At noonish, 19 tickets to tonight's Nationals game were delivered by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's office to the office of Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) to distribute to council members as he saw fit.
But the chairman once again sent them back. "We would like to have the entire season," Gray said. "How would a council member know what to do with the tickets if they get them the day of?"
On Monday, Wednesday and yesterday, the council, in a show of solidarity, returned tickets to the mayor to protest the apparent exclusion of members Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7), Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and Carol Schwartz (R-At Large). On those days, those four council members did not receive envelopes that the mayor's office hand-delivered a few hours before each game.
Today's noonish dropoff was obviously progress for the mayor. It was earlier and more inclusive, putting Gray in charge of passing them out.
But that's not good enough, Gray said. Constituents, who are often given the tickets, deserve more notice, he said. "It isn't as if everyday you have council members going to the games," he said. "We give them to nonprofits to auction off...They are used as incentives...They are prizes for essay contests."
He said a constituent called him this week to ask if she could get tickets to offer as a reward for doing the best job at a neighborhood cleanup. "I had to say to her, 'I don't have any tickets to give,'" he said.