Mayor's Meeting Canceled by Text, Unprofessional?

By: WOWT-TV Email
By: WOWT-TV Email

"Unprofessional" and "discourteous" -- that's how Mayor Jean Stothert describes events surrounding a canceled meeting she was to have Monday morning with a member of the MECA board.

That member, Jamie Gutierrez, has been ruled ineligible to serve on the MECA board. The Mayor had requested a meeting with her to discuss that opinion from the City Attorney.

In a release Monday morning, the mayor's office says the initial meeting was put off for almost a week to avoid conflicts with Gutierrez's schedule, and then on Sunday night she texted the Mayor asking to reschedule.

The mayor's office explains that Gutierrez said she'd recently become aware that her voter registration activity has come under scrutiny by the Secretary of State's office. She wanted to move the meeting so she could learn more about what's involved with the Secretary of State.

Stothert is quoted in Monday's release as saying, "I believe it is discourteous and unprofessional to cancel our scheduled meeting by text message on Sunday night. My next step is to wait for an opinion from the Secretary of State."

At the heart of the story is the issue of whether Gutierrez, who lives in Sarpy County, might have changed her voter registration to Douglas County so she could serve on the MECA Board. MECA is the agency that oversees the operation of the Century Link Center, TD Ameritrade Park and other entertainment venues.

In his review of the case, City Attorney Paul Kratz noted that even though Gutierrez had changed her voter registration to Douglas County, she had never actually voted in Douglas County. Kratz noted this was the case even though Gutierrez would have had two opportunities to do so.

WOWT 6 News asked the mayor's office for clarification on how Sunday night's communication played out. The mayor did respond to the Gutierrez text with a text message saying she expected Gutierrez to keep the appointment.

After Gutierrez sent a third and final text saying she could not, the mayor did not respond a third time via text.

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