Down goes Lee, along with city bidding rules

Image result for robert e lee statue dallas

Over time, I’ve learned two things about governing.

First, dictatorships, such as Cuba and what is happening in Venezuela, are bad because they deny people their basic freedoms, from religion to opinions to private property.

Second, one-party states, as in the old Mexico or our Democrat-run cities, are inherently corrupt because there is no one from the other side to keep an eye on the majority.

Let’s talk about Dallas, a city now run by the Democrats surrounded by GOP suburbs.

Around the Dallas area, we’ve gone from talking about removing General Lee’s statue to why it cost $450,000 to bring it down.

We were told that the city council voted for removing it and finding the money.

Well, not so fast! I guess that Dallas city council members are finding out that voting to remove is easy compared to explaining the costs.

This is from the Dallas Observer:

Just after the Dallas City Council voted Sept. 6 to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public park, a crane and work crew appeared to take it down.

Municipal government is not known for its speed, and it is constrained by rules to make spending slow and therefore more transparent.
So how did the city come to spend an estimated half-million so quickly?

The City Council isn’t entirely sure, and those on the council offer differing views on how the contract, valued at around $450,000, was allowed to be signed without being put out for competitive bidding from contractors.

Wow!  But it gets better:

Most city expenses over $25,000 must be put out through a bidding process.

It includes public advertising of the job for two weeks, posts on city websites, and online questions and answers from interested vendors.
Any expense more than $50,000 requires City Council approval.

By state law, a contract made without compliance with competitive procurement laws is void.

According to city rules, the council could have declared removing the Lee statue an emergency but no one said that during the meetings. It was never reported that way to the public.

Why bother with details and rules about city business?

Let’s hope that someone in the city council explains that to a lot of citizens who don’t understand how this statue was removed without opening for bids or following the rules.

Maybe we will remember this episode as Lee’s revenge, or how a city messed up the removal of a statue.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.    We chatted with Joe Pappalardo of The Dallas Observer on Thursday’s show: