Yesterday I shared with you that I had filed an open records request asking for the list of attendees of the city’s ballpark luxury box that Lily Limon referenced during her monologue during tuesday’s city council meeting. I received a response from the city late Tuesday night.
The city’s policy about the use of the luxury box is that it is intended for “official district purposes” so that the city does not “run afoul of any state and city laws governing personal gifts”.
It is as clear as it can be.
It is also important to remember that the luxury box belongs to the taxpayers and as such it is supposed to be used for the benefit of the city, as a whole. It is not intended for city representatives to use it for personal purposes.
Reviewing the use of the luxury box from the first game through this week there clearly are city representatives that feel they are exempt from the rules. I am sure you all know who they are, but for posterity sake let’s list them here.
- Emma Acosta invited her spouse. Although not listed in the list provided to me, Acosta acknowledged during the city council meeting that she had invited her “significant other”.
- Cortney Niland invited her spouse and family members as if it was her private box. In her case, Niland used the box as if it were her personal property. It shouldn’t surprise us as she clearly has no interest in the city’s taxpayers, treating them as if they were just checkbooks for her and her cohorts.
- Larry E. Romero, used it when it was allocated to Cortney Niland and invited a guest. Interestingly Romero used the luxury box during a game day that appears to have been allocated to Niland, according to the list provided to me.
Of course our list would be incomplete if I didn’t point out that former city manager Joyce Wilson has also violated the city’s stated policy by using the luxury box on two occasions. In fact it was Wilson who set the policy currently in place about uses of the luxury box. Apparently the rules only apply to others.
You can review the complete list by visiting this link. (It is a PDF document)
Clearly it is the same elected officials that continue to feel entitled.
Rep Niland invited all of her office staff and interns to a game in the city box and we enjoyed our time at the ball park. Her family came up to say hello and stayed an inning or two. I think the conclusion you are drawing about Ms. Niland is wrong.. Rep Niland took care of us..hot dogs all!
It is not the taxpayer’s duty to take care of you or the interests of the Barefoot Contessa. Pay your own goddam way.
Thank you for filing the open records request and for sharing the information. I think the city should automatically provide this list, on an ongoing basis, on the city website. Transparency helps keep everyone honest.
And why is Rep. Lilly worried she will offend people by listing specific names? It should not be a secret that some members of the Rim Road Neighborhood Association were invited to sit in the box. Rep. Lilly could book the box another time for those who weren’t included the first time. What’s the big deal? Keeping “secrets” offends people more than honest explanations.
What a silly controversy this is. It could have been avoided if our esteemed city manager and her office had just done their job the first time. Reasonable policies combined with a transparent verification process is all that’s needed.
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