The backlash over last week's City Council decision not to seek the 2020 Republican National Convention continues, as Councilman Greg Brockhouse is asking the Bexar County District Attorney to investigate whether the decision to hold the meeting behind closed doors violates the Texas Open Meetings Act, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Brockhouse was critical of the 'executive session' to discuss the convention bid last week, after Mayor Ron Nirenberg used the 'economic development' exemption from the act to justify the top secret session.
"If we are truly striving to be a welcoming and inclusive City, deciding whether or not to deny an organization based on their political beliefs is a dangerous precedent that shouldn’t be done behind closed doors," Brockhouse said.
Meanwhile, San Antonio's loss may be Las Vegas's gain.
After Mayor Ron Nirenberg led a push to forgo a bid for the Republican Party's 2020 convention, Sin City has popped up as a likely landing spot for some 50-thousand visitors and 15-thosuand media.
"The President loves Las Vegas. The President loves Nevada, overall," Nevada Republican Party Chair Michael McDonald told KSNV news this week.
The decision against seeking a bid has angered some in San Antonio's business community, who feel it would have been a shot in the arm. Both the North and South San Antonio chambers of commerce lobbied for the hosting rights. And hotelier Henry Feldman resigned from the Greater Chamber of Commerce board of directors over their decision to not step into the debate.
But Richard Oliver with Visit San Antonio says there will likely not be a backlash against the city for making a closed door decision that reeked of politics.
"We're still a walkable downtown. We're still a beautiful city. History. Culture. Arts. I think meeting planners look at San Antonio as a welcoming place to be," he says.
Oliver points to the fact that San Antonio is on the short list for more than 120 meetings and conventions.
"We have work to do," he explains. "When you have 120 (Requests for Proposal), you're talking about a lot of potential business out there."
That's not counting other conventions who are looking at San Antonio as a potential site. San Antonio is booked in coming months, with two major conventions being the high points. In June, the Texas Republican Party is bringing their convention here. Then, in July, the NAACP is bringing their annual meeting to the Riverwalk, which includes ten thousand visitors and a projected $10 million economic impact.
Visit San Antonio lobbied for the RNC convention in 2020, which is slated to be a soft year. Conventions are often planned years in advance, and there was a lull due to expansion of the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. Meeting planners were hesitant to book because of uncertainty of how it would be finished.