In August 2021, Dutra was denied $1,124 for a trip to Indian Wells for the California Contract Cities Association 2021 Fall Educational Summit in September. The city money would have paid for Dutra’s flight and entry to the event near Palm Springs, but Councilmember Lowell Hurst pulled it from the consent agenda to discuss it. Hurst said the group’s agenda was “union busting” with private contractors. Dutra denied it.
The group states that it helps “forge public, private and not-for-profit partnerships” on its website. “Our network of proven service providers is eager to serve your cities and constituencies,” the group states.
Dutra called Hurst a liar. The council voted 3-3 and the money was denied.
“This was completely political,” Dutra said at the meeting. Dutra told Hurst, “It’s time for you to go. Next year, please retire.”
Councilmembers Eduardo Montesino, Lowell Hurst and Mayor Pro Tem Ari Parker voted no. Councilmembers Rebecca Garcia, Francisco Estrada and Dutra voted yes. Councilmember Aurelio Gonzalez was absent because of a family matter.
Santa Cruz Local asked Dutra about the matter during a May 2022 interview. “The bottom line is that we don’t all have the same political circles and [Lowell] Hurst and myself don’t see eye to eye on many issues. And, you know, he’s in a different political circle. So sometimes these attacks are not anything more than being politically motivated, which that one was.” Dutra added, “Being authentic is really, really important. I’m not going to tell people what they want to hear,” Dutra said. “I’m not endorsed by a majority of the establishment because they want a puppet and I’m not a puppet. I speak my mind. I speak up for the people of our community. And so that makes me a big target. So all I can do is, I go door to door, I share my experiences with people and they see the work that I’ve done, and we’ll see what happens come June 7.”