When Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is out of town, mostly out of state, she is no longer in charge.

Stothert finds the rule outdated and asked the recent charter committee to change it and they did, forwarded it to the city council, who decided not to change anything.

Stothert called the decision “partisan and personal.”

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She didn’t name names, but the Republican mayor was no doubt pointing the finger at Democratic City Council Speaker Pete Festersen, who is first in line as acting mayor when Stothert is away.

Festersen’s argument, “Anything can happen in a city at any time.”

Vinny Palermo: “I’m bringing this up because I heard loud and clear from the mayor that she wanted this there, that she was upset.”

Democratic Council Vice President Vinny Palermo today suggested a full council vote to bring the issue to voters in November, although Palermo had intended to vote against taking it forward.

Palermo“I also realize that we live in the age of technology, but I’m also aware that I can drive around town and sometimes I don’t have cell phone service. So I can only imagine when you are away from the city.

But, and here’s what no one saw coming, the proposal passed 4-3, with Democrat Danny Begley siding with the three Republicans on the board.

Begley later told me his vote was “a mistake” and that he has already called for a new vote next week when he votes against the mayor’s plan.