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Last Published: 11/29/2006 9:39:21 AM
KANSAS CITY COMMITTEE RECORD
 
Upon Roll Call the following members were present:
Present:4 - TERESA LOAR, JIM ROWLAND, EVERT ASJES, TERRY RILEY
 

011574
Authorizing execution of a Sublease Agreement with R-G Development, L.L.C., for Building 610 at Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport.


AVIATION COMMITTEE recommends "DO PASS"
Russ Widmar, Director, Aviation, was present to discuss this ordinance. He stated that the lease expired in July, 2006 and that he would be back before the committee to ask for an extension.
Ayes: 3 - Loar, Rowland, Riley
Nays: 0

011575
Authorizing a News, Gift and Specialty Retail Concession Agreement with The Paradies Shops, Inc., at the Kansas City International Airport.


AVIATION COMMITTEE recommends "HOLD ON AGENDA"
Russ Widmar, Director, Aviation, was present to discuss the ordinance. Mr. Widmar presented the committee with the selection criteria that was used to select the subcontractor. Member Riley questioned Mr. Widmar regarding the fairness of the selection process. He also questioned Mr. Widmar's relationship with the vendors that were bidding. Mr. Widmar answered that the process was fair and level and that he had no relationship with any of the vendors and only had knowledge of one of the firms bidding. Member Riley asked if it was a customary practice to tell vendors how to select their minority participants? Mr. Widmar stated that he questioned Hudson regarding who the City would be working with. He further stated that since they were located out of town in New York, this was necessary information. Member Riley asked if that question was asked of all of the bidders. Mr. Widmar stated that he rated Ms. Denise Gilmore, Creative Concessions as the highest in management skills and that the questions he asked off all of the bidders were hardball questions. Member Rowland asked what was the difference in this bid versus an RFP. Mr. Widmar stated that a survey had been presented to passengers and that KCI rated poor in terms of concessions. Therefore, he stated, instead of letting the contract run out, the City bought out the remainder of the contract to look for a new vendor. Member Rowland questioned the number of stores and employees and the role that it played in the selection process. Mr. Widmar stated that the new contract would double the number of retail opportunities. He stated that there were numerous amounts of lost revenue due to long lines and that Paradies had ranked high in their level of services which was extremely important to make money for the airport. Member Rowland questioned the minimum rent guarantee and the roll that it played in the selection process. Mark Bryant, Polsinelli, Shalton, representing Hudson Group stated that he believed that Mr. Widmar favored Paradies from the beginning and gave a presentation to prove his point. Member Rowland asked Mr. Bryant to address the allegations of favoritism. Mr. Bryant stated that the criteria was not weighted fairly and stated again that Paradies was favored from the beginning. He also stated that he did not understand how money and past performance was not important. Chair Loar questioned what the number of employees had to do with selection. Mr. Bryant gave a presentation giving Hudson Group's past performance numbers and stated that the contract had been awarded based on carpet color and that was an arbitrary decision. He presented awards that had been won by the Hudson Group in airports across the country. Chair Loar stated that Mr. Widmar alone did not make this decision and that this was a group panel decision based on his recommendation. Mr. Bryant stated that he thinks Mr. Widmar handpicked the panel and that no one of the panel had any aviation experience. He continued by stating that money was the bottom line and not the finish of the store or carpet color. Ron Finley, Attorney for the current concession contract holder, Denise Gilmore, stated that Ms. Gilmore had done business with the city for 9 years at KCI with no complaints. Member Rowland stated that no one was disputing that Ms. Gilmore was a good vendor but that the committee should not interfere with the selection process. He further stated that this was not about MBE/WBE participation. He questioned how long the City was obligated to a minority vendor in the spirit of the DBE program. Mr. Finley stated that he felt the process was not fair and that closed meetings were held that should have been open to the public. Chair Loar asked the City Attorney to address the legality of the closed sessions. Dorothy Campbell, Assistant City Attorney addressed the questions of improper closed sessions and stated that nothing improper had been done. Mr. Finley stated that his concern was that the process was open and fair. Former Mayor Emanuel Cleaver was present to testify in opposition to this contract. He stated that it was obscene who this situation was handled. Members of the Concerned Clergy were present to testify in opposition to this ordinance. Those members included Reverend Ralph Crabb, Reverend L. Henderson Bell, Reverend W. Bartlett Finey and Reverend Fuzzy Thompson. They stated that the issue was one of fairness and asked why the city wanted to change the vendor when no complaints towards Ms. Gilmore had been made and she had done such an outstanding job. Reverend Cleaver stated that the illusion of unfairness had been created and that while he supported the MBE process, this was not the way to go about it. He further stated that pitting two minority companies against each other was not right. Reverend Thompson stated that Hudson had the best proposal on the table. He stated that if this contract passed Ms. Gilmore would be out of business. He stated that this process was set-up from the beginning and it was unfair and unsavory. Mr. Rowland again questioned how long the city was obligated to a minority vendor. Ms. Denise Gilmore, Creative Concessions testified in opposition to this ordinance. She stated that she had been treated unfairly and dropped at the last minute because she would not exclusively bid with the Paradies Shoppes and that she felt that her livlihood was at stake. Chair Loar asked Ms. Gilmore if she was a subvendor with Paradies at the present time? Ms. Gilmore answered that she was until December 31, 2001. She further stated that a contract extension was being discussed but that she did not want to extend a bad contract that was not in her best interest. She stated that she and Paradies had been working together until August and she was abruptly dropped and replaced with Elliott Threatt. Jerry Riffel, attorney, was present to testify on behalf of this ordinance. Dick Dixon, Paradies Shoppe was present to answer questions and address issues and comments that had been made against his company. Greg Paradies and Elliott Threatt were also present to answer questions. Mr. Paradies stated that this was about performance and not money and that when Ms. Gilmore did not cooperate with their wishes to remain exclusively bidding with his company they felt forced to find another partner. He expressed his concern with trade secrets getting out to the competition.
Ayes: 4 - Loar, Rowland, Asjes, Riley
Nays: 0
 
 There will be a General Discussion of Current Aviation Issues.