MECA Works on Transparency

The mayor and the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority remain at odds over transparency. At least two board members are offering assurances that those differences could be soon be resolved.

When you go to a ballgame at TD Ameritrade Park or car shows at the CenturyLink Center or concerts in the arena, MECA is the one running the show. It’s one part public and one part private.

The board doesn't yet have an agreement with the city on what specific documents should be released, those that enlighten the public on how the operation is run without hurting MECA when it comes to negotiating a contract with a musical act or strategies used to lure a convention to town.

Board member Willie Theisen volunteered his help in resolving any differences with the city.

“Instead of years down the road, let’s strive for months down the road, couple months," he said.

Mayor Jean Stothert has argued that taxpayers have a right to know how publicly owned facilities are managed.

One thing is clear. The make-up of the board will be different at the next meeting. Jim Vokal’s term is expiring.

Vokal said, "This enterprise has done more to change the face of Omaha than any other enterprise I can think of."

Vokal’s replacement, Diane Duren, was handpicked by the mayor.

The MECA board has also elected a new chairperson. Dana Bradford will serve in that post.

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