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Politicsby Mark Reutter9:06 pmMay 21, 20120

Inside City Hall: Viva Las Vegas!

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Council President Young and several others are at the shopping center bash.

Above: Mayor Rawlings-Blake has put aside her budget worries this week and is attending a conference sponsored by shopping center owners in Vegas.

Where’s the mayor this week? Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership, is eager to tell us:

“At ICSC retail conference, I participated in mtg w/ Mayor Rawlings-Blake and GGP, owner of Harborplace & Gallery. Lots of exciting updates,” Fowler tweeted at 6 p.m. tonight.

Dropping her City Hall cares for the week, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is off to the City of (neon) Lights to attend “The Global Retail Real Estate Convention” (aka RECON)  sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

It’s an annual event the mayor has attended before, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Tonight she was scheduled to be part of a panel discussing “America’s Cities – Rebuilding, Revitalizing, Redeveloping,” along with Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh, and TV host and moderator Joan Lunden.

That still leaves the mayor plenty of time to mix with the top brass of General Growth Properties, owners of Mondawmin Mall, Harborplace and The Gallery, and perhaps enjoy a show at Caesars Palace, which wants to bring a slots casino to Baltimore.

No Publicity

Mayor Nutter’s press office has been busy this evening sending out tweets hailing his trip to Vegas as a harbinger of jobs and economic investment in Philadelphia.

In Baltimore: silence. Rawlings-Blake’s trip to Las Vegas was not announced by her press office, which typically emails a daily “Media Advisory” with the mayor’s schedule. Today no schedule appeared in the Brew’s inbox.

Nor was her trip broached in the Board of Estimates agenda, where travel requests for other city officials are duly noted.

The only hint of the trip was on page 75 of last week’s BOE agenda, where $1,535.85 was set aside for Police Officer Kyle Gooden, a member of the mayor’s Executive Protection Unit, to travel to Las Vegas.

The item noted that Gooden would be responsible for driving the mayor around Las Vegas in a rental car this week at a total cost of $592.45. Gooden was to arrive in Las Vegas on Saturday, in advance of the mayor, and return to Baltimore on Thursday.

Jack Young and Others

Rawlings-Blake is not alone in the land of Elvis and quickie weddings.

Colin Tarbert, an assistant to mayoral advisor Kaliope Parthemos, is at the conference. He will be reimbursed $1,059 from an account at the Baltimore Development Corp (BDC).

Also in attendance are City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, his chief of staff Carolyn Blakeney, and City Councilman Carl Stokes. Last February, the BOE approved $4,472 for travel, room and meals for Young and Blakeney. Stokes’ public appropriation is not known.

How much the mayor’s trip will cost has not been revealed. Part or all of it (including some of the security protection costs) will be paid by BDC, the city’s quasi-public development arm.

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