Council approves Shoreline ticket policy

The City Council unanimously approved a new policy on Tuesday for distributing the 300 free concert tickets the city receives as part of its lease income from Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Previously, each council member received up to about 90 tickets a year, or two tickets per show at the Amphitheatre. Under the new policy, council members can receive 14 free tickets, plus an additional 10 at face value and another 10 as income that taxes must be paid on.

The new policy was created in response to new rules from the California Fair Political Practices Commission designed to keep elected officials from giving away such tickets in exchange for political support. Many Mountain View council members were giving their tickets to friends and nonprofits, but the FPPC was more concerned with officials in some Southern California cities who were allegedly giving away large numbers of tickets to curry political favor.

Mountain View council members said they rarely used the tickets themselves, and with the new restrictions -- including a new FPPC rule that says the city must report to the public how every ticket is used -- some officials speculated that there would now be more tickets available to the city's volunteers, including city commissioners.

City attorney Michael Martello said the free tickets were originally written into the lease as a way for the city to promote the venue when it was first built in the late 1980s. It stayed in the lease when it was rewritten in 2006 after a lawsuit with operators Bill Graham Presents, Clear Channel and LiveNation.

The council spent a considerable amount of time discussing limits on the number and type of guests council members could bring to concerts. Council member Laura Macias was concerned that the new policy would discourage single members from using the free tickets, because they can only be given to "immediate family." The definition of "immediate family" was expanded to include the guest of a single council member.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Good, that cut the budget gap. Now the City Council can turn its attention to the remaining $5,999,900.

Posted by Concerned Sierra Club Member, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

How about cutting some of the programs that the city put in place for various non-profits and special interest groups that would be highly debated if the program stood on it own? Each year the City Council incrementally adds more social programs, which at the time, don't seem so big, but taken together are considerable. For example afterschool programs, Cuesta Park Tennis Club, Fire Department's Hazmat, senior lunch open to all at the Senior Center, etc., etc., etc....We need more programs for the Earth!

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