Statement of Dave Boomer, communications director for the Stothert for Mayor campaign

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The Stothert for Mayor campaign issued the following response to candidate Heath Mello’s suggestion for debates and forums:

Mr. Mello’s suggestion today is nothing but an attempt to change the discussion from his refusal to make public any documents from his legislative term. What is he hiding?

As to debates and joint appearances, the mayor strongly believes that all candidates who meet the filing requirements and who are placed on the ballot, should be invited to participate.

Once Mr. Mello releases copies of his e-mails and meeting calendar while serving as state Senator, we can work on a schedule for debates and joint appearances. If he will make these public disclosures soon, we will likely have more than seven of them.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s staff has provided 2,479 pages of documents to the Nebr. Democratic Party by certified mail in response to their public records request. Mr. Mello, who claims transparency is a priority, should practice what he preaches and release his emails, meeting calendars and other documents to the public. Transparency is apparently good for everyone else but not for Mr. Mello.

Finally, Mayor Stothert has always believed in bringing city policies, discussions and decisions down to the neighborhood level. Each year she has held a town hall meeting in each of the seven city council districts, for a total of 28 such meetings in the past four years. The mayor loves interacting with residents and hearing their ideas and concerns. It also gives her the chance to share with them her priorities and vision for Omaha.