Ethics, no-bid contracts, and the city council

The news is not that the city council was going to award a no-bid contract for concessions at the renovated Love Field. This is Dallas, and given how the city is run, it no doubt happens more often than we know. The news is that the city council was so surprised that people objected, including Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper.

This means, as I noted in my May column in the East Dallas magazine, that despite all that has happened to the city over the past 18 months, the council is still in its very own Alice in Wonderland. Former councilman Don Hill is going to spend 18 years in jail for just this sort of influence peddling, and the council doesn’t see the connection. Southeast Dallas councilwoman Carolyn Davis even defends it: "We are fair in this process. A third of this is going out to bid."

I believe it’s safe to call that quote Kafkaesque. No-bid contracts are bad business and they’re unethical. They’re about the last thing the city needs right now, given its budget and corruption problems. Trust me: When The News, Mayor Park Cities and I agree on something, it must be true.

Of course, this foolishness gives me a chance to run this clip from the movie Casablanca after the jump, courtesy of Mehlhaff at YouTube. Maybe the council will understand what they’re doing after watching it.



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