Omaha Debates On-Duty Fundraising

OMAHA, Neb. --

The Omaha City Council is again poised to debate on allowing municipal employees to raise funds for charities while on the clock.

City officials said the council will begin consideration Tuesday of an ordinance that would prohibit city employees from soliciting the public for contributions while working on city-paid time.

That practice became the center of controversy earlier this year when the Omaha Fire Department's annual "Fill the Boot for MD" drive came under fire from several council members who objected to firefighters being paid while soliciting funds for the drive.

A subsequent ordinance proposed to eliminate the practice, but was amended to only require that charities have insurance for fundraising efforts rather than banning the practice outright. That ordinance passed earlier this fall.

The new ordinance coming before the council this week would prohibit firefighters from being paid while participating in future "Fill the Boot" drives.

A companion ordinance also on Tuesday's agenda proposes to ban the solicitation of funds in city streets.

The ordinances are being put onto the agenda at the request of council members Garry Gernandt, Ben Gray and Jean Stothert.

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