FFP Omaha: County Kerfuffle, Gays + Garlic Bread, Around The O

FFP Omaha newsletter

A few weeks ago my co-worker Sara Gentzler went to the eighth floor of the Omaha-Douglas County Civic Center. She was there to sit through a short meeting in a small conference room. Typical reporter stuff. I’d say even boring reporter stuff.

Then something very not boring happened.

A lawyer and an elected official got into a heated argument. The board member leading the meeting, seemingly unfazed by the outburst, said if they were going to argue the court reporter would get it on the record. The lawyer, a public defender representing a client who invited Sara in writing and over the phone to this otherwise closed meeting ultimately (and successfully) objected to Sara’s presence.

“You could cut the tension with a knife” she messaged me as she left the downtown government building.

You’re probably wondering the same thing as Sara: What was that all about?

For close to a year there’s been a struggle between elected officials over the Douglas County Board of Mental Health — an important, but under-resourced, board tasked with overseeing mental health care for hundreds of people every year. The fight started with an attempt to change where board meetings are held. It’s since spawned judicial orders, threats of contempt proceedings, accusations that clients’ rights are being violated and a lot of acrimony.

Some hope the hubbub will prompt a closer examination of the board, which they believe is falling short in helping some of Douglas County’s neediest people.

Read the story here (or click the photo above). 

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What I'm Into

I’ll be kicking off Pride Month the right way: with a mouthful of glorious garlic bread. The event is called “Gays Eating Garlic Bread in the Park,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. All LGBTQIA+, including allies, are welcome for this laid-back, unstructured hang at Elmwood Park from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. BYOGB!

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