The deal was all but done. Under a plan pushed by Mayor Mike Rawlings, the City Council looked set to hand over management of Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas and one of the largest collections of decrepit Art Deco buildings in the country, to a private entity led by the mayor's pal, Walt Humann, along with $20 million a year in city money to Humann's group, the Fair Park Foundation. Dallas was between city attorneys at the time, and the interim city attorney signed off on the deal. Then two things happened: Dallas got a new city attorney, Larry Casto, and mayoral adversary, lawyer and all-around sweet guy, City Councilman Philip Kingston, asked a question. Can the city really just hand over a major hunk of city property without seeking competitive bids? Casto had an answer — and a pair of big ones, considering the way City Hall works: No, it can't. The city has to put out a request for proposals for bidders if it wants to hand management of the 277 acres of city property over to a private entity. That opens the door for other groups to bring fresh ideas for rebuilding the park in a way that might help lift the blighted South Dallas neighborhood around it. If that happens, and that's a pretty big if, whichever group wins the bid can erect a small bronze plaque commemorating Larry Casto in some corner of the park.