KFAB Reporter Jeff Turner takes a deep dive into the candidates running in Omaha's mayoral race in this continuing series. This second installment is a profile of RJ Neary, an Omaha Businessman.
With the 2020 Presidential race winding down - Omaha still has a major election in its future. The primary for Omaha's mayoral race is in April, and candidates have already announced their intentions to run.
One of those candidates is Broker and President of Investors Realty, RJ Neary. Neary has decades of business experience in Omaha, having started in commercial real estate in 1980. "I have the right ideas for Omaha's future and the leadership ability to make it happen. I enter this race with big ideas and the experience to get them done," Neary tells KFAB Radio News.
Neary breaks down his major policy goals - Roads, Economic Development, Public Safety, Connecting Omaha's Neighborhoods, and Sustainability. "People in Omaha have identified the streets as one of their leading concerns," Neary says.
Maintenance of Omaha's roads have been a major concern throughout Mayor Jean Stothert's tenure - to the point where it was one of her 2017 opponents, Heath Mello's, talking points. Mayor Stothert's recent attempt to address the quality of Omaha's roads came through a two-hundred million dollar bond issue that passed in last year's May 12 primary. A report from the Omaha World-Herald says that this will come at the cost of an increase in Property Taxes.
Neary emphasizes his desire to not play politics as Mayor. “Many folks in Omaha are ready for fresh, innovative, new ideas. I will look to the future and aim to improve Omaha for the next several decades."
On the COVID-19 pandemic, Neary cites the importance of listening to the experts - "we have some of the country's best medical professionals right here in Omaha, at UNMC - as Mayor I would've been taking cues from them."
Mayor Stothert passed a mask mandate in August. Omaha was the last of the nation's one-hundred largest cities to pass a mandate.
Neary says growing Omaha businesses is a top priority, “I have been helping small businesses grow for 40 years. I have seen the positive impact on jobs and wealth creation our small businesses have on the local economy.”
"Now, it is important that the next mayor of Omaha create targeted policies to get our small businesses back on their feet and my Omaha starts with making sure they have the tools that they need to succeed."
You can read more about RJ Neary on his website.
The Omaha Mayoral primary - where all candidates, Republican, Democrat, and Independent, will be on the ballot - is on April 6th.
(Photo by Neary for Omaha)