Dear PoP – DC Council and Nats Tickets, Really?

IMG_7578, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

A reader gets very upset with this Washington Post story about Fenty withholding Nats tickets from the DC Council. The article says:

“Several D.C. Council members said they and some of their constituents were kept away from yesterday’s home opener at Nationals Park because Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) was withholding 19 tickets to their suite at the stadium.”

His email to Council Member Bowser follows:

“I just saw a news article expressing the Council’s collective outrage at Fenty’s hoarding the Council’s Nationals tickets. Seriously? Is this really an issue? Has the Council really wasted time on this discussion? I find the absolutely disgusting and hope the news article was exaggerating. Given the budget and crime crises the City is facing how on earth can this even be an issue? How can there be time to discuss this? And frankly given the recent layoffs, talk of a street light tax and the huge budget shortfall, why isn’t the City or the Council auctioning these tickets off to the highest bidder.  Continues after the jump.

This story is just one more in a long line of stories showing the corruption, abuse and extravagance of the DC government and I believe it need to be addressed. How dare the Council and the Mayor take jobs away from City employees and raise taxes on the rest of us and then waste even one second of OUR time, yes, your time is our time, paid by the taxes of the residents of this city, debating what is an absurd, unnecessary, excessive and potentially dangerous perk. If indeed the tickets are for personal use, please explain why. Ms. Bowser, your salary surely eclipses that of most of your constituents; if they can and do afford tickets, why can’t you and your fellow members do the same? If they are to be handed out to constituents, is this by way of a transparent, competitive and open process or is it just another form of cronyism, patronage and a “donor benefit?” Seems to me, this might just constitute a conflict of interest. Didn’t the City fund much of the new stadium? Could that support really have been bought from the Council for a mere 19 seats? I hope not!

As my Council member, I would like to know your specific involvement in this debate. How much of OUR time did you and your fellow members spend on this? What specifically is the process by which these tickets will be shared with the residents of the City. If not, can we count on our Council members (save for Mr. Barry as he’s convinced his only responsibility is to spend tax money, not pay it) to claim the actual value of these tickets as part of their compensation package? Will documentation be made public to assure the taxpayers of the City that that did in fact occur?

I await your prompt and complete response to my queries.”

I will post any response given. But what do you guys think – is this getting blown out of proportion?

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