Isaac Richard berated his Pasadena City Council colleagues Tuesday after they gave final approval to the reconfiguration of the board that governs the Rose Bowl stadium.
In the opening minutes of Tuesday’s regular meeting, the council voted to change the way members of the Rose Bowl Operating Co. Board are selected and to allow the new nine-member panel to set policy, rather than simply advise the council on the city-owned stadium. Richard was absent when the council voted.
“This is a bald-faced attempt to reduce minority representation on the Rose Bowl Operating Co.,” said Richard, who entered the council chamber after the vote.
He said five of the seven people, including himself, who were removed from the board by Tuesday’s vote were members of minority groups and any attempt to reduce minority representation on the new panel would be opposed.
Richard said the Tournament of Roses was behind the change. And he accused Mayor Rick Cole of engineering the vote.
“The racism and bigotry you are promoting in this city is going to tear the whole community down, Cole,” Richard told the mayor.
“Mr. Richard, you voluntarily absented yourself from this issue,” replied Cole, who then temporarily recessed the council.
Also with Richard absent, the council last week tentatively approved creating a board composed of one member appointed by each of the seven council members, a representative of UCLA--which plays at the stadium--and another from the tournament.
Under the present system, the two council districts surrounding the stadium, including Richard’s, nominate three members, the mayor nominates two, the council nominates one, and the tournament nominates one, as does UCLA and the city manager.
The Tournament of Roses’ membership on the new board also came under fire from Richard.
“You cannot look at this city, where 70% of the people are colored, and say we can put an organization that refuses to integrate on a body that is owned by the taxpayers of this city,” the councilman said.
Although the tournament has, in recent months, made efforts to recruit minorities, it is still a predominantly white organization.
Richard also questioned whether Councilman Chris Holden should have abstained from the vote that put a tournament official on the stadium’s governing body.
Under state law, Holden cannot vote on issues that benefit the tournament because he received more than $250 in tickets to stadium events in the past year.
Richard said he filed a complaint last week with the state Fair Political Practices Commission.