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City Council Prepares for Heated Budget Meeting

{A href="mailto:jnowatzke@kptm.com"}Jenny Nowatzke

OMAHA (KPTM) - City council chambers can hold a maximum of 313 people, and Tuesday night, Mayor Suttle expects all seats to be filled as Omaha taxpayers sound off to city council members.

"Everyone is encouraged to come out and speak their mind," said Suttle.

Two groups already planning on it, "{A href="http://www.kptm.com/Global/SearchResults.asp?vendor=ez&qu=nebraska+taxpayers+for+freedom" target=_blank}Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom" and "{A href="http://www.kptm.com/Global/SearchResults.asp?vendor=ez&qu=OTOC" target=_blank}Omaha Together One Community."

"We're asking all angry and frustrated tax payers to come down and help us protest {A href="http://www.kptm.com/Global/story.asp?s=10763759" target=_blank}increases in Omaha taxes," said Doug Kagan with NTF.

"As of right now, we are supporting the current agenda," said Brianne Ryba with OTOC.

After holding a meeting on Sunday, members of OTOC say, they couldn't find any alternate ways to fix the budget deficit. So, they're throwing their support behind the mayor's proposed tax hikes.

"You've heard a lot about pools, public safety, a public safety auditor. Those things need to be funded, and those are the things at threat of being cut if these taxes don't pass," said Ryba.

Kagan calls the taxes "unnecessary" and Tuesday night, his group plans on handing the city council pages of ideas on how to fix the multi-million dollar problem. One example being, "to privatize city services. Put out bids to private companies for jobs Public Works does now," said Kagan.

But it's an idea the mayor says, won't be nearly enough.

"We have to get out of denial. We are going to have to raise taxes to overcome this hole we're in - there's no other option," said Suttle.

The mayor says, he'll work very hard over the next few days to strike up some compromises.

The budget meeting will be held inside city council chambers starting at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday night.

If more than 313 people show up, they will seat people inside the cafeteria.

Extra security will be on hand.

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