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Government and People
COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF
May 16, 2003John L. Richardson, Chairman
Board of Directors
Sports and Entertainment Commission
2400 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Chairman Richardson,
We write this letter to strongly urge that you not renew the contract of D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission President and Executive Director Mr. Bobby Goldwater.
Of the city's 34,000 employees, Mr. Goldwater's salary of $275,000 per annum is $75,000 higher than the next highest paid city employee. His salary is far higher than that of any elected official, and even $100,000 higher than the proposed salary for Chief Ramsey, who is charged with protecting the safety and security of the District of Columbia. Despite this extraordinary level of compensation; a review of his performance shows a pattern of failed events, fiscal mismanagement, and highly questionable activities by the Commission under his leadership.
The Commission has allegedly depleted its cash reserves, going from $19 million to now only $3 million.
There has been a pattern of lavish and extravagant spending for travel, dining, and even living expenses by the Commission.
The Grand Prix, which was set to be a 10-year event, has been cancelled after only one year. The lost cost to the Commission for this event are estimated to be in the millions. Further, the Grand Prix caused grave disruption to the Kingman Park neighborhood.
Other high profile events associated with the Commission have proven to be economic failures or embarrassments to the city, inclusive of the HFS Festival at RFK Stadium featuring Eminem at which 2 attendees were critically injured, dozens were transported to area hospitals, and many others were arrested on an array of charges and the "Fright House" Halloween production.
The Commission is currently the subject of investigations and audits by the D.C. Auditor, the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance and Ethics, and the Office of the Special Counsel.
The city's involvement with professionally operated, national and international-level events has not been the success hoped for when Mr. Goldwater was hired. Instead, the Commission has been embodied in a succession of controversies, and its financial stability has gone from healthy to tenuous. It is difficult to justify a $275,000 salary for this, or to justify continuation of this situation's primary architect — Mr. Goldwater.
We fully support the city's efforts to expand hosting of national and international events. The level of success that this city deserves in this area will not be achieved by Mr. Goldwater as his performance demonstrates.
We urge that you not renew his contract.
Cc: The Honorable Anthony A. Williams, Mayor, Washington, D.C.
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