OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – In May 2021, Mayor Jean Stothert won his third term by a mammoth two-thirds margin and, apparently, was handed a pledge to the city of Omaha.
The rest of the year, city records show Stothert took about five and a half weeks off for personal travel.
In 2022, Stothert was out of town for 25 days, not including weekends and holidays. That equates to about five weeks vacation and she plans to take more.
It is important to know that there is no limit to the time the mayor of Omaha can take. But the mayor must hand over power to the president of the city council when she leaves town.
Stothert left town on Wednesday and won’t be back until September 9. Not including weekends and holidays, that’s another 17 days out of town. This brings his total to 42 working days, or eight and a half weeks of vacation in mid-September, with three and a half months remaining before the end of the year.
In total, Stothert will have been out of town for a total of 63 days by September 9. It’s one day out of four.
Multiple itineraries shared with 3 News Now indicate that Stothert will travel to Rome first before meeting with a delegation from Omaha heading to Sicily for a trip to other plans with government officials in Carlentini to become sister cities with Omaha.
The mayor plans to visit several towns in Sicily and take part in the Santa Lucia de Carlentini Festival. She will stay seven days longer than the rest of the Omaha delegation.
3 News Now contacted City Council Speaker and Acting Mayor Pete Festersen for comment and he did not respond.
Stothert says she, not the taxpayers, will pay for the trip to Italy.
The mayor pushed the city council to change the charter so that the mayor would be allowed to work while out of town. The 2022 city charter convention passed a measure that would allow the mayor to work five days out of town without giving up power.
But the Omaha City Council did not take it back, Festersen pushing back the need.
The trip to Sicily is a chance for Omaha residents of Italian descent to connect with their roots. Sheri Kanger, co-founder of Sicula Italia, said by email that around 70% of Italian-born Omahans can trace their heritage to two Sicilian towns, including Carlentini.
His organization and the Carlentini Omaha Association have been working to strengthen Carlentini’s long-standing ties with Omaha and will join the trip later this month.
3 News Now Reporter Aaron Hegarty contributed to this report.
RELATED: Omaha welcomes the mayor of Carlentini for his first visit since the signing of the Sister City friendship agreement
Omaha welcomes the mayor of Carlentini for his first visit since the signing of the Sister City friendship agreement
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