and promising to support officers with increased pay, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster won an endorsement from the State Troopers Association of Nebraska on Tuesday. With a growing decline in the number of State Patrol officers, Herbster said, “it’s obvious to me that we’re not living up […]]]>

Pledging to make law enforcement a top priority and promising to support officers with increased pay, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster won an endorsement from the State Troopers Association of Nebraska on Tuesday.

With a growing decline in the number of State Patrol officers, Herbster said, “it’s obvious to me that we’re not living up to our commitments to state troopers.”

“Our #1 thing is law enforcement,” he said, pledging his support for “our state troopers and a safe Nebraska.”

“They know I have my back,” Herbster said.

Former State Patrol Col. Tom Nesbitt joined Herbster, along with about 20 other current or former law enforcement officers and family members, none appearing in uniform, to demonstrate their support for the Falls City agribusiness.

Herbster is “a law and order guy,” Nesbitt said. “Charles understands what needs to happen.

People also read…

“In order to retain the soldiers, we are going to have to pay the soldiers,” he said.

The dwindling state patrol force is “down 60 troops,” Nesbitt said.

Herbster said “drug abuse is on the rise, mental illness is on the rise, crime is on the rise (and) America is falling apart”.

National challenges include “election integrity” and the need to close borders, he said. A trillion dollars worth of illegal drugs crossed the southern border in 2021, Herbster said.

Supporters said state patrol salaries should be at least comparable to salaries paid to law enforcement officers in metropolitan areas of Nebraska and that “some commitments were made” to the State Troopers Association to get approval.

Outside sources said an apparent agreement on a proposed increase in the state’s contribution to the state patrol’s retirement fund would require an additional $5 million annual appropriation by the state.

Don Walton: Fortenberry’s resignation is personally tragic, politically complicated

North Omaha and South Omaha win $150 million in home loans

Senator Steve Lathrop urges legislature to act now on prison overcrowding

Contact the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

]]>