I have now witnessed two different examples of arrogance and it falls right in Councilor Entenman's lap. The first exhibition of arrogance occurred at the City Council's Forum on the Event Center held at the Orpheum Theater on April 5, 2011.
Steve Hildebrand, President of Build It Downtown, asked each councilor to state what would weigh heaviest on their mind when making their decision on the Event Center. Some of the councilors said financing the EC, some said economic impact, some said everything.
Councilor Entenman said he had been on two task forces studying this issue over 10 years and this is the farthest they had been in the process. He then went on to say to audience that "that's why we got elected to make the tough decisions. If this was an easy job you all would be sitting up here and not us."
Hmmm, kind of an insulting thing to say to an audience close to 100 people who were invited by the City Council to ask them questions regarding the Event Center project. I don't think anyone said it was an easy decision. So why insult them when they ask basic questions?
Entenman's arrogance was on further display at the Public Services Committee Meeting on April 11th. The Committee was discussing liquor licensing and the Public Services Committee members moved to put an increase in liquor license fees on the full council agenda based on the new 2010 census.
Councilor Entenman got up to speak to the Committee and started talking about his experience in obtaining a liquor license. He felt the committee was rushing to judgement on the issue and should not bring it forward to the full council without further debate at the committee level.
You see, back in 2008 Councilor Entenman, then a private citizen, was working on obtaining a franchise for a restaurant out by the Arena and needed a liquor license. He paid $1500 to be put on the city's liquor license list. He was now the first one on the list to get one of the new 9 licenses to be released with the new 2010 census.
At some point during Entenman's testimony, Councilor Jamison got up and whispered something in his ear and Councilor Entenman waved him off saying, "I don't care if I have a conflict of interest or not" and then kept on talking about his objection to putting the liquor license fee increase before the full council for formal action.
City Ordinance is clear on the issue of conflicts of interest as it relates to an elected official. Councilor Entenman would appear to have a conflict of interest in relation to the formal vote on a liquor license fee increase since he was now first on the list to get one.
Council members serve the public. Treating tax payers with respect is one of the easiest things a council person has to do.