No-Bid Contract Discussions at Dallas City Hall - Texas Scorecard

If you’re sick of competing in business, become a State Representative so you can award yourself no-bid contracts.

The practice of awarding no-bid contracts, shameful as it is, has become less and less commonplace as citizens have increasingly discovered the scheme and demanded it be stopped. That isn’t stopping the Dallas City Council from reviewing a plan to award no-bid contracts for over half of the new newsstand and concession space at the renovated taxpayer-owned Dallas Love Field airport.

The plan calls for the newsstand space to go to Hudson Retail Dallas, owned by both State Representative Helen Giddings and a trust for U.S Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. The plan calls for another no-bid concessions space contract to go to Star Concessions Ltd., owned by former Dallas Citizens Council leader and longtime City Council donor Gilbert Aranza.

“No-bid” is, of course, a nice way of describing these contracts. “No-competition” would be more descriptive. “No-scruples” would be even closer to the truth.

Airport consultants and common sense agree that competition results in better contracts for airport owners, as companies offer higher prices to try to top competing bids. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Austin Bergstrom Airport completely competitively bid all of their new space.

The shame of this is twofold. Firstly, why do the taxpayers of Dallas own an airport? How can anyone expect the bureaucrats in charge of it to treat it with the care, attention, and rigor a company with their own financial life on the line would? Secondly, why is the city of Dallas still considering awarding no-bid contracts when the corrupt practice is going the way of the Dodo bird?

Citizens of Dallas should be calling the offices of the their City Councilmembers reviewing this plan, prepared to convince everyone they know to vote the current group out if they fail to do what’s right.