What I had not realized until I reviewed the video of the September 7th meeting is that not only did the Council reduce the fees, they suspended them for one year. While the revised motion was driven by Councilman Sarmiento, he stated in the beginning of his commments on the matter that he was aware that other Councilmembers had been contacted about the fees. It is clear from the video that staff had made clear, and the Council was fully aware, of what they were voting on and what leagues were impacted. Below is the video, watch it yourself and see what you think.
This is probably one of the most egregious examples of “pay to play” revealed since former Ward 3 Councilmember Ted Moreno was convicted ten years ago on September 5, 2000 for accepting $31,000 in illegal campaign contributions. While the reduction in fees passed on a 7-0 vote, these two council members should have recused themselves from voting on this matter. Who knows what influence these two members exercised over the review of the fees and the recommendation for their reduction.