Friday, October 7, 2011

ER #15: Cloudy Transparency

City Hall Elevator Rumblings #15

Rider #1: The Capo isn’t very happy. All of the discussion last evening about the chamber’s $1.6 million “smoke and mirrors” contract exposed items that we were trying to keep under wraps. The public thought the Texas Stadium advertising revenue contract “gifted” to the chamber to lease a suite at Cowboys Stadium was just $400,00+. Ha!

Rider #2: Yeah. Did you see jaws drop in the audience when it was stated that the advertising contract was actually $600,000? And that the Cowboys suite lease was for ten (10) years and cost $485,000 this year? Not only that, but it appears that there is an additional cost of $16,000 per home game for tickets.

Rider #1: Do you think anyone did the math? The chamber receives $1.6 million plus $600,000 from the city for a total of $2.2 million. Considering that the chamber’s total budget is $3.5 million, that means the city is on the hook for 74% of the budget for a non-profit organization.

Rider #2: We will have to wait until election time to see if all the “little people” remember this. There may not be enough “smoke and mirrors” to justify all this next year. And the mayor stated that the stadium suite should not be part of next year’s chamber contract. If the council goes cold turkey on sipping the Kool-Aid and this happens, then the $600,000 advertising revenue contract could revert back to city coffers...where it belongs.

Rider #1: I agree. This may be the first crack in Irving’s Lubbock Mafia. The chamber may have to find less lavish quarters and start driving Ford Fiesta SE autos. Otherwise, the Capo might bring in some outside enforcers.

A note from counsel: These “candid” elevator conversations have been injected with fabricated nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, modifiers and maybe a few dangling participles….Mark Holbrook