Council’s choice in KCI search: Edgemoor or start over again

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City officials have warned the City Council it has a simple choice with next week’s KCI terminal vote: Follow the recommendation of the committee formed to choose a contractor, or start over again.

Despite the controversy triggered by last week’s surprise selection of Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate of Bethesda, Md., the council does not have the option of voting for the committee’s second choice, AECOM of Los Angeles, City Manager Troy Schulte said.

He said attorneys have advised members that city procurement law requires Edgemoor get a “fair and equal” opportunity to negotiate a development agreement with the city.

“The City Council can’t say, ‘Well we don’t like that one so we want to pick another one,” Schulte said in an interview Thursday. “Essentially, what they would be doing is circumventing the selection process established by ordinance.”

Such a move, he said, would almost certainly lead to a lawsuit from Edgemoor.

Re-starting the process would push selection of an airport developer far beyond the Nov. 7 election — assuming voters approve the proposal. Bidders would have 90 days to answer a new request for proposals, Schulte said. That means voters would likely be asked to greenlight the $1 billion project without seeing even an artist’s rendering.

Schulte’s analysis was disputed by Councilman Quinton Lucas, who called it “if not plainly incorrect, at least quite imprecise as a…

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