Questions have surfaced over the residency of a MECA board member. Some are asking if Jamie Gutierrez-Mora meets the qualifications to serve.
The panel oversees the CenturyLink Center, TD Ameritrade Park and the Civic Auditorium. According to the city's rule book, Ms. Gutierrez-Mora is ineligible to serve on the board because she lives outside city limits.
While some city council members say this is just a misinterpretation of city code and the original agreement that can be fixed, there are others who contend that there's a deeper reason for the debate.
Councilman Pete Festersen says, "In my view, it's confusion over the definitions that have been in the original agreements and in city code - both of which are different right now. And so we need to satisfy that confusion and clarify that confusion going forward, so we don't keep having the issues we've had with otherwise qualified board members; David Sokal and now Jamie."
But council member Gerry Gernandt believes the controversy has more to do with the MECA board member's surname than her address.
"I hope it's not because of her race, her gender, her success," Gernandt said. "I hope it's not that."
Asked if he thought racism was involved, Gernandt said, "It has to have, it has to play a part somewhere within the equation of who started all this now."
Gernandt stressed that his comments were not aimed at the mayor or any elected official.
We were unable to contact Ms. Gutierrez-Mora for her comments.
City officials are working on language to fix the problem of residency requirements.