This is Jamie Gutierrez:
This past March, she was approved by the City Council to serve on the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA) Board, overseeing places like the Century Link Center, TD Ameritrade Park, etc.
There have been a few problems with this appointment, though: 1. She runs Midwest Maintenance, which has a contract with the city to provide janitorial services to MECA properties, representing a probable conflict of interest; and 2. Her official home residence seems to be in Bellevue, which would make her ineligible to serve on this particular board.
Inside-city-politics stuff. Not something I was too concerned about. Let those guys fight this out and then come to a conclusion like that did when similar allegations were lobbed against former MECA board member David Sokol.
Then came an e-mail from a local union head, all upset with Mayor Stothert for trying to get Jamie off the board. Mayor Stothert said she had made no such decision, and then forwarded along an e-mail from city attorney Paul Kratz with his opinion that she is, in fact, ineligible. This give-and-take had several local officials copied on it, including members of the City Council, Douglas County Board, and State Legislature. Media members were not privy to it ... until one of the "copied" kicked it over to me, including this odd e-mail to the entire list from Councilman Garry Gernandt:
This is a classic example of racism in my opinion; Jamie passed muster and should not be subjected to such an attack because an ‘ELITE’ of Omaha feels threatened and pulls some strings. This stinks to high heaven and the red line has been crossed.
United we should stand.
The red line has been crossed? Is Councilman Gernandt going to launch cruise missiles on Omaha's "elites"? And who are these "elites"? Who is racist here? CLICK HERE for this morning's conversation if you want additional background on this, or go directly to this conversation below I just recorded with Councilman Gernandt a moment ago, after Tuesday's radio show...
Or, CLICK HERE for the mp3 podcast version of the conversation above.
So, Councilman Gernandt is the only one who can end the speculation over this that's upsetting him so much, but won't do it! More to come...